Symposium Poster Final

Click here to load reader

  • date post

  • Category


  • view

  • download


Embed Size (px)

Transcript of Symposium Poster Final

  • Background

    Anthocyanins are red and purple pigments whose function in leaves is poorly understood. These

    pigments often accumulate in stressed, juvenile, or senescent (e.g. autumn) leaves. One

    hypothetical role is photoprotection, or blocking excess light from damaging leaves. This

    damage can lead to reduced photosynthesis, a phenomenon called photoinhibition. Other

    hypotheses include protection from insect herbivores and disease. However, anthocyanins are

    metabolically costly to produce, and they may block some usable light. Blocking of light could

    lead to comparatively lower photosynthesis in low light conditions.

    Research ObjectiveExamine the effects of anthocyanin accumulation on photosynthesis, photoinhibition, and leaf herbivory and disease using three crop species.


    I thank Mary Canady and Jeremy Tardiff for use of a plot at the Bowdoin Organic Garden. I also thank Mike and Lucretia Woodruff for loaning a plot on their farm. Thank you to Jack

    OBrien for advice on organizing data, and to Fedco Seeds for donating seed. This project was funded by the Bowdoin Life Sciences Fellowship.

    Herbivory and Disease

    I collected data weekly for plants at two sites over the course of several weeks. Damage

    from disease/class of herbivores was recorded as the proportion of leaves affected by a

    certain type of damage.

    Two plots were established to diversify the herbivore and disease pressures plants


    o Bowdoin Organic Garden: In a suburban environment. Herbivores associated with lawns,

    such as leafhoppers and oriental beetles, were predicted to be more common.

    o Milkweed Farm: In an agricultural setting surrounded by woodland. Herbivores that

    commonly attack crop plants, such as flea beetles and cabbage white caterpillars, were

    predicted to be more common.

    Data is shown for fully expanded leaves at the Bowdoin Organic Garden on July 24, 2015

    Green lettuce shows higher disease damage than red lettuce (Fig 1, Sidaks post hoc, t(53) =

    2.25, p < 0.0001); other species have low levels of disease. May be evidence for protection

    against disease.

    Flea beetle damage was significantly higher in green variety of kale (Fig 1, Sidaks post hoc,

    t(53) = 2.25, p = 0.005). This is possible evidence for anthocyanins repelling flea beetles.

    (Note: Flea beetle damage was much more common at Milkweed Farm, and preliminary data

    analysis suggests green lettuce was more affected than red lettuce.)

    There were no consistent trends for damage from leafhoppers and other herbivores.

    On-going data analysis will take into account temporal and site differences.

    Examining Functional Roles for Anthocyanins in Plant Leaves

    Benjamin M. West; Advisors: Barry Logan and Jaret Reblin

    Red Kale Green Kale Red Lettuce Green Lettuce Red Shiso Green Shiso Bicolored* Shiso*green upper side of leaf, red underside

    Photosynthesis and Photoprotection

    Photosynthesis was measured as CO2 uptake at various light intensities.

    Degree of photoinhibition was quantified using a chlorophyll-fluorescence

    based measurement of photosystem II (PSII) efficiency.

    There was no significant differences between varieties regarding the light

    intensity at which net photosynthesis equals zero (Figs 2A-C, two-way ANOVA,

    F(1, 24) = 0.004, p > 0.9). This does not support hypothesis of detrimental

    light blocking by anthocyanins.

    There was a higher maximum photosynthetic rate in green lettuce than red

    lettuce (Sidaks post-hoc, t(24) = 3.43, p = 0.007) . This would not be due to

    anthocyanins blocking light.

    There were no signs of photoinhibition in any variety (Fig 2D, Fv/Fm > 0.8)

    and no differences in maximum PSII efficiency between red and green

    varieties (Fig 2D, two-way ANOVA, F(1, 78) = 0.77, p = 0.4). Anthocyanin

    accumulation appeared to confer no additional photoprotection in these crop

    species under sunny field conditions.

    Bicolored shiso had lower max PSII efficiency than red shiso (Fig 2D, Tukeys

    post-hoc after a one-way ANOVA, p = 0.004). This does not seem to be an

    anthocyanin-related difference.

    Figure 2. Plots of photosynthetic rates at varying light intensities for red- and

    green-leafed crop plants (A C) and maximum photosystem II efficiency for the

    same plants measured after a sunny day. n.s. = not significantly different; values

    with different letters above them are significantly different.

    = green, = red, = bicolor


    Anthocyanins may play a role in repelling flea beetles and decreasing disease

    susceptibility. Trends regarding damage from other herbivores are currently unclear

    but may become apparent as more data is analyzed.

    Anthocyanin accumulation does not appear detrimental to photosynthesis at low

    light levels.

    Neither red nor green crop plants become photoinhibited under sunny summer

    conditions. If anthocyanins are providing a photoprotective role in red plants, other

    photoprotective mechanisms must be equally active in the green plants.

    Figure 1. Average proportions of fully expanded leaves of crop plants affected by various types of

    damage. Statistical differences within plant species shown. n.s. = not significantly different; values

    with different letters above them are significantly different at a value of p 0.05, and pairs of bars

    with a star over them are significantly different from each other at a value of p 0.05.

    = green, = red, = bicolor