Variation In Soil Microbial Communities From The Native And Invaded Ranges Of Centaurea Solstitialis
AuthorBauer, Rhiannon Layne
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractYellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) is a plant native to Eurasia but highly invasive and ecologically impactful in other geographic regions, including the western United States. Plant invaders such as yellow starthistle often out-compete native species for resources and are more successful in their invaded ranges than in their native ranges. It can be difficult to determine which biological interactions or abiotic factors may favor the fitness of the invader. One hypothesis is that favorable microbial interactions enable the rapid spread and success of introduced species such as yellow starthistle. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the microbial community of the soil in which yellow starthistle is growing differs across sites and ranges (native vs invasive). Soil samples were collected along transects from two sites in the native European range and three sites in the invaded Californian range. Microbial DNA was extracted from soil samples and prepared for sequencing for a comparative analysis of the composition and diversity of microbes. Preparation of both native and invaded range samples was successful, including amplification of target regions and incorporation of sequencing adapters. Future sequencing results will quantify the variation in soil microbial communities within and between sites.