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Using knockout mutants to reveal the growth costs of defensive traits


Zust, Tobias; Joseph, Bindu; Shimizu, Kentaro K; Kliebenstein, Daniel J; Turnbull, Lindsay A (2011). Using knockout mutants to reveal the growth costs of defensive traits. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 278(1718):2598-2603.

Abstract

We used a selection of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants with knockouts in defence genes to demonstrate growth costs of trichome development and glucosinolate production. Four of the seven defence mutants had significantly higher size-standardised growth rates (SGR) than the wildtype in early life, although this benefit declined as plants grew larger. SGR is known to be a good predictor of success under high-density conditions, and we confirmed that mutants with higher growth rates had a large advantage when grown in competition. Despite the lack of differences in flowering-time genes, the mutants differed in flowering time, a trait strongly correlated with early growth rate. Aphid herbivory decreased plant growth rate and increased flowering time, and aphid population growth rate was closely coupled to the growth rate of the host plant. Small differences in early SGR thus had cascading effects on both flowering time and herbivore populations.

Abstract

We used a selection of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants with knockouts in defence genes to demonstrate growth costs of trichome development and glucosinolate production. Four of the seven defence mutants had significantly higher size-standardised growth rates (SGR) than the wildtype in early life, although this benefit declined as plants grew larger. SGR is known to be a good predictor of success under high-density conditions, and we confirmed that mutants with higher growth rates had a large advantage when grown in competition. Despite the lack of differences in flowering-time genes, the mutants differed in flowering time, a trait strongly correlated with early growth rate. Aphid herbivory decreased plant growth rate and increased flowering time, and aphid population growth rate was closely coupled to the growth rate of the host plant. Small differences in early SGR thus had cascading effects on both flowering time and herbivore populations.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
08 University Research Priority Programs > Systems Biology / Functional Genomics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
580 Plants (Botany)
Uncontrolled Keywords:herbivore defence, Size-standardised growth rate, glucosinolates, trichomes, Arabidopsis
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:29 Dec 2011 14:15
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 10:51
Publisher:Royal Society of London
ISSN:0962-8452
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2010.2475

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