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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

FV / FM measure of maximum photosynthetic yield of PSII of Arabidopsis cultivated on peat-based and peat-free growing media.Significance indicated for pairwise comparisons of Levington peat-based media (native or autoclaved) with other media types (native or autoclaved); Col-0 P < 0.001; L. er. P < 0.001 (Welch’s test followed by post-hoc Games-Howell analysis; N = 12, dead plants excluded). Unmarked comparisons were not statistically significant. The experiment included a comparison of native (N) and autoclaved (A) media.
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pone.0153625.g005: FV / FM measure of maximum photosynthetic yield of PSII of Arabidopsis cultivated on peat-based and peat-free growing media.Significance indicated for pairwise comparisons of Levington peat-based media (native or autoclaved) with other media types (native or autoclaved); Col-0 P < 0.001; L. er. P < 0.001 (Welch’s test followed by post-hoc Games-Howell analysis; N = 12, dead plants excluded). Unmarked comparisons were not statistically significant. The experiment included a comparison of native (N) and autoclaved (A) media.

Mentions: We used a measure of photosynthetic efficiency to evaluate the degree of abiotic stress arising from cultivation of Arabidopsis upon the growing media that we studied. The ratio of variable chlorophyll fluorescence to maximum chlorophyll fluorescence in dark-adapted plants (Fv/Fm) provides a measure of maximum quantum yield of Photosystem II photochemistry, and decreases in Fv/Fm below a typical maximum value of ~0.83 can indicate damage to the light harvesting apparatus (Maxwell & Johnson 2000). For both Col-0 and L. er., cultivation on coir caused a large reduction in Fv/Fm (Fig 5) whereas plants cultivated on other peat-free media had similar Fv/Fm to the Levington control (Fig 5). This suggests there was photoinhibitory damage to PSII in seedlings cultivated on coir. This was consistent with other stress responses during cultivation on coir alone, such as increased anthocyanin accumulation suggested by the purple colouration of leaves (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)

FV / FM measure of maximum photosynthetic yield of PSII of Arabidopsis cultivated on peat-based and peat-free growing media.Significance indicated for pairwise comparisons of Levington peat-based media (native or autoclaved) with other media types (native or autoclaved); Col-0 P < 0.001; L. er. P < 0.001 (Welch’s test followed by post-hoc Games-Howell analysis; N = 12, dead plants excluded). Unmarked comparisons were not statistically significant. 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.g005: FV / FM measure of maximum photosynthetic yield of PSII of Arabidopsis cultivated on peat-based and peat-free growing media.Significance indicated for pairwise comparisons of Levington peat-based media (native or autoclaved) with other media types (native or autoclaved); Col-0 P < 0.001; L. er. P < 0.001 (Welch’s test followed by post-hoc Games-Howell analysis; N = 12, dead plants excluded). Unmarked comparisons were not statistically significant. The experiment included a comparison of native (N) and autoclaved (A) media.
Mentions: We used a measure of photosynthetic efficiency to evaluate the degree of abiotic stress arising from cultivation of Arabidopsis upon the growing media that we studied. The ratio of variable chlorophyll fluorescence to maximum chlorophyll fluorescence in dark-adapted plants (Fv/Fm) provides a measure of maximum quantum yield of Photosystem II photochemistry, and decreases in Fv/Fm below a typical maximum value of ~0.83 can indicate damage to the light harvesting apparatus (Maxwell & Johnson 2000). For both Col-0 and L. er., cultivation on coir caused a large reduction in Fv/Fm (Fig 5) whereas plants cultivated on other peat-free media had similar Fv/Fm to the Levington control (Fig 5). This suggests there was photoinhibitory damage to PSII in seedlings cultivated on coir. This was consistent with other stress responses during cultivation on coir alone, such as increased anthocyanin accumulation suggested by the purple colouration of leaves (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