Genotype-specific responses to light stress in eelgrass Zostera marina, a marine foundation plant

Salo, Tiina, Reusch, Thorsten B.H. and Boström, Christoffer (2015) Genotype-specific responses to light stress in eelgrass Zostera marina, a marine foundation plant Marine Ecology Progress Series, 519 . pp. 129-140. DOI 10.3354/meps11083.

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Abstract

Within mono-specific meadows of clonal plants, genotypic diversity may functionally replace species diversity. Little is known about the variability in performance and plasticity of different genotypes towards anthropogenically induced stressors. In this field experiment we compared light-limitation stress responses and recovery of different eelgrass Zostera marina genotypes to assess the variability in phenotypic plasticity and gene expression between different genotypes. Replicated monoculture plots of 4 genotypes were subjected to a simulated turbidity period of 4 wk using shading screens, and their performance during light limitation and 4 wk of recovery was compared to non-shaded controls. In addition to growth and biomass, we investigated storage carbohydrates and quantified the expression of genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, photosynthesis and control of oxidative stress. Plants showed remarkable plasticity in their stress responses and all phenotypic variables recovered to the control level within 4 wk. Depletion and subsequent restoration of sucrose levels differed among genotypes. In terms of gene expression, no consistent patterns were observed. Our study confirms that stress responses and recovery processes can vary substantially between genotypes and the results emphasize the importance of preserving regional genotypic diversity for immediate positive diversity effects and for adaptive evolution in response to global change.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000348926700005
Keywords: Gene expression; Plasticity; Seagrass; Shading; Sucrose
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.3354/meps11083
ISSN: 0171-8630
Projects: COST, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2015 09:48
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 12:47
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/27045

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