Clonal in vitro propagation of peat mosses (Sphagnum L.) as novel green resources for basic and applied research.
ABSTRACT: As builders and major components of peatlands, Sphagnopsida (peat mosses) are very important organisms for ecosystems and world's climate. Nowadays many Sphagnum species as well as their habitats are largely protected, while their scientific and economic relevance remains considerable. Advanced methods of in vitro cultivation provide the potential to work in a sustainable way with peat mosses and address aspects of basic research as well as biotechnological and economical topics like biomonitoring or the production of renewable substrates for horticulture (Sphagnum farming). Here, we describe the establishment of axenic in vitro cultures of the five peat moss species Sphagnum fimbriatum Wils. and Hook., Sphagnum magellanicum Brid., Sphagnum palustre L., Sphagnum rubellum Wils. and Sphagnum subnitens Russ. and Warnst. with specific focus on large-scale cultivation of S. palustre in bioreactors. Axenic, clonal cultures were established to produce high quantities of biomass under standardized laboratory conditions. For advanced production of S. palustre we tested different cultivation techniques, growth media and inocula, and analyzed the effects of tissue disruption. While cultivation on solid medium is suitable for long term storage, submerse cultivation in liquid medium yielded highest amounts of biomass. By addition of sucrose and ammonium nitrate we were able to increase the biomass by around 10- to 30-fold within 4 weeks. The morphology of in vitro-cultivated gametophores showed similar phenotypic characteristics compared to material from the field. Thus the tested culture techniques are suitable to produce S. palustre material for basic and applied research.
Project description:Sphagnum microbiomes play an important role in the northern peatland ecosystems. However, information about above and belowground microbiomes related to Sphagnum at subtropical area remains largely limited. In this study, microbial communities from Sphagnum palustre peat, S. palustre green part, and S. palustre brown part at the Dajiuhu Peatland, in central China were investigated via 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Results indicated that Alphaproteobacteria was the dominant class in all samples, and the classes Acidobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria were abundant in S. palustre peat and S. palustre brown part samples, respectively. In contrast, the class Cyanobacteria dominated in S. palustre green part samples. Microhabitat differentiation mainly contributes to structural differences of bacterial microbiome. In the S. palustre peat, microbial communities were significantly shaped by water table and total nitrogen content. Our study is a systematical investigation on above and belowground bacterial microbiome in a subalpine Sphagnum peatland and the results offer new knowledge about the distribution of bacterial microbiome associated with different microhabitats in subtropical area.
Project description:Very little is known about the interaction of bryophytes with bacteria. Therefore, we analyzed bacteria associated with three bryophyte species, Tortula ruralis, Aulacomnium palustre, and Sphagnum rubellum, which represent typical moss species of three nutrient-poor plant communities at the southern Baltic Sea coast in Germany. By use of two cultivation-independent techniques, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis of the 16S ribosomal DNA, a high degree of moss specificity was found for associated bacterial communities. This specificity could be further evidenced by a cultivation-dependent approach for the following parameters: (i) plate counts of bacteria on R2A medium, (ii) proportion of antagonistic isolates, (iii) antagonistic activity as well as spectrum against pathogens, and (iv) diversity and richness of antagonistic isolates. The proportion of isolates with antagonistic activity against the pathogenic model fungus Verticillium dahliae was highest for S. rubellum (31%), followed by A. palustre (17%) and T. ruralis (5%). A high percentage (99%) of moss-associated antagonistic bacteria produced antifungal compounds. The high recovery of antagonistic isolates strongly suggests that bryophytes represent an ecological niche which harbors a diverse and hitherto largely uncharacterized microbial population with yet unknown and untapped potential biotechnological applications, e.g., for biological control of plant pathogens.
Project description:Peat bogs play a large role in the global sequestration of C, and are often dominated by different Sphagnum species. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how Sphagnum vegetation in peat bogs will respond to global warming. We performed a greenhouse experiment to study the effect of four temperature treatments (11.2, 14.7, 18.0 and 21.4 degrees C) on the growth of four Sphagnum species: S. fuscum and S. balticum from a site in northern Sweden and S. magellanicum and S. cuspidatum from a site in southern Sweden. In addition, three combinations of these species were made to study the effect of temperature on competition. We found that all species increased their height increment and biomass production with an increase in temperature, while bulk densities were lower at higher temperatures. The hollow species S. cuspidatum was the least responsive species, whereas the hummock species S. fuscum increased biomass production 13-fold from the lowest to the highest temperature treatment in monocultures. Nutrient concentrations were higher at higher temperatures, especially N concentrations of S. fuscum and S. balticum increased compared to field values. Competition between S. cuspidatum and S. magellanicum was not influenced by temperature. The mixtures of S. balticum with S. fuscum and S. balticum with S. magellanicum showed that S. balticum was the stronger competitor, but it lost competitive advantage in the highest temperature treatment. These findings suggest that species abundances will shift in response to global warming, particularly at northern sites where hollow species will lose competitive strength relative to hummock species and southern species.
Project description:Biological nitrogen fixation is an important source of bioavailable nitrogen in Sphagnum dominated peatlands. Sphagnum mosses harbor a diverse microbiome including nitrogen-fixing and methane (CH4) oxidizing bacteria. The inhibitory effect of oxygen on microbial nitrogen fixation is documented for many bacteria. However, the role of nitrogen-fixing methanotrophs in nitrogen supply to Sphagnum peat mosses is not well explored. Here, we investigated the role of both oxygen and methane on nitrogen fixation in subarctic Sphagnum peat mosses. Five species of Sphagnum mosses were sampled from two mesotrophic and three oligotrophic sites within the Lakkasuo peatland in Orivesi, central Finland. Mosses were incubated under either ambient or low oxygen conditions in the presence or absence of methane. Stable isotope activity assays revealed considerable nitrogen-fixing and methane-assimilating rates at all sites (1.4?±?0.2 µmol 15N-N2 g-1 DW day-1 and 12.0?±?1.1 µmol 13C-CH4 g-1 DW day-1, respectively). Addition of methane did not stimulate incorporation of 15N-nitrogen into biomass, whereas oxygen depletion increased the activity of the nitrogen-fixing community. Analysis of the 16S rRNA genes at the bacterial community level showed a very diverse microbiome that was dominated by Alphaproteobacteria in all sites. Bona fide methane-oxidizing taxa were not very abundant (relative abundance less than 0.1%). Based on our results we conclude that methanotrophs did not contribute significantly to nitrogen fixation in the investigated peatlands.
Project description:Peat forming Sphagnum mosses are able to prevent the dominance of vascular plants under ombrotrophic conditions by efficiently scavenging atmospherically deposited nitrogen (N). N-uptake kinetics of these mosses are therefore expected to play a key role in differential N availability, plant competition, and carbon sequestration in Sphagnum peatlands. The interacting effects of rain N concentration and exposure time on moss N-uptake rates are, however, poorly understood. We investigated the effects of N-concentration (1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500 µM), N-form ((15)N-ammonium or nitrate) and exposure time (0.5, 2, 72 h) on uptake kinetics for Sphagnum magellanicum from a pristine bog in Patagonia (Argentina) and from a Dutch bog exposed to decades of N-pollution. Uptake rates for ammonium were higher than for nitrate, and N-binding at adsorption sites was negligible. During the first 0.5 h, N-uptake followed saturation kinetics revealing a high affinity (Km 3.5-6.5 µM). Ammonium was taken up 8 times faster than nitrate, whereas over 72 hours this was only 2 times. Uptake rates decreased drastically with increasing exposure times, which implies that many short-term N-uptake experiments in literature may well have overestimated long-term uptake rates and ecosystem retention. Sphagnum from the polluted site (i.e. long-term N exposure) showed lower uptake rates than mosses from the pristine site, indicating an adaptive response. Sphagnum therefore appears to be highly efficient in using short N pulses (e.g. rainfall in pristine areas). This strategy has important ecological and evolutionary implications: at high N input rates, the risk of N-toxicity seems to be reduced by lower uptake rates of Sphagnum, at the expense of its long-term filter capacity and related competitive advantage over vascular plants. As shown by our conceptual model, interacting effects of N-deposition and climate change (changes in rainfall) will seriously alter the functioning of Sphagnum peatlands.
Project description:Background and aims:Peatland moss communities play an important role in ecosystem function. Drivers such as fire and atmospheric pollution have the capacity to influence mosses via multiple pathways. Here, we investigate physical and chemical processes which may influence establishment and growth of three key moss species in peatlands. Methods:A controlled factorial experiment investigated the effects of different peat bulk density, ash deposition and rainwater chemistry treatments on the growth of Sphagnum capillifolium, S. fallax and Campylopus introflexus. Results:Higher peat bulk density limited growth of both Sphagnum species. S. capillifolium and C. introflexus responded positively to ash deposition. Less polluted rain limited growth of C. introflexus. Biomass was well correlated with percentage cover in all three species. Conclusions:Peat bulk density increases caused by fire or drainage can limit Sphagnum establishment and growth, potentially threatening peatland function. Ash inputs may have direct benefits for some Sphagnum species, but are also likely to increase competition from other bryophytes and vascular plants which may offset positive effects. Rainwater pollution may similarly increase competition to Sphagnum, and could enhance positive effects of ash addition on C. introflexus growth. Finally, cover can provide a useful approximation of biomass where destructive sampling is undesirable.
Project description:Sphagnum-associated microbiomes are crucial to Sphagnum growth and peatland ecological functions. However, roles of rare species in bacterial communities across Sphagnum compartments are poorly understood. Here the structures of rare taxa (RT) and conditionally abundant and rare taxa (CART) from Sphagnum palustre peat (SP), S. palustre ectosphere (Ecto) and S. palustre endosphere (Endo) were investigated in the Dajiuhu Peatland, central China. Our results showed that plant compartment effects significantly altered the diversities and structures of bacterial communities. The Observed species and Simpson indices of RT and CART in alpha diversity significantly increased from Endo to SP, with those of Ecto in-between. The variations of community dissimilarities of RT and CART among compartments were consistent with those of whole bacterial communities (WBC). Network analysis indicated a non-random co-occurrence pattern of WBC and all keystone species are affiliated with RT and CART, indicating their important role in sustaining the WBC. Furthermore, the community structures of RT and CART in SP were significantly shaped by water table and total nitrogen content, which coincided with the correlations between WBC and environmental factors. Collectively, our results for the first time confirm the importance of rare species to bacterial communities through structural and predicted functional analyses, which expands our understanding of rare species in Sphagnum-associated microbial communities in subalpine peatlands.
Project description:Knowledge about Sphagnum-associated microbial communities, their structure and their origin is important to understand and maintain climate-relevant Sphagnum-dominated bog ecosystems. We studied bacterial communities of two cosmopolitan Sphagnum species, which are well adapted to different abiotic parameters (Sphagnum magellanicum, which are strongly acidic and ombrotrophic, and Sphagnum fallax, which are weakly acidic and mesotrophic), in three Alpine bogs in Austria by a multifaceted approach. Great differences between bacterial fingerprints of both Sphagna were found independently from the site. This remarkable specificity was confirmed by a cloning and a deep sequencing approach. Besides the common Alphaproteobacteria, we found a discriminative spectrum of bacteria; although Gammaproteobacteria dominated S. magellanicum, S. fallax was mainly colonised by Verrucomicrobia and Planctomycetes. Using this information for fluorescent in situ hybridisation analyses, corresponding colonisation patterns for Alphaproteobacteria and Planctomycetes were detected. Bacterial colonies were found in high abundances inside the dead big hyalocytes, but they were always connected with the living chlorocytes. Using multivariate statistical analysis, the abiotic factors nutrient richness and pH were identified to modulate the composition of Sphagnum-specific bacterial communities. Interestingly, we found that the immense bacterial diversity was transferred via the sporophyte to the gametophyte, which can explain the high specificity of Sphagnum-associated bacteria over long distances. In contrast to higher plants, which acquire their bacteria mainly from the environment, mosses as the phylogenetically oldest land plants maintain their bacterial diversity within the whole lifecycle.
Project description:Peatlands have acted as C-sinks for millennia, storing large amounts of carbon, of which a significant amount is yearly released as methane (CH4). Sphagnum mosses are a key genus in many peat ecosystems and these mosses live in close association with methane-oxidizing and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms. To disentangle mechanisms which may control Sphagnum-associated methane-oxidation and nitrogen-fixation, we applied four treatments to Sphagnum mosses from a pristine peatland in Finland: nitrogen fertilization, phosphorus fertilization, CH4 addition and light. N and P fertilization resulted in nutrient accumulation in the moss tissue, but did not increase Sphagnum growth. While net CO2 fixation rates remained unaffected in the N and P treatment, net CH4 emissions decreased because of enhanced CH4 oxidation. CH4 addition did not affect Sphagnum performance in the present set-up. Light, however, clearly stimulated the activity of associated nitrogen-fixing and methane-oxidizing microorganisms, increasing N2 fixation rates threefold and CH4 oxidation rates fivefold. This underlines the strong connection between Sphagnum and associated N2 fixation and CH4 oxidation. It furthermore indicates that phototrophy is a strong control of microbial activity, which can be directly or indirectly.
Project description:Sphagnum peatlands are important ecosystems in the methane cycle. Methane-oxidizing bacteria in these ecosystems serve as a methane filter and limit methane emissions. Yet little is known about the diversity and identity of the methanotrophs present in and on Sphagnum mosses of peatlands, and only a few isolates are known. The methanotrophic community in Sphagnum mosses, originating from a Dutch peat bog, was investigated using a pmoA microarray. A high biodiversity of both gamma- and alphaproteobacterial methanotrophs was found. With Sphagnum mosses as the inoculum, alpha- and gammaproteobacterial acidophilic methanotrophs were isolated using established and newly designed media. The 16S rRNA, pmoA, pxmA, and mmoX gene sequences showed that the alphaproteobacterial isolates belonged to the Methylocystis and Methylosinus genera. The Methylosinus species isolated are the first acid-tolerant members of this genus. Of the acidophilic gammaproteobacterial strains isolated, strain M5 was affiliated with the Methylomonas genus, and the other strain, M200, may represent a novel genus, most closely related to the genera Methylosoma and Methylovulum. So far, no acidophilic or acid-tolerant methanotrophs in the Gammaproteobacteria class are known. All strains showed the typical features of either type I or II methanotrophs and are, to the best of our knowledge, the first isolated (acidophilic or acid-tolerant) methanotrophs from Sphagnum mosses.