Response of psychrophilic plant endosymbionts to experimental temperature increase
Seas Carvajal, Carolina
Chaverri Echandi, Priscila
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Countless uncertainties remain regarding the effects of global warming on biodiversity, including the ability of organisms to adapt and how that will affect obligate symbiotic relationships. The present study aimed to determine the consequences of temperature increase in the adaptation of plant endosymbionts (endophytes) that grow better at low temperatures (psychrophilic). We isolated fungal endophytes from a high-elevation (paramo) endemic plant, Chusquea subtessellata. Initial growth curves were constructed at different temperatures (4–25°C). Next, experiments were carried out in which only the psychrophilic isolates were subjected to repeated increments in temperature. After the experiments, the final growth curves showed significantly slower growth than the initial curves, and some isolates even ceased to grow. While most studies suggest that the distribution of microorganisms will expand as temperatures increase because most of these organisms grow better at 25°C, the results from our experiments demonstrate that psychrophilic fungi were negatively affected by temperature increases. These outcomes raise questions concerning the potential adaptation of beneficial endosymbiotic fungi in the already threatened high-elevation ecosystems. Assessing the consequences of global warming at all trophic levels is urgent because many species on Earth depend on their microbial symbionts for survival.
External link to the item10.1098/rsos.201405
- Biología