Stein, RJ; Höreth, S; Melo, JRF; Syllwasschy, L; Lee, G; Garbind, ML; Clemens, S; Krämer, U: Relationships between soil and leaf mineral composition are element-specific, environment-dependent and geographically structured in the emerging model Arabidopsis halleri., New Phytologist, 213, 1274-1286 (2017), doi:10.1111/nph.14219
Leaf mineral composition, the leaf ionome, reflects the complex interaction between a plant and its environment including local soil composition, an influential factor that can limit species distribution and plant productivity. Here we addressed within-species variation in plant-soil interactions and edaphic adaptation using Arabidopsis halleri, a well-suited model species as a facultative metallophyte and metal hyperaccumulator. We conducted multi-element analysis of 1972 paired leaf and soil samples from 165 European populations of A. halleri, at individual resolution to accommodate soil heterogeneity. Results were further confirmed under standardized conditions upon cultivation of 105 field-collected genotypes on an artificially metal-contaminated soil in growth chamber experiments. Soil-independent between- and within-population variation set apart leaf accumulation of zinc, cadmium and lead from all other nutrient and nonessential elements, concurring with differential hypothesized ecological roles in either biotic interaction or nutrition. For these metals, soil-leaf relationships were element-specific, differed between metalliferous and nonmetalliferous soils and were geographically structured both in the field and under standardized growth conditions, implicating complex scenarios of recent ecological adaptation. Our study provides an example and a reference for future related work and will serve as a basis for the molecular-genetic dissection and ecological analysis of the observed phenotypic variation.
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