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A soil bacterium alters sex determination and rhizoid development in gametophytes of the fern Ceratopteris richardii.

Authors
  • Ganger, Michael T1
  • Hiles, Rachel2
  • Hallowell, Haley3
  • Cooper, Lauren4
  • McAllister, Nicole5
  • Youngdahl, Doug1
  • Alfieri, Jeremy1
  • Ewing, Sarah J1
  • 1 Department of Biology, Gannon University, Erie, PA, USA.
  • 2 Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
  • 3 Department of Biology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA.
  • 4 St. George's University, University Centre, West Indies, Grenada. , (Grenada)
  • 5 Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
AoB PLANTS
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2019
Volume
11
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/aobpla/plz012
PMID: 31019671
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Gametophytes of the fern Ceratopteris richardii develop into either hermaphrodites or males. As hermaphrodites develop, they secrete antheridiogen, or ACE, into the environment, inducing male development in undifferentiated gametophytes. Hermaphrodites are composed of archegonia, antheridia, rhizoids and a notch meristem, while males consist of antheridia and rhizoids. Much of the research on sexual and morphological development concerns gametophytes grown in sterile environments. Using biochemical and molecular techniques we identify a soil bacterium and explore its effects on sexual and rhizoid development. Hermaphrodite and male gametophytes were exposed to this bacterium and the effects on sexual development, rhizoid length and rhizoid number were explored. The bacterium was identified as a pseudomonad, Pseudomonas nitroreducens. Gametophytes grown in the presence of the pseudomonad were more likely to develop into hermaphrodites across all gametophyte densities. Across all gametophyte sizes, hermaphrodites had rhizoids that were 2.95× longer in the presence of the pseudomonad while males had rhizoids that were 2.72× longer in the presence of the pseudomonad. Both hermaphrodite and male gametophytes developed fewer rhizoids in the presence of the pseudomonad. Control hermaphrodites produced 1.23× more rhizoids across all gametophyte sizes. For male gametophytes grown in the absence of the pseudomonad, the rate of increase in the number of rhizoids was greater with increasing size in the control than the rate of increase in males grown in the presence of the pseudomonad. The pseudomonad may be acting on gametophyte sexual development via several potential mechanisms: degradation of ACE, changes in nutrient availability or phytohormone production. The pseudomonad may also increase rhizoid number through production of phytohormones or changes in nutrient availability.

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