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: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 (CH<sub>4</sub>) 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 <sup>15</sup>N-N<sub>2</sub> g<sup>-1</sup> DW day<sup>-1</sup> and 12.0?±?1.1 µmol <sup>13</sup>C-CH<sub>4</sub> g<sup>-1</sup> DW day<sup>-1</sup>, respectively). Addition of methane did not stimulate incorporation of <sup>15</sup>N-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: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:Natural peatlands contribute significantly to global carbon sequestration and storage of biomass, most of which derives from Sphagnum peat mosses. Atmospheric CO<sub>2</sub> levels have increased dramatically during the twentieth century, from 280 to > 400 ppm, which has affected plant carbon dynamics. Net carbon assimilation is strongly reduced by photorespiration, a process that depends on the CO<sub>2</sub> to O<sub>2</sub> ratio. Here we investigate the response of the photorespiration to photosynthesis ratio in Sphagnum mosses to recent CO<sub>2</sub> increases by comparing deuterium isotopomers of historical and contemporary Sphagnum tissues collected from 36 peat cores from five continents. Rising CO<sub>2</sub> levels generally suppressed photorespiration relative to photosynthesis but the magnitude of suppression depended on the current water table depth. By estimating the changes in water table depth, temperature, and precipitation during the twentieth century, we excluded potential effects of these climate parameters on the observed isotopomer responses. Further, we showed that the photorespiration to photosynthesis ratio varied between Sphagnum subgenera, indicating differences in their photosynthetic capacity. The global suppression of photorespiration in Sphagnum suggests an increased net primary production potential in response to the ongoing rise in atmospheric CO<sub>2</sub>, in particular for mire structures with intermediate water table depths.
Project description:Globally, peatlands have been affected by drainage and peat extraction, with adverse effects on their functioning and services. To restore peat-forming vegetation, drained bogs are being rewetted on a large scale. Although this practice results in higher groundwater levels, unfortunately it often creates deep lakes in parts where peat was extracted to greater depths than the surroundings. Revegetation of these deeper waters by peat mosses appears to be challenging due to strong abiotic feedbacks that keep these systems in an undesired bare state. In this study, we theoretically explore if a floating peat mat and an open human-made bog lake can be considered two alternative stable states using a simple model, and experimentally test in the field whether stable states are present, and whether a state shift can be accomplished using floating biodegradable structures that mimic buoyant peat. We transplanted two peat moss species into these structures (pioneer sp. Sphagnum cuspidatum and later-successional sp. S. palustre) with and without additional organic substrate. Our model suggests that these open human-made bog lakes and floating peat mats can indeed be regarded as alternative stable states. Natural recovery by spontaneous peat moss growth, i.e., a state shift from open water to floating mats, is only possible when the water table is sufficiently shallow to avoid light limitation (<0.29 m at our site). Our experiment revealed that alternative stable states are present and that the floating structures facilitated the growth of pioneer S. cuspidatum and vascular plants. Organic substrate addition particularly facilitated vascular plant growth, which correlated to higher moss height. The structures remained too wet for the late-successional species S. palustre. We conclude that open water and floating peat mats in human-made bog lakes can be considered two alternative stable states, and that temporary floating establishment structures can induce a state shift from the open water state to peat-forming vegetation state. These findings imply that for successful restoration, there is a clear water depth threshold to enable peat moss growth and there is no need for addition of large amounts of donor-peat substrate. Correct species selection for restoration is crucial for success.
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:<h4>Background and aims</h4>Sphagnum-dominated peatlands contain approx. 30 % of the terrestrial carbon pool in the form of partially decomposed plant material (peat), and, as a consequence, Sphagnum is currently a focus of studies on biogeochemistry and control of global climate. Sphagnum species differ in ecologically important traits that scale up to impact ecosystem function, and sequencing of the genome from selected Sphagnum species is currently underway. As an emerging model system, these resources for Sphagnum will facilitate linking nucleotide variation to plant functional traits, and through those traits to ecosystem processes. A solid phylogenetic framework for Sphagnum is crucial to comparative analyses of species-specific traits, but relationships among major clades within Sphagnum have been recalcitrant to resolution because the genus underwent a rapid radiation. Herein a well-supported hypothesis for phylogenetic relationships among major clades within Sphagnum based on organellar genome sequences (plastid, mitochondrial) is provided.<h4>Methods</h4>We obtained nucleotide sequences (273 753 nucleotides in total) from the two organellar genomes from 38 species (including three outgroups). Phylogenetic analyses were conducted using a variety of methods applied to nucleotide and amino acid sequences. The Sphagnum phylogeny was rooted with sequences from the related Sphagnopsida genera, Eosphagnum and Flatbergium<h4>Key results</h4>Phylogenetic analyses of the data converge on the following subgeneric relationships: (Rigida (((Subsecunda) (Cuspidata)) ((Sphagnum) (Acutifolia))). All relationships were strongly supported. Species in the two major clades (i.e. Subsecunda + Cuspidata and Sphagnum + Acutifolia), which include >90 % of all Sphagnum species, differ in ecological niches and these differences correlate with other functional traits that impact biogeochemical cycling. Mitochondrial intron presence/absence are variable among species and genera of the Sphagnopsida. Two new nomenclatural combinations are made, in the genera Eosphagnum and Flatbergium<h4>Conclusions</h4>Newly resolved relationships now permit phylogenetic analyses of morphological, biochemical and ecological traits among Sphagnum species. The results clarify long-standing disagreements about subgeneric relationships and intrageneric classification.
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.
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 (CH<sub>4</sub>). 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, CH<sub>4</sub> addition and light. N and P fertilization resulted in nutrient accumulation in the moss tissue, but did not increase Sphagnum growth. While net CO<sub>2</sub> fixation rates remained unaffected in the N and P treatment, net CH<sub>4</sub> emissions decreased because of enhanced CH<sub>4</sub> oxidation. CH<sub>4</sub> 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 N<sub>2</sub> fixation rates threefold and CH<sub>4</sub> oxidation rates fivefold. This underlines the strong connection between Sphagnum and associated N<sub>2</sub> fixation and CH<sub>4</sub> oxidation. It furthermore indicates that phototrophy is a strong control of microbial activity, which can be directly or indirectly.
Project description:Northern wetlands make up a substantial terrestrial carbon sink and are often dominated by decay-resistant Sphagnum mosses. Recent studies have shown that planctomycetes appear to be involved in degradation of Sphagnum-derived debris. Novel trimethylornithine (TMO) lipids have recently been characterized as abundant lipids in various Sphagnum wetland planctomycete isolates, but their occurrence in the environment has not yet been confirmed. We applied a combined intact polar lipid (IPL) and molecular analysis of peat cores collected from two northern wetlands (Saxnäs Mosse [Sweden] and Obukhovskoye [Russia]) in order to investigate the preferred niche and abundance of TMO-producing planctomycetes. TMOs were present throughout the profiles of Sphagnum bogs, but their concentration peaked at the oxic/anoxic interface, which coincided with a maximum abundance of planctomycete-specific 16S rRNA gene sequences. The sequences detected at the oxic/anoxic interface were affiliated with the Isosphaera group, while sequences present in the anoxic peat layers were related to an uncultured planctomycete group. Pyrosequencing-based analysis identified Planctomycetes as the major bacterial group at the oxic/anoxic interface at the Obukhovskoye peat (54% of total 16S rRNA gene sequence reads), followed by Acidobacteria (19% reads), while in the Saxnäs Mosse peat, Acidobacteria were dominant (46%), and Planctomycetes contributed to 6% of the total reads. The detection of abundant TMO lipids in planctomycetes isolated from peat bogs and the lack of TMO production by cultures of acidobacteria suggest that planctomycetes are the producers of TMOs in peat bogs. The higher accumulation of TMOs at the oxic/anoxic interface and the change in the planctomycete community with depth suggest that these IPLs could be synthesized as a response to changing redox conditions at the oxic/anoxic interface.