Fiber fractions, multielemental and isotopic composition of a tropical C4 grass grown under elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide.
ABSTRACT: Background:Brazil has the largest commercial herd of ruminants with approximately 211 million head, representing 15% of world's beef production, in an area of 170 million hectares of grasslands, mostly cultivated with Brachiaria spp. Although nutrient reduction due to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration has already been verified in important crops, studies evaluating its effects on fiber fractions and elemental composition of this grass genus are still scarce. Therefore, a better understanding of the effects of elevated CO2 on forage quality can elucidate the interaction between forage and livestock production and possible adaptations for a climate change scenario. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of contrasting atmospheric CO2 concentrations on biomass production, morphological characteristics, fiber fractions, and elemental composition of Brachiaria decumbens (cv. Basilisk). Methods:A total of 12 octagonal rings with 10 m diameter were distributed in a seven-ha coffee plantation and inside each of them, two plots of 0.25 m2 were seeded with B. decumbens (cv. Basilisk) in a free air carbon dioxide enrichment facility. Six rings were kept under natural conditions (?390 ?mol mol-1 CO2; Control) and other six under pure CO2 flux to achieve a higher concentration (?550 ?mol mol-1 CO2; Elevated CO2). After 30 months under contrasting atmospheric CO2 concentration, grass samples were collected, and then splitted into two portions: in the first, whole forage was kept intact and in the second portion, the leaf, true stem, inflorescence and senescence fractions were manually separated to determine their proportions (%). All samples were then analyzed to determine the fiber fractions (NDF, hemicellulose, ADF, cellulose, and Lignin), carbon (C), nitrogen (N), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), sulfur (S), phosphorus (P), iron (Fe), and manganese (Mn) contents and N isotopic composition. Results:Elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration did not influence biomass productivity, average height, leaf, stem, senescence and inflorescence proportions, and fiber fractions (p > 0.05). Calcium content of the leaf and senescence portion of B. decumbens were reduced under elevated atmospheric CO2 (p < 0.05). Despite no effect on total C and N (p > 0.05), lower C:N ratio was observed in the whole forage grown under elevated CO2 (p < 0.05). The isotopic composition was also affected by elevated CO2, with higher values of ?15N in the leaf and stem portions of B. decumbens (p < 0.05). Discussion:Productivity and fiber fractions of B. decumbens were not influenced by CO2 enrichment. However, elevated CO2 resulted in decreased forage Ca content which could affect livestock production under a climate change scenario.
Project description:Forage grasses of the African genus Urochloa (syn. Brachiaria) are the basis of Brazilian beef production, and there is a strong demand for high quality, productive and adapted forage plants. Among the approximately 100 species of the genus Urochloa, Urochloa decumbens is one of the most important tropical forage grasses used for pastures due to several of its agronomic attributes. However, the level of understanding of these attributes and the tools with which to control them at the genetic level are limited, mainly due to the apomixis and ploidy level of this species. In this context, the present study aimed to identify and characterize molecular microsatellite markers of U. decumbens and to evaluate their cross-amplification in other Urochloa species.Microsatellite loci were isolated from a previously constructed enriched library from one U. decumbens genotype. Specific primers were designed for one hundred thirteen loci, and ninety-three primer pairs successfully amplified microsatellite regions, yielding an average of 4.93 alleles per locus. The polymorphism information content (PIC) values of these loci ranged from 0.26 to 0.85 (average 0.68), and the associated discriminating power (DP) values ranged from 0.22 to 0.97 (average 0.77). Cross-amplification studies demonstrated the potential transferability of these microsatellites to four other Urochloa species. Structure analysis revealed the existence of three distinct groups, providing evidence in the allelic pool that U. decumbens is closely related to Urochloa ruziziensis and Urochloa brizantha. The genetic distance values determined using Jaccard's coefficient ranged from 0.06 to 0.76.The microsatellite markers identified in this study are the first set of molecular markers for U. decumbens species. Their availability will facilitate understanding the genetics of this and other Urochloa species and breeding them, and will be useful for germplasm characterization, linkage mapping and marker-assisted selection.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The apomictic reproductive mode of Brachiaria (syn. Urochloa) forage species allows breeders to faithfully propagate heterozygous genotypes through seed over multiple generations. In Brachiaria, reproductive mode segregates as single dominant locus, the apospory-specific genomic region (ASGR). The AGSR has been mapped to an area of reduced recombination on Brachiaria decumbens chromosome 5. A primer pair designed within ASGR-BABY BOOM-like (BBML), the candidate gene for the parthenogenesis component of apomixis in Pennisetum squamulatum, was diagnostic for reproductive mode in the closely related species B. ruziziensis, B. brizantha, and B. decumbens. In this study, we used a mapping population of the distantly related commercial species B. humidicola to map the ASGR and test for conservation of ASGR-BBML sequences across Brachiaria species. RESULTS:Dense genetic maps were constructed for the maternal and paternal genomes of a hexaploid (2n?=?6x?=?36) B. humidicola F1 mapping population (n?=?102) using genotyping-by-sequencing, simple sequence repeat, amplified fragment length polymorphism, and transcriptome derived single nucleotide polymorphism markers. Comparative genomics with Setaria italica provided confirmation for x?=?6 as the base chromosome number of B. humidicola. High resolution molecular karyotyping indicated that the six homologous chromosomes of the sexual female parent paired at random, whereas preferential pairing of subgenomes was observed in the apomictic male parent. Furthermore, evidence for compensated aneuploidy was found in the apomictic parent, with only five homologous linkage groups identified for chromosome 5 and seven homologous linkage groups of chromosome 6. The ASGR mapped to B. humidicola chromosome 1, a region syntenic with chromosomes 1 and 7 of S. italica. The ASGR-BBML specific PCR product cosegregated with the ASGR in the F1 mapping population, despite its location on a different carrier chromosome than B. decumbens. CONCLUSIONS:The first dense molecular maps of B. humidicola provide strong support for cytogenetic evidence indicating a base chromosome number of six in this species. Furthermore, these results show conservation of the ASGR across the Paniceae in different chromosomal backgrounds and support postulation of the ASGR-BBML as candidate genes for the parthenogenesis component of apomixis.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:By mid-century, global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]) is predicted to reach 600 μmol mol-1 with global temperatures rising by 2 °C. Rising [CO2] and temperature will alter the growth and productivity of major food and forage crops across the globe. Although the impact is expected to be greatest in tropical regions, the impact of climate-change has been poorly studied in those regions. OBJECTIVES:This experiment aimed to understand the effects of elevated [CO2] (600 μmol mol-1) and warming (+ 2 °C), singly and in combination, on Panicum maximum Jacq. (Guinea grass) metabolite and transcript profiles. METHODS:We created a de novo assembly of the Panicum maximum transcriptome. Leaf samples were taken at two time points in the Guinea grass growing season to analyze transcriptional and metabolite profiles in plants grown at ambient and elevated [CO2] and temperature, and statistical analyses were used to integrate the data. RESULTS:Elevated temperature altered the content of amino acids and secondary metabolites. The transcriptome of Guinea grass shows a clear time point separations, with the changes in the elevated temperature and [CO2] combination plots. CONCLUSION:Field transcriptomics and metabolomics revealed that elevated temperature and [CO2] result in alterations in transcript and metabolite profiles associated with environmental response, secondary metabolism and stomatal function. These metabolic responses are consistent with greater growth and leaf area production under elevated temperature and [CO2]. These results show that tropical C4 grasslands may have unpredicted responses to global climate change, and that warming during a cool growing season enhances growth and alleviates stress.
Project description:Forecasting the effects of climate change on nitrogen (N) cycling in pastures requires an understanding of changes in tissue N. We examined the effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration, atmospheric warming and simulated grazing (clipping frequency) on aboveground and belowground tissue N concentrations and C : N ratios of a C3 pasture grass. Phalaris aquatica L. cv. 'Holdfast' was grown in the field in six transparent temperature gradient tunnels (18 × 1.5 × 1.5 m each), three at ambient atmospheric CO2 and three at 759 p.p.m. CO2. Within each tunnel, there were three air temperature treatments: ambient control, +2.2/+4.0 °C above ambient day/night warming and +3.0 °C continuous warming. A frequent and an infrequent clipping treatment were applied to each warming × CO2 combination. Green leaf N concentrations were decreased by elevated CO2 and increased by more frequent clipping. Both warming treatments increased leaf N concentrations under ambient CO2 concentrations, but did not significantly alter leaf N concentrations under elevated CO2 concentrations. Nitrogen resorption from leaves was decreased under elevated CO2 conditions as well as by more frequent clipping. Fine root N concentrations decreased strongly with increasing soil depth and were further decreased at the 10-60 cm soil depths by elevated CO2 concentrations. The interaction between the CO2 and warming treatments showed that leaf N concentration was affected in a non-additive manner. Changes in leaf C : N ratios were driven by changes in N concentration. Overall, the effects of CO2, warming and clipping treatments on aboveground tissue N concentrations were much greater than on belowground tissue.
Project description:Global atmospheric change is influencing the quality of plants as a resource for herbivores. We investigated the impacts of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone (O3) on the phytochemistry of two forbs, Solidago canadensis and Taraxacum officinale, and the subsequent feeding behavior and growth performance of weanling prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) feeding on those plants. Plants for the chemical analyses and feeding trials were harvested from the understory of control (ambient air), elevated CO2 (560 µl CO2 l(-1)), and elevated O3 (ambient × 1.5) rings at the Aspen FACE (Free Air CO2 Enrichment) site near Rhinelander, Wisconsin. We assigned individual voles to receive plants from only one FACE ring and recorded plant consumption and weanling body mass for seven days. Elevated CO2 and O3 altered the foliar chemistry of both forbs, but only female weanling voles on the O3 diet showed negative responses to these changes. Elevated CO2 increased the fiber fractions of both plant species, whereas O3 fumigation elicited strong responses among many phytochemical components, most notably increasing the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio by 40% and decreasing N by 26%. Consumption did not differ between plant species or among fumigation treatments. Male voles were unaffected by the fumigation treatments, whereas female voles grew 36% less than controls when fed O3-grown plants. These results demonstrate that global atmospheric change has the potential to affect the performance of a mammalian herbivore through changes in plant chemistry.
Project description:This study aimed to determine the protein and carbohydrate fractions as well as the in situ rumen degradability of Brachiaria decumbens silage (BDS) supplemented with soybean hulls. Five soybean hull inclusion levels were used: 0, 10, 20, 30, and 40% of the fresh matter of B. decumbens grass, distributed into a completely randomized design with five replications. The inclusion of soybean hulls caused a linear decrease (p < 0.001) in carbohydrate fractions A + B1 and a linear increase (p < 0.001) in carbohydrate fraction C. The percentage of non-protein nitrogen fraction increased linearly (p < 0.001), but the nitrogen fractions B1 + B2 and B3 presented a negative quadratic effect (p < 0.01) with soybean hull level and fraction C presented a linear decrease (p < 0.001). The dry matter (DM) degradability of soluble fraction (A) and the undigestible DM decreased linearly (p < 0.01) with the soybean hull level. The potentially degradable water-insoluble portion (DM fraction B) and degradability rate (c) of the DM fraction B increased linearly (p < 0.001) with soybean hull level. The crude protein (CP) fraction A presented a linear increase (p < 0.001) with soybean hull inclusion; however, soybean hull levels caused a linear decrease (p < 0.001) in the CP level of fraction B. The degradable insoluble fraction of NDF (D) of the silage increased linearly (p < 0.001) and the indigestible NDF fraction of the silage was linearly decreased with the soybean hull level (p < 0.001). The inclusion of intermediate levels (20-30%) of soybean hulls provided better protein and carbohydrate fractions and better quality of BDS.
Project description:Elevated atmospheric CO2 can change foliar tissue chemistry. This alters leaf litter palatability to macroinvertebrate detritivores with consequences for decomposition, nutrient turnover, and food-web structure. Currently there is no consensus on the link between CO2 enrichment, litter chemistry, and macroinvertebrate-mediated leaf decomposition. To identify any unifying mechanisms, we presented eight invertebrate species from aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems with litter from Alnus glutinosa (common alder) or Betula pendula (silver birch) trees propagated under ambient (380 ppm) or elevated (ambient +200 ppm) CO2 concentrations. Alder litter was largely unaffected by CO2 enrichment, but birch litter from leaves grown under elevated CO2 had reduced nitrogen concentrations and greater C/N ratios. Invertebrates were provided individually with either (i) two litter discs, one of each CO2 treatment ('choice'), or (ii) one litter disc of each CO2 treatment alone ('no-choice'). Consumption was recorded. Only Odontocerum albicorne showed a feeding preference in the choice test, consuming more ambient- than elevated-CO2 birch litter. Species' responses to alder were highly idiosyncratic in the no-choice test: Gammarus pulex and O. albicorne consumed more elevated-CO2 than ambient-CO2 litter, indicating compensatory feeding, while Oniscus asellus consumed more of the ambient-CO2 litter. No species responded to CO2 treatment when fed birch litter. Overall, these results show how elevated atmospheric CO2 can alter litter chemistry, affecting invertebrate feeding behaviour in species-specific ways. The data highlight the need for greater species-level information when predicting changes to detrital processing-a key ecosystem function-under atmospheric change.
Project description:Whilst a range of strategies have been proposed for enhancing crop productivity, many recent studies have focused primarily on enhancing leaf photosynthesis under current atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Given that the atmospheric CO2 concentration is likely to increase significantly in the foreseeable future, an alternative/complementary strategy might be to exploit any variability in the enhancement of growth/yield and photosynthesis at higher CO2 concentrations. To explore this, we investigated the responses of a diverse range of wild and cultivated ryegrass genotypes, with contrasting geographical origins, to ambient and elevated CO2 concentrations and examined what genetically tractable plant trait(s) might be targeted by plant breeders for future yield enhancements. We found substantial ~7-fold intraspecific variations in biomass productivity among the different genotypes at both CO2 levels, which were related primarily to differences in tillering/leaf area, with only small differences due to leaf photosynthesis. Interestingly, the ranking of genotypes in terms of their response to both CO2 concentrations was similar. However, as expected, estimates of whole-plant photosynthesis were strongly correlated with plant productivity. Our results suggest that greater yield gains under elevated CO2 are likely through the exploitation of genetic differences in tillering and leaf area rather than focusing solely on improving leaf photosynthesis.
Project description:Climate change is resulting in increasing atmospheric [CO2], rising growth temperature (T), and greater frequency/severity of drought, with each factor having the potential to alter the respiratory metabolism of leaves. Here, the effects of elevated atmospheric [CO2], sustained warming, and drought on leaf dark respiration (R(dark)), and the short-term T response of R(dark) were examined in Eucalyptus globulus. Comparisons were made using seedlings grown under different [CO2], T, and drought treatments. Using high resolution T-response curves of R(dark) measured over the 15-65 °C range, it was found that elevated [CO2], elevated growth T, and drought had little effect on rates of R(dark) measured at T <35 °C and that there was no interactive effect of [CO2], growth T, and drought on T response of R(dark). However, drought increased R(dark) at high leaf T typical of heatwave events (35-45 °C), and increased the measuring T at which maximal rates of R(dark) occurred (Tmax) by 8 °C (from 52 °C in well-watered plants to 60 °C in drought-treated plants). Leaf starch and soluble sugars decreased under drought and elevated growth T, respectively, but no effect was found under elevated [CO2]. Elevated [CO2] increased the Q 10 of R(dark) (i.e. proportional rise in R(dark) per 10 °C) over the 15-35 °C range, while drought increased Q 10 values between 35 °C and 45 °C. Collectively, the study highlights the dynamic nature of the T dependence of R dark in plants experiencing future climate change scenarios, particularly with respect to drought and elevated [CO2].
Project description:As atmospheric CO2 concentration increases, many experiments have been carried out to study effects of CO2 enrichment on litter decomposition and nutrient release. However, the result is still uncertain. Meanwhile, the impact of CO2 enrichment on nutrients other than N and P are far less studied. Using open-top chambers, we examined effects of elevated CO2 and N addition on leaf litter decomposition and nutrient release in subtropical model forest ecosystems. We found that both elevated CO2 and N addition increased nutrient (C, N, P, K, Ca, Mg and Zn) loss from the decomposing litter. The N, P, Ca and Zn loss was more than tripled in the chambers exposed to both elevated CO2 and N addition than those in the control chambers after 21 months of treatment. The stimulation of nutrient loss under elevated CO2 was associated with the increased soil moisture, the higher leaf litter quality and the greater soil acidity. Accelerated nutrient release under N addition was related to the higher leaf litter quality, the increased soil microbial biomass and the greater soil acidity. Our results imply that elevated CO2 and N addition will increase nutrient cycling in subtropical China under the future global change.