Heritable variation in root secondary metabolites is associated with recent climate

Bont, Zoe; Züst, Tobias; Arce, Carla C. M.; Huber, Meret; Erb, Matthias (2020). Heritable variation in root secondary metabolites is associated with recent climate. Journal of ecology, 108(6), pp. 2611-2624. Wiley 10.1111/1365-2745.13441

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Plants can adapt to changing environments by adjusting the production and maintenance of diverse sets of bioactive secondary metabolites. To date, the impact of climatic conditions relative to other factors such as soil abiotic factors and herbivore pressure on the evolution of plant secondary metabolites is poorly understood, especially for plant roots.
We explored associations between root latex secondary metabolites in 63 Taraxacum officinale populations across Switzerland and climatic conditions, soil abiotic parameters, root herbivore pressure and cytotype distribution. To assess the contribution of environmental effects, root secondary metabolites were measured in F0 plants in nature and F2 plants under controlled greenhouse conditions.
Concentrations of root latex secondary metabolites were most strongly associated with climatic conditions, while current soil abiotic factors or root herbivore pressure did not show a clear association with root latex chemistry. Results were similar for natural and controlled conditions, suggesting heritable variation rather than environmental plasticity as underlying factor.
Synthesis . We conclude that climatic conditions likely play a major role in the evolution of root secondary metabolites. These results may hint at a novel role of root latex metabolites in tolerance of abiotic stress.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Biotic Interactions

UniBE Contributor:

Bont, Zoe; Züst, Tobias; Marques Arce, Carla Cristina and Erb, Matthias

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0022-0477

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

16 Jul 2020 14:40

Last Modified:

12 Jan 2021 10:01

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/1365-2745.13441

Uncontrolled Keywords:

climatic conditions; dandelion; environmental gradient; herbivore defence; intraspecific variation; latex; multifunctionality; secondary metabolites

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.145212

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/145212

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