Interaction with insects accelerates plant evolution research finds.

Interaction with insects accelerates plant evolution research finds.

A team of researchers at the University of Zurich has discovered that plants benefit from a greater variety of interactions with pollinators and herbivores.

Experiment with bumblebees and aphids
A team of researchers led by biologist Florian Schiestl of the Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany at the University of Zurich has now discovered that the interaction of plants with pollinators and herbivorous insects influences their adaptation to soil types and thus the formation of ecotypes.

In a two-year experiment, about 800 swede plants were grown over 10 generations on different soil types in a greenhouse. One group was pollinated by bumblebees, another by hand; in addition, the plants were cultivated with and without aphids (as herbivores).

At the end of the evolutionary experiment, the researchers investigated the extent to which the plants on the two soil types differed in shape and composition and how well they had adapted to the soil. In terms of shape, it was found that only the plants pollinated by bumblebees showed clear differences between the soil types, while the hand-pollinated plant groups remained largely the same.

Plants pollinated by bumblebees adapt best
When it comes to adaptation to soil types.

The study also identified several genes that may play a critical role in this adaptation process. The results show that biotic interactions can have a strong influence on plants' ability to adapt to abiotic factors and that adaptation is most efficient when plants are exposed to a variety of interactions.

More information: Thomas Dorey et al, Biotic interactions promote local adaptation to soil in plants, Nature Communications (2024). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-024-49383-x

Journal information: Nature Communications

#MissionZero2031 #BiodiversityMatters #Sustainability #MissionZero2031 #BeeTheChange #beeconservation #beeinnovation #environment #sustainability #environmentalmanagement #greenestatemanagement
#honey #environmentalconsulting #beehive #beehiverental #wellness
#pollination #ecology #ecological #biodiversity #habitat #sustainabledevelopment #biomonitors #environmentalmonitoring
#bees #beeswax #esg #esgreporting

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.