Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Metal-hyperaccumulating plants, which are hypothesized to use metals for defence against pests and pathogens, provide a unique context in which to study plant-pathogen coevolution. Previously, we demonstrated that the high concentrations of zinc found in leaves of the hyperaccumulator Noccaea caerulescens provide protection against bacterial pathogens, with a potential trade-off between metal-based and pathogen-induced defences. We speculated that an evolutionary arms race between zinc-based defences in N. caerulescens and zinc tolerance in pathogens might have driven the development of the hyperaccumulation phenotype. Here, we investigate the possibility of local adaptation by bacteria to the zinc-rich environment of N. caerulescens leaves and show that leaves sampled from the contaminated surroundings of a former mine site harboured endophytes with greater zinc tolerance than those within plants of an artificially created hyperaccumulating population. Experimental manipulation of zinc concentrations in plants of this artificial population influenced the zinc tolerance of recovered endophytes. In laboratory experiments, only endophytic bacteria isolated from plants of the natural population were able to grow to high population densities in any N. caerulescens plants. These findings suggest that long-term coexistence with zinc-hyperaccumulating plants leads to local adaptation by endophytic bacteria to the environment within their leaves.

Original publication

DOI

10.1098/rspb.2016.0648

Type

Journal article

Journal

Proc Biol Sci

Publication Date

11/05/2016

Volume

283

Keywords

endophytes, hyperaccumulators, local adaptation, zinc, Adaptation, Physiological, Brassicaceae, Drug Resistance, Bacterial, Endophytes, Phylogeny, Plant Diseases, Plant Leaves, Pseudomonas, United Kingdom, Zinc