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The Cultivation of Arabidopsis for Experimental Research Using Commercially Available Peat-Based and Peat-Free Growing Media.

Drake T, Keating M, Summers R, Yochikawa A, Pitman T, Dodd AN - PLoS ONE (2016)

Bottom Line: Moreover, peat extraction reduces peatland biodiversity and releases stored carbon and methane into the atmosphere.Arabidopsis biomass accumulation and seed yield were reduced by cultivation on several types of peat-free growing media.Overall, we conclude that Arabidopsis performs best when cultivated on peat-based growing media because seed yield was almost always reduced when peat-free media were used.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol Life Sciences Building, 24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TQ, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Experimental research involving Arabidopsis thaliana often involves the quantification of phenotypic traits during cultivation on compost or other growing media. Many commercially-available growing media contain peat, but peat extraction is not sustainable due to its very slow rate of formation. Moreover, peat extraction reduces peatland biodiversity and releases stored carbon and methane into the atmosphere. Here, we compared the experimental performance of Arabidopsis on peat-based and several types of commercially-available peat-free growing media (variously formed from coir, composted bark, wood-fibre, and domestic compost), to provide guidance for reducing peat use in plant sciences research with Arabidopsis. Arabidopsis biomass accumulation and seed yield were reduced by cultivation on several types of peat-free growing media. Arabidopsis performed extremely poorly on coir alone, presumably because this medium was completely nitrate-free. Some peat-free growing media were more susceptible to fungal contamination. We found that autoclaving of control (peat-based) growing media had no effect upon any physiological parameters that we examined, compared with non-autoclaved control growing media, under our experimental conditions. Overall, we conclude that Arabidopsis performs best when cultivated on peat-based growing media because seed yield was almost always reduced when peat-free media were used. This may be because standard laboratory protocols and growth conditions for Arabidopsis are optimized for peat-based media. However, during the vegetative growth phase several phenotypic traits were comparable between plants cultivated on peat-based and some peat-free media, suggesting that under certain circumstances peat-free media can be suitable for phenotypic analysis of Arabidopsis.

No MeSH data available.


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Rate of leaf expansion of Arabidopsis seedlings on peat-based and peat-free growing media.Visible leaf area was determined by image analysis of Col-0 and L. er. plants for the period of time between transfer of seedlings to growing media and inflorescence emergence. N = 12 per experimental repeat.
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pone.0153625.g002: Rate of leaf expansion of Arabidopsis seedlings on peat-based and peat-free growing media.Visible leaf area was determined by image analysis of Col-0 and L. er. plants for the period of time between transfer of seedlings to growing media and inflorescence emergence. N = 12 per experimental repeat.

Mentions: Seedlings cultivated on Levington peat-free control, Westland and Sylvamix media had comparable rates of rosette expansion, with the exception of experimental repeat 1 using autoclaved Westland media, where substantial mildew infection occurred (Fig 2). Rosette expansion on domestic compost was generally lower than when commercial peat- or wood-based media were used (Fig 2). There was no obvious effect of autoclaving Levington peat-based control media upon rosette expansion of Col-0 plants, whereas autoclaving appeared to increase the consistency of growth of L. er between trials (Fig 2). Representative images of Arabidopsis plants cultivated on each growing medium are shown in Fig 3.


The Cultivation of Arabidopsis for Experimental Research Using Commercially Available Peat-Based and Peat-Free Growing Media.

Drake T, Keating M, Summers R, Yochikawa A, Pitman T, Dodd AN - PLoS ONE (2016)

Rate of leaf expansion of Arabidopsis seedlings on peat-based and peat-free growing media.Visible leaf area was determined by image analysis of Col-0 and L. er. plants for the period of time between transfer of seedlings to growing media and inflorescence emergence. N = 12 per experimental repeat.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4835059&req=5

pone.0153625.g002: Rate of leaf expansion of Arabidopsis seedlings on peat-based and peat-free growing media.Visible leaf area was determined by image analysis of Col-0 and L. er. plants for the period of time between transfer of seedlings to growing media and inflorescence emergence. N = 12 per experimental repeat.
Mentions: Seedlings cultivated on Levington peat-free control, Westland and Sylvamix media had comparable rates of rosette expansion, with the exception of experimental repeat 1 using autoclaved Westland media, where substantial mildew infection occurred (Fig 2). Rosette expansion on domestic compost was generally lower than when commercial peat- or wood-based media were used (Fig 2). There was no obvious effect of autoclaving Levington peat-based control media upon rosette expansion of Col-0 plants, whereas autoclaving appeared to increase the consistency of growth of L. er between trials (Fig 2). Representative images of Arabidopsis plants cultivated on each growing medium are shown in Fig 3.

Bottom Line: Moreover, peat extraction reduces peatland biodiversity and releases stored carbon and methane into the atmosphere.Arabidopsis biomass accumulation and seed yield were reduced by cultivation on several types of peat-free growing media.Overall, we conclude that Arabidopsis performs best when cultivated on peat-based growing media because seed yield was almost always reduced when peat-free media were used.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol Life Sciences Building, 24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TQ, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Experimental research involving Arabidopsis thaliana often involves the quantification of phenotypic traits during cultivation on compost or other growing media. Many commercially-available growing media contain peat, but peat extraction is not sustainable due to its very slow rate of formation. Moreover, peat extraction reduces peatland biodiversity and releases stored carbon and methane into the atmosphere. Here, we compared the experimental performance of Arabidopsis on peat-based and several types of commercially-available peat-free growing media (variously formed from coir, composted bark, wood-fibre, and domestic compost), to provide guidance for reducing peat use in plant sciences research with Arabidopsis. Arabidopsis biomass accumulation and seed yield were reduced by cultivation on several types of peat-free growing media. Arabidopsis performed extremely poorly on coir alone, presumably because this medium was completely nitrate-free. Some peat-free growing media were more susceptible to fungal contamination. We found that autoclaving of control (peat-based) growing media had no effect upon any physiological parameters that we examined, compared with non-autoclaved control growing media, under our experimental conditions. Overall, we conclude that Arabidopsis performs best when cultivated on peat-based growing media because seed yield was almost always reduced when peat-free media were used. This may be because standard laboratory protocols and growth conditions for Arabidopsis are optimized for peat-based media. However, during the vegetative growth phase several phenotypic traits were comparable between plants cultivated on peat-based and some peat-free media, suggesting that under certain circumstances peat-free media can be suitable for phenotypic analysis of Arabidopsis.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus