Project description:Ambrosia artemisiifolia L., (common ragweed), is an annual invasive and highly troublesome plant species originating from North America that has become widespread across Europe. New sets of genomic and expressed sequence tag (EST) based simple sequence repeats (SSRs) markers were developed in this species using three approaches. After validation, 13 genomic SSRs and 13 EST-SSRs were retained and used to characterize the genetic diversity and population genetic structure of Ambrosia artemisiifolia populations from the native (North America) and invasive (Europe) ranges of the species. Analysing the mating system based on maternal families did not reveal any departure from complete allogamy and excess homozygosity was mostly due the presence of null alleles. High genetic diversity and patterns of genetic structure in Europe suggest two main introduction events followed by secondary colonization events. Cross-species transferability of the newly developed markers to other invasive species of the Ambrosia genus was assessed. Sixty-five percent and 75% of markers, respectively, were transferable from A. artemisiifolia to Ambrosia psilostachya and Ambrosia tenuifolia. 40% were transferable to Ambrosia trifida, this latter species being seemingly more phylogenetically distantly related to A. artemisiifolia than the former two.
Project description:A new pseudoguaianolide 1 and two new guaiane-type sesquiterpene glucosides 2 and 3, were isolated from the aerial parts of Ambrosia artemisiifolia L together with two known sesquiterpene dilactones 4 and 5. The new compounds were determined on the basis of spectroscopic and chemical methods to be 3?-acetoxy-4?-hydroxy-1?,7?, 10?,11?H-pseudoguaia-12,8?-olide (1), 1?,7?,9?,10?,13?H-guaia-4(5)-en-12,6?-olide 9-O-?-d-glucoside (2) and 4?-hydroxy-1?,5?,7?,9?H-guaia-10(14),11(13)-dien-12-acid 9-O-?-d-glucoside (3). The isolated compounds were evaluated for cytotoxicity against human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cell lines in vitro, but were all inactive.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Pollen of common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) is a main cause of allergic diseases in Northern America. The weed has recently become spreading as a neophyte in Europe, while climate change may also affect the growth of the plant and additionally may also influence pollen allergenicity. To gain better insight in the molecular mechanisms in the development of ragweed pollen and its allergenic proteins under global change scenarios, we generated SuperSAGE libraries to identify differentially expressed transcripts. RESULTS: Ragweed plants were grown in a greenhouse under 380 ppm CO2 and under elevated level of CO2 (700 ppm). In addition, drought experiments under both CO2 concentrations were performed. The pollen viability was not altered under elevated CO2, whereas drought stress decreased its viability. Increased levels of individual flavonoid metabolites were found under elevated CO2 and/or drought. Total RNA was isolated from ragweed pollen, exposed to the four mentioned scenarios and four SuperSAGE libraries were constructed. The library dataset included 236,942 unique sequences, showing overlapping as well as clear differently expressed sequence tags (ESTs). The analysis targeted ESTs known in Ambrosia, as well as in pollen of other plants. Among the identified ESTs, those encoding allergenic ragweed proteins (Amb a) increased under elevated CO2 and drought stress. In addition, ESTs encoding allergenic proteins in other plants were also identified. CONCLUSIONS: The analysis of changes in the transcriptome of ragweed pollen upon CO2 and drought stress using SuperSAGE indicates that under global change scenarios the pollen transcriptome was altered, and impacts the allergenic potential of ragweed pollen.
Project description:The invasive weed Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) constitutes a great threat to public health and agriculture in large areas of the globe. Climate change, characterized by higher temperatures and prolonged vegetation periods, could increase the risk of establishment in northern Europe in the future. However, as the species is a short-day plant that requires long nights to induce bloom formation, it might still fail to produce mature seeds before the onset of winter in areas at northern latitudes characterized by short summer nights. To survey the genetic variation in flowering time and study the effect of latitudinal origin on this trait, a reciprocal common garden experiment, including eleven populations of A. artemisiifolia from Europe and North America, was conducted. The experiment was conducted both outside the range limit of the species, in Sweden and within its invaded range, in Croatia. Our main hypothesis was that the photoperiodic-thermal requirements of A. artemisiifolia constitute a barrier for reproduction at northern latitudes and, thus, halts the northern range shift despite expected climate change. Results revealed the presence of a north-south gradient in flowering time at both garden sites, indicating that certain European populations are pre-adapted to photoperiodic and thermal conditions at latitudes up to, at least, 60° N. This was confirmed by phenological recordings performed in a region close to the northern range limit, the north of Germany. Thus, we conclude that there exists a high risk for establishment and spread of A. artemisiifolia in FennoScandinavia in the near future. The range shift might occur independently of climate change, but would be accelerated by it.
Project description:In the current study, we present the complete chloroplast genome sequence of <i>Ambrosia artemisiifolia</i>. The genome is 152,223?bp long and consist of 83 protein coding genes, 38 tRNAs, and four rRNAs duplicated in the inverted repeat. Detected large single-copy (LSC) and small single-copy (SSC) regions separated with two inverted repeat regions (IR) of length 25,098. The phylogenetic hypotheses obtained based on the analyses of 18 cp genomes places common ragweed within the tribe Heliantheae of the Asteraceae.
Project description:The common ragweed Ambrosia artemisiifolia has spread throughout Europe since the 1800s, infesting croplands and causing severe allergic reactions. Recently, the ragweed leaf beetle Ophraella communa was found in Italy and Switzerland; considering that it feeds primarily on A. artemisiifolia in its invaded ranges, some projects started biological control of this invasive plant through the adventive beetle. In this context of a 'double' invasion, we assessed the influence of climate change on the spread of these alien species through ecological niche modelling. Considering that A. artemisiifolia mainly lives in agricultural and urbanized areas, we refined the models using satellite remote-sensing data; we also assessed the co-occurrence of the two species in these patches. A. artemisiifolia is predicted to expand more than O. communa in the future, with the medium and high classes of suitability of the former increasing more than the latter, resulting in lower efficacy for O. communa to potentially control A. artemisiifolia in agricultural and urbanized patches. Although a future assessment was performed through the 2018 land-cover data, the predictions we propose are intended to be a starting point for future assessments, considering that the possibility of a shrinkage of target patches is unlikely to occur.
Project description:A little known, unculturable ascomycete, referred to as Phyllachora ambrosiae, can destroy the inflorescences of Ambrosia artemisiifolia, an invasive agricultural weed and producer of highly allergenic pollen. The fungus often remains undetectable in ragweed populations. This work was conducted to understand its origin and pathogenesis, a prerequisite to consider its potential as a biocontrol agent. The methods used included light and transmission electron microscopy, nrDNA sequencing, phylogenetic analyses, artificial inoculations, and the examination of old herbarium and recent field specimens from Hungary, Korea, Ukraine and USA. The Eurasian and the North American specimens of this fungus were to represent two distinct, although closely related lineages that were only distantly related to other lineages within the Ascomycota. Consequently, we describe a new genus that includes Cryptophyllachora eurasiatica gen. et sp. nov. and C. ambrosiae comb. nov., respectively. The pathogenesis of C. eurasiatica was shown in A. artemisiifolia. No evidence was found for either seed-borne transmission or systemic infection. Two hypotheses were developed to explain the interaction between C. eurasiatica and A. artemisiifolia: (i) as yet undetected seed-borne transmissions and latent, systemic infections; or (ii) alternative hosts.