Genome size and ploidy influence angiosperm species' biomass under nitrogen and phosphorus limitation

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Guignard, M. S., Nichols, R. A., Knell, R. J., Macdonald, A. J., Romila, C-A., Trimmer, M., Leitch, I. J. and Leitch, A. R. 2016. Genome size and ploidy influence angiosperm species' biomass under nitrogen and phosphorus limitation. New Phytologist. 210 (4), pp. 1195-1206.

AuthorsGuignard, M. S., Nichols, R. A., Knell, R. J., Macdonald, A. J., Romila, C-A., Trimmer, M., Leitch, I. J. and Leitch, A. R.
Abstract

Angiosperm genome sizes (GS) range c. 2400-fold, and as nucleic acids are amongst the most phosphorus-(P) and nitrogen (N)-demanding cellular biomolecules, we test the hypothesis that a key influence on plant biomass and species composition is the interaction between N and P availability and plant GS. We analysed the impact of different nutrient regimes on above-ground biomass of angiosperm species with different GS, ploidy level and Grime's C-S-R (competitive, stress-tolerant, ruderal) plant strategies growing at the Park Grass Experiment (Rothamsted, UK), established in 1856. The biomass-weighted mean GS of species growing on plots with the addition of both N and P fertilizer were significantly higher than that of plants growing on control plots and plots with either N or P. The plants on these N + P plots are dominated by polyploids with large GS and a competitive plant strategy. The results are consistent with our hypothesis that large genomes are costly to build and maintain under N and P limitation. Hence GS and ploidy are significant traits affecting biomass growth under different nutrient regimes, influencing plant community composition and ecosystem dynamics. We propose that GS is a critical factor needed in models that bridge the knowledge gap between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

KeywordsPlant Sciences; Park Grass; C-S-R strategy; genome size; nitrogen; nutrient limitation; phosphate; plant community; polyploidy
Year of Publication2016
JournalNew Phytologist
Journal citation210 (4), pp. 1195-1206
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/nph.13881
PubMed ID26875784
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeThe Rothamsted Long-Term Experiments including Sample Archive and e-RA database [2012-2017]
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online15 Feb 2016
Publication process dates
Accepted21 Jun 2015
PublisherWiley
Copyright licenseCC BY
ISSN0028-646X

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