skip to main content

Title: Salinity Influences Plant–Pest–Predator Tritrophic Interactions
Abstract Climate change-induced salinity intrusion into agricultural soils is known to negatively impact crop production and food security. However, the effects of salinity increase on plant–herbivore–natural enemy systems and repercussions for pest suppression services are largely unknown. Here, we examine the effects of increased salinity on communities of rice (Oryza sativa), brown planthopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens, and green mirid bug (GMB), Cyrtorhinus lividipennis, under greenhouse conditions. We found that elevated salinity significantly suppressed the growth of two rice cultivars. Meanwhile, BPH population size also generally decreased due to poor host plant quality induced by elevated salinity. The highest BPH density occurred at 2.0 dS/m salinity and declined thereafter with increasing salinity, irrespective of rice cultivar. The highest population density of GMB also occurred under control conditions and decreased significantly with increasing salinity. Higher salinity directly affected the rice crop by reducing plant quality measured with reference to biomass production and plant height, whereas inducing population developmental asynchrony between BPH and GMB observed at 2 dS/m salinity and potentially uncoupling prey–predator dynamics. Our results suggest that increased salinity has harmful effects on plants, herbivores, natural enemies, as well as plant–pest–predator interactions. The effects measured here suggest that the bottom-up effects of more » predatory insects on rice pests will likely decline in rice produced in coastal areas where salinity intrusion is common. Our findings indicate that elevated salinity influences tritrophic interactions in rice production landscapes, and further research should address resilient rice insect pest management combining multipests and predators in a changing environment. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Editors:
Eigenbrode, Sanford
Award ID(s):
1832042
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10281352
Journal Name:
Journal of Economic Entomology
ISSN:
0022-0493
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract Purpose

    Rice is a staple crop worldwide and a silicon (Si) hyperaccumulator with Si levels reaching 5–10% of its mass; this can result in desilication and Si-deficiency if plant residues are not managed correctly. Rice is also uniquely subject to arsenic (As) and cadmium (Cd) contamination depending on soil conditions. Our goal is to quantify the effects of rice husk (a Si-rich milling byproduct) amendments and different water management strategies on rice uptake of Si, As, and Cd.

    Methods

    We employed 4 husk amendment treatments: Control (no husk), Husk (untreated husk), Biochar (husk pyrolyzed at 450 °C), and CharSil (husk combusted at > 1000 °C). Each of these amendments was studied under nonflooded, alternate wetting and drying (AWD), and flooded water management in a pot study. Porewater chemistry and mature plant elemental composition were measured.

    Results

    Husk and Biochar treatments, along with flooding, increased porewater and plant Si. Vegetative tissue As decreased with increasing porewater Si, but grain As and plant Cd were primarily controlled by water management. Grain As and Cd were inversely correlated and are simultaneously minimized in a redox potential (Eh) range of 225–275 mV in the studied soil. Ferrihydrite in root iron plaque decreased As translocation from porewater to grain, but amendments weremore »not able to increase plaque ferrihydrite content.

    Conclusion

    We conclude moderate husk amendment rates (i.e., 4 years’ worth) with minimal pretreatment strongly increases rice Si content but may not be sufficient to decrease grain As in low Si and As soil.

    « less
  2. Global climate change and local anthropogenic activities are increasing soil salinization with permanent negative effects on agricultural and ecosystem productivity. While salt stress is known to affect plant performance, its effects on the association with key microbial plant symbionts, such as legume-associated nitrogen-fixing rhizobia, are less understood. In this field study conducted in Costa Rica (Puntarenas), we used sympatrically-occurring wild lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) and Bradyrhizobium to quantify biomass production of unfertilized rhizobial (R+) and fertilized rhizobia-free (R-) plants at different levels of experimentally manipulated salinity in native soil. In response to salt stress, nodulation was significantly reduced even at slightly increased salt levels. Plants growing at soil salinity levels of 2, 4, 6, and 8 mS/cm showed a mean reduction of nodules by 60.22, 76.52, 83.98, and 92.5% compared to the controls. Similarly, we also observed a significant decline in plant biomass at elevated salinity. However, biomass accumulation of R- plants was significantly less impacted compared to R+ plants, suggesting that the plant-microbe symbiosis is more salt-sensitive than the plant host itself. We suggest that the search for more salt-tolerant, crop plant-compatible rhizobial strains may provide a sustainable approach to maintain agricultural productivity on low to moderately salinemore »soils.« less
  3. Abstract
    Excessive phosphorus (P) applications to croplands can contribute to eutrophication of surface waters through surface runoff and subsurface (leaching) losses. We analyzed leaching losses of total dissolved P (TDP) from no-till corn, hybrid poplar (Populus nigra X P. maximowiczii), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus), native grasses, and restored prairie, all planted in 2008 on former cropland in Michigan, USA. All crops except corn (13 kg P ha−1 year−1) were grown without P fertilization. Biomass was harvested at the end of each growing season except for poplar. Soil water at 1.2 m depth was sampled weekly to biweekly for TDP determination during March–November 2009–2016 using tension lysimeters. Soil test P (0–25 cm depth) was measured every autumn. Soil water TDP concentrations were usually below levels where eutrophication of surface waters is frequently observed (> 0.02 mg L−1) but often higher than in deep groundwater or nearby streams and lakes. Rates of P leaching, estimated from measured concentrations and modeled drainage, did not differ statistically among cropping systems across years; 7-year cropping system means ranged from 0.035 to 0.072 kg P ha−1 year−1 with large interannual variation. Leached P was positively related to STP, which decreased over the 7 years in all systems. These results indicate that both P-fertilized and unfertilized cropping systems mayMore>>
  4. Abstract River deltas all over the world are sinking beneath sea-level rise, causing significant threats to natural and social systems. This is due to the combined effects of anthropogenic changes to sediment supply and river flow, subsidence, and sea-level rise, posing an immediate threat to the 500–1,000 million residents, many in megacities that live on deltaic coasts. The Mississippi River Deltaic Plain (MRDP) provides examples for many of the functions and feedbacks, regarding how human river management has impacted source-sink processes in coastal deltaic basins, resulting in human settlements more at risk to coastal storms. The survival of human settlement on the MRDP is arguably coupled to a shifting mass balance between a deltaic landscape occupied by either land built by the Mississippi River or water occupied by the Gulf of Mexico. We developed an approach to compare 50 % L:W isopleths (L:W is ratio of land to water) across the Atchafalaya and Terrebonne Basins to test landscape behavior over the last six decades to measure delta instability in coastal deltaic basins as a function of reduced sediment supply from river flooding. The Atchafalaya Basin, with continued sediment delivery, compared to Terrebonne Basin, with reduced river inputs, allow us tomore »test assumptions of how coastal deltaic basins respond to river management over the last 75 years by analyzing landward migration rate of 50 % L:W isopleths between 1932 and 2010. The average landward migration for Terrebonne Basin was nearly 17,000 m (17 km) compared to only 22 m in Atchafalaya Basin over the last 78 years (p\0.001), resulting in migration rates of 218 m/year (0.22 km/year) and\0.5 m/year, respectively. In addition, freshwater vegetation expanded in Atchafalaya Basin since 1949 compared to migration of intermediate and brackish marshes landward in the Terrebonne Basin. Changes in salt marsh vegetation patterns were very distinct in these two basins with gain of 25 % in the Terrebonne Basin compared to 90 % decrease in the Atchafalaya Basin since 1949. These shifts in vegetation types as L:W ratio decreases with reduced sediment input and increase in salinity also coincide with an increase in wind fetch in Terrebonne Bay. In the upper Terrebonne Bay, where the largest landward migration of the 50 % L:W ratio isopleth occurred, we estimate that the wave power has increased by 50–100 % from 1932 to 2010, as the bathymetric and topographic conditions changed, and increase in maximum storm-surge height also increased owing to the landward migration of the L:W ratio isopleth. We argue that this balance of land relative to water in this delta provides a much clearer understanding of increased flood risk from tropical cyclones rather than just estimates of areal land loss. We describe how coastal deltaic basins of the MRDP can be used as experimental landscapes to provide insights into how varying degrees of sediment delivery to coastal deltaic floodplains change flooding risks of a sinking delta using landward migrations of 50 % L:W isopleths. The nonlinear response of migrating L:W isopleths as wind fetch increases is a critical feedback effect that should influence human river-management decisions in deltaic coast. Changes in land area alone do not capture how corresponding landscape degradation and increased water area can lead to exponential increase in flood risk to human populations in low-lying coastal regions. Reduced land formation in coastal deltaic basins (measured by changes in the land:water ratio) can contribute significantly to increasing flood risks by removing the negative feedback of wetlands on wave and storm-surge that occur during extreme weather events. Increased flood risks will promote population migration as human risks associated with living in a deltaic landscape increase, as land is submerged and coastal inundation threats rise. These system linkages in dynamic deltaic coasts define a balance of river management and human settlement dependent on a certain level of land area within coastal deltaic basins (L).« less
  5. INTRODUCTION During the independent process of cereal evolution, many trait shifts appear to have been under convergent selection to meet the specific needs of humans. Identification of convergently selected genes across cereals could help to clarify the evolution of crop species and to accelerate breeding programs. In the past several decades, researchers have debated whether convergent phenotypic selection in distinct lineages is driven by conserved molecular changes or by diverse molecular pathways. Two of the most economically important crops, maize and rice, display some conserved phenotypic shifts—including loss of seed dispersal, decreased seed dormancy, and increased grain number during evolution—even though they experienced independent selection. Hence, maize and rice can serve as an excellent system for understanding the extent of convergent selection among cereals. RATIONALE Despite the identification of a few convergently selected genes, our understanding of the extent of molecular convergence on a genome-wide scale between maize and rice is very limited. To learn how often selection acts on orthologous genes, we investigated the functions and molecular evolution of the grain yield quantitative trait locus KRN2 in maize and its rice ortholog OsKRN2 . We also identified convergently selected genes on a genome-wide scale in maize and rice, usingmore »two large datasets. RESULTS We identified a selected gene, KRN2 ( kernel row number2 ), that differs between domesticated maize and its wild ancestor, teosinte. This gene underlies a major quantitative trait locus for kernel row number in maize. Selection in the noncoding upstream regions resulted in a reduction of KRN2 expression and an increased grain number through an increase in kernel rows. The rice ortholog, OsKRN2 , also underwent selection and negatively regulates grain number via control of secondary panicle branches. These orthologs encode WD40 proteins and function synergistically with a gene of unknown function, DUF1644, which suggests that a conserved protein interaction controls grain number in maize and rice. Field tests show that knockout of KRN2 in maize or OsKRN2 in rice increased grain yield by ~10% and ~8%, respectively, with no apparent trade-off in other agronomic traits. This suggests potential applications of KRN2 and its orthologs for crop improvement. On a genome-wide scale, we identified a set of 490 orthologous genes that underwent convergent selection during maize and rice evolution, including KRN2/OsKRN2 . We found that the convergently selected orthologous genes appear to be significantly enriched in two specific pathways in both maize and rice: starch and sucrose metabolism, and biosynthesis of cofactors. A deep analysis of convergently selected genes in the starch metabolic pathway indicates that the degree of genetic convergence via convergent selection is related to the conservation and complexity of the gene network for a given selection. CONCLUSION Our findings show that common phenotypic shifts during maize and rice evolution acting on conserved genes are driven at least in part by convergent selection, which in maize and rice likely occurred both during and after domestication. We provide evolutionary and functional evidence on the convergent selection of KRN2/OsKRN2 for grain number between maize and rice. We further found that a complete loss-of-function allele of KRN2/OsKRN2 increased grain yield without an apparent negative impact on other agronomic traits. Exploring the role of KRN2/OsKRN2 and other convergently selected genes across the cereals could provide new opportunities to enhance the production of other global crops. Shared selected orthologous genes in maize and rice for convergent phenotypic shifts during domestication and improvement. By comparing 3163 selected genes in maize and 18,755 selected genes in rice, we identified 490 orthologous gene pairs, including KRN2 and its rice ortholog OsKRN2 , as having been convergently selected. Knockout of KRN2 in maize or OsKRN2 in rice increased grain yield by increasing kernel rows and secondary panicle branches, respectively.« less