Variation in Immune Response Among Native and Invading Genotypes of Yellow Starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis)
AuthorKaczowka, Angela M.
AdvisorDlugosch, Katrina M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractInvasive plants may leave enemies behind when they colonize a new habitat, allowing selection to favor increased investment in growth and/or reproduction over defensive traits. Previous studies have identified reduced diversity of potential bacterial pathogens and evolutionary increases in growth and reproduction in invading populations of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis). This study leverages a recently developed high-throughput assay of immune function to test for evidence of a trade-off between increased growth and defense against bacterial pathogens in yellow starthistle's invasion of California (USA). Seven bacterial strains were cultured from infected leaf tissue in the native range. Healthy leaf tissue from five native European collections and six invading collections were exposed to these native bacterial strains. A standardized assay of peroxidase activity was used measure the oxidative burst immune response to pathogen recognition by the leaf. Immune responses were compared to plant growth within and between ranges to assess evidence for a trade-off. Plant genotypes from the native range demonstrated a higher immune response to bacterial strains than did invading genotypes, consistent with a trade-off with plant growth across regions. The same trade-off was also apparent across genotypes from the native range, but not across genotypes from the invaded range. Our results provide evidence that increased growth in a highly invasive plant species may come at a cost to immune function, consistent with the hypothesis that escape from enemies can provide opportunities for shifts in resource allocation that favor the proliferation of non-native species.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology