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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.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Dry biomass accumulation and time to flowering of Arabidopsis cultivated on peat-based and peat-free growing media.(a) For dry biomass quantification and (b) flowering time, analysis was by Welch’s test (for biomass both Col-0 and L. er. P < 0.001; for flowering time Col-0 P < 0.001; L. er. P > 0.05 all NS). (a, b) used post-hoc Games-Powell analysis. Significance levels are indicated for pairwise comparisons of peat-based Levington control (native or autoclaved) with other media types that were treated in the same way, and also comparing autoclaved and native Levington media. N = 8–12. The experiment included a comparison of native (N) and autoclaved (A) media.
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pone.0153625.g004: Dry biomass accumulation and time to flowering of Arabidopsis cultivated on peat-based and peat-free growing media.(a) For dry biomass quantification and (b) flowering time, analysis was by Welch’s test (for biomass both Col-0 and L. er. P < 0.001; for flowering time Col-0 P < 0.001; L. er. P > 0.05 all NS). (a, b) used post-hoc Games-Powell analysis. Significance levels are indicated for pairwise comparisons of peat-based Levington control (native or autoclaved) with other media types that were treated in the same way, and also comparing autoclaved and native Levington media. N = 8–12. The experiment included a comparison of native (N) and autoclaved (A) media.

Mentions: Growing media choice had a significant impact upon biomass accumulation of both L. er. and Col-0 backgrounds (L. er. p < 0.001; Col-0 p < 0.001). Seedlings cultivated on coir accumulated very little biomass (Fig 4A), consistent with coir-cultivated seedlings having lowest rates of rosette growth (Fig 2). L. er. background seedlings cultivated on non-autoclaved Westland and Sylvamix media, and on autoclaved domestic compost, had numerically lower biomass accumulation compared with the Levington media control, but these differences were not significant due to the degree of biomass variation within each of the treatments (Fig 4A). Col-0 background seedlings cultivated on non-autoclaved Sylvamix media accumulated significantly greater biomass compared with seedlings grown on peat-based Levington media (Fig 4A).


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)

Dry biomass accumulation and time to flowering of Arabidopsis cultivated on peat-based and peat-free growing media.(a) For dry biomass quantification and (b) flowering time, analysis was by Welch’s test (for biomass both Col-0 and L. er. P < 0.001; for flowering time Col-0 P < 0.001; L. er. P > 0.05 all NS). (a, b) used post-hoc Games-Powell analysis. Significance levels are indicated for pairwise comparisons of peat-based Levington control (native or autoclaved) with other media types that were treated in the same way, and also comparing autoclaved and native Levington media. N = 8–12. The experiment included a comparison of native (N) and autoclaved (A) media.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0153625.g004: Dry biomass accumulation and time to flowering of Arabidopsis cultivated on peat-based and peat-free growing media.(a) For dry biomass quantification and (b) flowering time, analysis was by Welch’s test (for biomass both Col-0 and L. er. P < 0.001; for flowering time Col-0 P < 0.001; L. er. P > 0.05 all NS). (a, b) used post-hoc Games-Powell analysis. Significance levels are indicated for pairwise comparisons of peat-based Levington control (native or autoclaved) with other media types that were treated in the same way, and also comparing autoclaved and native Levington media. N = 8–12. The experiment included a comparison of native (N) and autoclaved (A) media.
Mentions: Growing media choice had a significant impact upon biomass accumulation of both L. er. and Col-0 backgrounds (L. er. p < 0.001; Col-0 p < 0.001). Seedlings cultivated on coir accumulated very little biomass (Fig 4A), consistent with coir-cultivated seedlings having lowest rates of rosette growth (Fig 2). L. er. background seedlings cultivated on non-autoclaved Westland and Sylvamix media, and on autoclaved domestic compost, had numerically lower biomass accumulation compared with the Levington media control, but these differences were not significant due to the degree of biomass variation within each of the treatments (Fig 4A). Col-0 background seedlings cultivated on non-autoclaved Sylvamix media accumulated significantly greater biomass compared with seedlings grown on peat-based Levington media (Fig 4A).

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