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Plant and insect genetic variation mediate the impact of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on a natural plant-herbivore interaction
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
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Number of Authors: 72017 (English)In: Ecological Entomology, ISSN 0307-6946, E-ISSN 1365-2311, Vol. 42, no 6, p. 793-802Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

1. While both arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and plant and insect genotype are well known to influence plant and herbivore growth and performance, information is lacking on how these factors jointly influence the relationship between plants and their natural herbivores. 2. The aim of the present study was to investigate how a natural community of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi affects the growth of the perennial herb Plantago lanceolata L. (Plantaginaceae), as well as its interaction with the Glanville fritillary butterfly [Melitaea cinxia L. (Nymphalidae)]. For this, a multifactorial experiment was conducted using plant lines originating from multiple plant populations in the angstrom land Islands, Finland, grown either with or without mycorrhizal fungi. For a subset of plant lines, the impact of mycorrhizal inoculation, plant line, and larval family on the performance of M. cinxia larvae were tested. 3. Arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculation did not have a consistently positive or negative impact on plant growth or herbivore performance. Instead, plant genetic variation mediated the impact of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on plant growth, and both plant genetic variation and herbivore genetic variation mediated the response of the herbivore. For both the plant and insect, the impact of the arbuscular mycorrhizal community ranged from mutualistic to antagonistic. Overall, the present findings illustrate that genetic variation in response to mycorrhizal fungi may play a key role in the ecology and evolution of plant-insect interactions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 42, no 6, p. 793-802
Keywords [en]
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, genetic variation, Glomeromycota, Melitaea cinxia, multitrophic interaction, Plantago lanceolata, plant-herbivore interaction
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Ecology and Evolution
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-149949DOI: 10.1111/een.12453ISI: 000414613300013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-149949DiVA, id: diva2:1170398
Available from: 2018-01-03 Created: 2018-01-03 Last updated: 2018-10-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Plant-associated soil communities: Patterns, drivers and aboveground consequences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Plant-associated soil communities: Patterns, drivers and aboveground consequences
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Soil contains a wealth of diversity – bacteria, fungi, nematodes, arthropods and earthworms are just some of the many organisms found belowground. These organisms play an important role in shaping the soil environment and they strongly influence plant fitness, diversity and community composition. Their impact even cascades up to affect aboveground species interactions. Ultimately, belowground organisms are a vital part of ecosystem functioning. Nevertheless, most of the diversity and ecology of belowground organisms are to this day unknown, and increasing our insights into the role and ecology of soil organisms is of importance for natural and agricultural systems.

The main goal of this thesis was to investigate spatial patterns of plant-associated soil communities (I, II), to identify the drivers of such spatial patterns (I, II, III), and to study some of the consequences of belowground spatial patterns for aboveground species interactions (IV). To answer these questions, I used both observational studies and multifactorial experiments in combination with microscopy and metabarcoding. I focused on the plant Plantago lanceolata (ribwort plantain) and its root-associated soil microbes, with a strong emphasis on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, an important group of root symbionts.

I found that in natural environments arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities frequently show high small-scale variation (I). In the following work I showed that the pattern of high small-scale heterogeneity may be due to dispersal limitation (II), abiotic conditions such as pH, soil nutrients and climate (I, III), and biotic conditions, such as interspecific community composition and genetic variation (I, II). The high variation at small spatial scales (I) in combination with genetic variation of plants and insects (IV) may help maintain high local heterogeneity in aboveground plant-associated communities, thereby influencing aboveground diversity and dynamics.

The insight gained here has increased our general knowledge on the distribution of soil microbes and the interactions taking place above and belowground. It has furthermore laid a foundation for future work on the world of soil microbes and their implications aboveground.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, 2018. p. 43
Keywords
aboveground-belowground interactions, arbuscular mycorrhiza, climate, dispersal, environmental drivers, fungi, genetic variation, nematodes, plant-herbivore interactions, soil communities, spatial patterns
National Category
Ecology Microbiology
Research subject
Ecology and Evolution
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-160903 (URN)978-91-7797-494-9 (ISBN)978-91-7797-495-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-11-30, Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Svante Arrhenius väg 20, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
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Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2018-11-07 Created: 2018-10-15 Last updated: 2018-11-02Bibliographically approved

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