The Rhizosphere Microbiome of Mikania micrantha Provides Insight Into Adaptation and Invasion.
ABSTRACT: Mikania micrantha is a noxious invasive plant causing enormous economic losses and ecological damage. Soil microbiome plays an important role in the invasion process of M. micrantha, while little is known about its rhizosphere microbiome composition and function. In this study, we identified the distinct rhizosphere microbial communities of M. micrantha, by comparing them with those of two coexisting native plants (Polygonum chinense and Paederia scandens) and the bulk soils, using metagenomics data from field sampling and pot experiment. As a result, the enrichment of phosphorus-solubilizing bacteria Pseudomonas and Enterobacter was consistent with the increased soil available phosphorus in M. micrantha rhizosphere. Furthermore, the pathogens of Fusarium oxysporum and Ralstonia solanacearum and pathogenic genes of type III secretion system (T3SS) were observed to be less abundant in M. micrantha rhizosphere, which might be attributed to the enrichment of biocontrol bacteria Catenulispora, Pseudomonas, and Candidatus Entotheonella and polyketide synthase (PKS) genes involved in synthesizing antibiotics and polyketides to inhibit pathogens. These findings collectively suggested that the enrichment of microbes involved in nutrient acquisition and pathogen suppression in the rhizosphere of M. micrantha largely enhances its adaptation and invasion to various environments.
Project description:Mikania micrantha is one of the top 100 worst invasive species that can cause serious damage to natural ecosystems and substantial economic losses. Here, we present its 1.79?Gb chromosome-scale reference genome. Half of the genome is composed of long terminal repeat retrotransposons, 80% of which have been derived from a significant expansion in the past one million years. We identify a whole genome duplication event and recent segmental duplications, which may be responsible for its rapid environmental adaptation. Additionally, we show that M. micrantha achieves higher photosynthetic capacity by CO2 absorption at night to supplement the carbon fixation during the day, as well as enhanced stem photosynthesis efficiency. Furthermore, the metabolites of M. micrantha can increase the availability of nitrogen by enriching the microbes that participate in nitrogen cycling pathways. These findings collectively provide insights into the rapid growth and invasive adaptation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mikania micrantha H.B.K. (Asteraceae) is one of the world's most invasive weeds which has been rapidly expanding in tropical Asia, including China, while its close relative M. cordata, the only Mikania species native to China, shows no harm to the local ecosystems. These two species are very similar in morphology but differ remarkably in several ecological and physiological traits, representing an ideal system for comparative analysis to investigate the genetic basis underlying invasion success. In this study, we performed RNA-sequencing on the invader M. micrantha and its native congener M. cordata in China, to unravel the genetic basis underlying the strong invasiveness of M. micrantha. For a more robust comparison, another non-invasive congener M. cordifolia was also sequenced and compared. RESULTS:A total of 52,179, 55,835, and 52,983 unigenes were obtained for M. micrantha, M. cordata, and M. cordifolia, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses and divergence time dating revealed a relatively recent split between M. micrantha and M. cordata, i.e., approximately 4.81 million years ago (MYA), after their divergence with M. cordifolia (8.70 MYA). Gene ontology classifications, pathway assignments and differential expression analysis revealed higher representation or significant up-regulation of genes associated with photosynthesis, energy metabolism, protein modification and stress response in M. micrantha than in M. cordata or M. cordifolia. Analysis of accelerated evolution and positive selection also suggested the importance of these related genes and processes to the adaptability and invasiveness of M. micrantha. Particularly, most (77 out of 112, i.e. 68.75%) positively selected genes found in M. micrantha could be classified into four groups, i.e., energy acquisition and utilization (10 genes), growth and reproduction (13 genes), protection and repair (34 genes), and signal transduction and expression regulation (20 genes), which may have contributed to the high adaptability of M. micrantha to various new environments and the capability to occupy a wider niche, reflected in its high invasiveness. CONCLUSIONS:We characterized the transcriptomes of the invasive species M. micrantha and its non-invasive congeners, M. cordata and M. cordifolia. A comparison of their transcriptomes provided insights into the genetic basis of the high invasiveness of M. micrantha.
Project description:The effects of invasion by Mikania micrantha in the buffer zone of Chitwan National Park (CNP) of Nepal are well documented; however the studies were confined to appraising the perception of household and did not assess the changes in livelihood activities after the invasion. This study presents the effects of invasion of M. micrantha on the livelihood of buffer zone of the Chitwan National Park; hence addressing the gap in information and shows the complex effect of M. micrantha on rural livelihood. The study used a questionnaire survey to 170 households in the CNP of Nepal. The results indicate that the invasion of M. micrantha have negative effects on the community livelihood in the study area. Basic forest products such as fodder and fuel wood have become scarce as a result of reduction in the native plants. Also the spread of M. micrantha is creating impassable copse that destroy wildlife abode and jungle paths resulting into animals to shift their habitat to core area thereby reducing tourism revenues. Therefore, the study concludes that invasion of M. micrantha directly or indirectly is modifying the rural household livelihoods and a quick action is stipulated. Hence, a higher level body like the Ministry of Forestry or Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation needs to take care of issues related to alien species. Correspondingly, it is also very important that people are aware and educated about alien species and their effects.
Project description:A common hypothesis to explain the effect of litter mixing is based on the difference in litter N content between mixed species. Although many studies have shown that litter of invasive non-native plants typically has higher N content than that of native plants in the communities they invade, there has been surprisingly little study of mixing effects during plant invasions. We address this question in south China where Mikania micrantha H.B.K., a non-native vine, with high litter N content, has invaded many forested ecosystems. We were specifically interested in whether this invader accelerated decomposition and how the strength of the litter mixing effect changes with the degree of invasion and over time during litter decomposition. Using litterbags, we evaluated the effect of mixing litter of M. micrantha with the litter of 7 native resident plants, at 3 ratios: M1 (1?4,?=?exotic:native litter), M2 (1?1) and M3 (4?1,?=?exotic:native litter) over three incubation periods. We compared mixed litter with unmixed litter of the native species to identify if a non-additive effect of mixing litter existed. We found that there were positive significant non-additive effects of litter mixing on both mass loss and nutrient release. These effects changed with native species identity, mixture ratio and decay times. Overall the greatest accelerations of mixture decay and N release tended to be in the highest degree of invasion (mix ratio M3) and during the middle and final measured stages of decomposition. Contrary to expectations, the initial difference in litter N did not explain species differences in the effect of mixing but overall it appears that invasion by M. micrantha is accelerating the decomposition of native species litter. This effect on a fundamental ecosystem process could contribute to higher rates of nutrient turnover in invaded ecosystems.