Root exudate metabolomes change under drought and show limited capacity for recovery

Gargallo-Garriga A., Preece C., Sardans J., Oravec M., Urban O., Peñuelas J. (2018) Root exudate metabolomes change under drought and show limited capacity for recovery. Scientific Reports. 8: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-30150-0

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Root exudates comprise a large variety of compounds released by plants into the rhizosphere, including low-molecular-weight primary metabolites (particularly saccharides, amino acids and organic acids) and secondary metabolites (phenolics, flavonoids and terpenoids). Changes in exudate composition could have impacts on the plant itself, on other plants, on soil properties (e.g. amount of soil organic matter), and on soil organisms. The effects of drought on the composition of root exudates, however, have been rarely studied. We used an ecometabolomics approach to identify the compounds in the exudates of Quercus ilex (holm oak) under an experimental drought gradient and subsequent recovery. Increasing drought stress strongly affected the composition of the exudate metabolome. Plant exudates under drought consisted mainly of secondary metabolites (71% of total metabolites) associated with plant responses to drought stress, whereas the metabolite composition under recovery shifted towards a dominance of primary metabolites (81% of total metabolites). These results strongly suggested that roots exude the most abundant root metabolites. The exudates were changed irreversibly by the lack of water under extreme drought conditions, and the plants could not recover. © 2018, The Author(s).

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Storage and release of nutrients during litter decomposition for native and invasive species under different flooding intensities in a Chinese wetland

Wang W., Wang C., Sardans J., Tong C., Ouyang L., Asensio D., Gargallo-Garriga A., Peñuelas J. (2018) Storage and release of nutrients during litter decomposition for native and invasive species under different flooding intensities in a Chinese wetland. Aquatic Botany. 149: 5-16.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.aquabot.2018.04.006

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Projections of climate change impacts over the coming decades suggest that rising sea level will flood coastal wetlands. We studied the impacts of three intensities of flooding on litter decomposition in the native Cyperus malaccensis, and the invasives Spartina alterniflora and Phragmites australis in Shanyutan wetland (Minjiang River estuary, China). Invasive species had larger C, N and P stocks in plant-litter compartments and higher fluxes among plant-litter-soil, which increased with flooding intensity. Litter mass remaining (% of initial mass) were correlated with the N:P ratio in remaining litter, consistently with the N-limitation in this wetland. P. australis had the highest accumulated N release (P < 0.001) in all flooding intensities, whereas C. malaccensis had higher N accumulated release than S. alternifolia but only at low flooding intensity. At high flooding intensity, the N released in the first year of litter decomposition (g m−2 y−1) were 9.56 ± 0.21, 2.38 ± 0.18 and 1.92 ± 0.03 for P. australis, S. alternifolia and C. malaccensis, respectively. The higher rates of nutrient release from litter decomposition in invasive species provided better nutrient supply during the growing season coinciding with the initial phases of decomposition. Thus, this study shows that invasive species may gain a competitive advantage over the native C. malaccensis under the projected scenarios of sea level rises. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.

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Impact of soil warming on the plant metabolome of Icelandic grasslands

Gargallo-Garriga A., Ayala-Roque M., Sardans J., Bartrons M., Granda V., Sigurdsson B.D., Leblans N.I.W., Oravec M., Urban O., Janssens I.A., Peñuelas J. (2017) Impact of soil warming on the plant metabolome of Icelandic grasslands. Metabolites. 7: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.3390/metabo7030044

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Climate change is stronger at high than at temperate and tropical latitudes. The natural geothermal conditions in southern Iceland provide an opportunity to study the impact of warming on plants, because of the geothermal bedrock channels that induce stable gradients of soil temperature. We studied two valleys, one where such gradients have been present for centuries (long-term treatment), and another where new gradients were created in 2008 after a shallow crustal earthquake (short-term treatment). We studied the impact of soil warming (0 to +15° C) on the foliar metabolomes of two common plant species of high northern latitudes: Agrostis capillaris, a monocotyledon grass; and Ranunculus acris, a dicotyledonous herb, and evaluated the dependence of shifts in their metabolomes on the length of the warming treatment. The two species responded differently to warming, depending on the length of exposure. The grass metabolome clearly shifted at the site of long-term warming, but the herb metabolome did not. The main up-regulated compounds at the highest temperatures at the long-term site were saccharides and amino acids, both involved in heat-shock metabolic pathways. Moreover, some secondary metabolites, such as phenolic acids and terpenes, associated with a wide array of stresses, were also up-regulated. Most current climatic models predict an increase in annual average temperature between 2–8° C over land masses in the Arctic towards the end of this century. The metabolomes of A. capillaris and R. acris shifted abruptly and nonlinearly to soil warming >5° C above the control temperature for the coming decades. These results thus suggest that a slight warming increase may not imply substantial changes in plant function, but if the temperature rises more than 5° C, warming may end up triggering metabolic pathways associated with heat stress in some plant species currently dominant in this region. © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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Long-term fertilization determines different metabolomic profiles and responses in saplings of three rainforest tree species with different adult canopy position

Gargallo-Garriga A., Wright S.J., Sardans J., Pérez-Trujillo M., Oravec M., Večeřová K., Urban O., Fernández-Martónez M., Parella T., Penuelas J. (2017) Long-term fertilization determines different metabolomic profiles and responses in saplings of three rainforest tree species with different adult canopy position. PLoS ONE. 12: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177030

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Background Tropical rainforests are frequently limited by soil nutrient availability. However, the response of the metabolic phenotypic plasticity of trees to an increase of soil nutrient availabilities is poorly understood. We expected that increases in the ability of a nutrient that limits some plant processes should be detected by corresponding changes in plant metabolome profile related to such processes. Methodology/Principal findings We studied the foliar metabolome of saplings of three abundant tree species in a 15 year field NPK fertilization experiment in a Panamanian rainforest. The largest differences were among species and explained 75% of overall metabolome variation. The saplings of the large canopy species, Tetragastris panamensis, had the lowest concentrations of all identified amino acids and the highest concentrations of most identified secondary compounds. The saplings of the amid canopyo species, Alseis blackiana, had the highest concentrations of amino acids coming from the biosynthesis pathways of glycerate-3P, oxaloacetate and - ketoglutarate, and the saplings of the low canopy species, Heisteria concinna, had the highest concentrations of amino acids coming from the pyruvate synthesis pathways. Conclusions/Significance The changes in metabolome provided strong evidence that different nutrients limit different species in different ways. With increasing P availability, the two canopy species shifted their metabolome towards larger investment in protection mechanisms, whereas with increasing N availability, the sub-canopy species increased its primary metabolism. The results highlighted the proportional distinct use of different nutrients by different species and the resulting different metabolome profiles in this high diversity community are consistent with the ecological niche theory. © 2017 Gargallo-Garriga et al.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Impacts of global change on Mediterranean forests and their services

Peñuelas, J., Sardans, J., Filella, I., Estiarte, M., Llusià, J., Ogaya, R., Carnicer, J., Bartrons, M., Rivas-Ubach, A., Grau, O., Peguero, G., Margalef, O., Pla-Rabés, S., Stefanescu, C., Asensio, D., Preece, C., Liu, L., Verger, A., Barbeta, A., Achotegui-Castells, A., Gargallo-Garriga, A., Sperlich, D., Farré-Armengol, G., Fernández-Martínez, M., Liu, D., Zhang, C., Urbina, I., Camino-Serrano, M., Vives-Ingla, M., Stocker, B.D., Balzarolo, M., Guerrieri, R., Peaucelle, M., Marañón-Jiménez, S., Bórnez-Mejías, K., Mu, Z., Descals, A., Castellanos, A., Terradas, J. (2017) Impacts of global change on Mediterranean forests and their services. Forests. 8: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.3390/f8120463

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Shifts in plant foliar and floral metabolomes in response to the suppression of the associated microbiota

Gargallo-Garriga A., Sardans J., Pérez-Trujillo M., Guenther A., Llusià J., Rico L., Terradas J., Farré-Armengol G., Filella I., Parella T., Peñuelas J. (2016) Shifts in plant foliar and floral metabolomes in response to the suppression of the associated microbiota. BMC Plant Biology. 16: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1186/s12870-016-0767-7

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Background: The phyllospheric microbiota is assumed to play a key role in the metabolism of host plants. Its role in determining the epiphytic and internal plant metabolome, however, remains to be investigated. We analyzed the Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) profiles of the epiphytic and internal metabolomes of the leaves and flowers of Sambucus nigra with and without external antibiotic treatment application. Results: The epiphytic metabolism showed a degree of complexity similar to that of the plant organs. The suppression of microbial communities by topical applications of antibiotics had a greater impact on the epiphytic metabolome than on the internal metabolomes of the plant organs, although even the latter changed significantly both in leaves and flowers. The application of antibiotics decreased the concentration of lactate in both epiphytic and organ metabolomes, and the concentrations of citraconic acid, acetyl-CoA, isoleucine, and several secondary compounds such as terpenes and phenols in the epiphytic extracts. The metabolite pyrogallol appeared in the floral epiphytic community only after the treatment. The concentrations of the amino acid precursors of the ketoglutarate-synthesis pathway tended to decrease in the leaves and to increase in the foliar epiphytic extracts. Conclusions: These results suggest that anaerobic and/or facultative anaerobic bacteria were present in high numbers in the phyllosphere and in the apoplasts of S. nigra. The results also show that microbial communities play a significant role in the metabolomes of plant organs and could have more complex and frequent mutualistic, saprophytic, and/or parasitic relationships with internal plant metabolism than currently assumed. © 2016 Gargallo-Garriga et al.

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Assessment of the impacts of climate change on Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems based on data from field experiments and long-term monitored field gradients in Catalonia

Peñuelas, J., Sardans, J., Filella, I., Estiarte, M., Llusià, J., Ogaya, R., Carnicer, J., Bartrons, M., Rivas-Ubach, A., Grau, O., Peguero, G., Margalef, O., Pla-Rabés, S., Stefanescu, C., Asensio, D., Preece, C., Liu, L., Verger, A., Rico, L., Barbeta, A., Achotegui-Castells, A., Gargallo-Garriga, A., Sperlich, D., Farré-Armengol, G., Fernández-Martínez, M., Liu, D., Zhang, C., Urbina, I., Camino, M., Vives, M., Nadal-Sala, D., Sabaté, S., Gracia, C., Terradas, J. (2016) Assessment of the impacts of climate change on Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems based on data from field experiments and long-term monitored field gradients in Catalonia. Environmental and Experimental Botany. : 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.envexpbot.2017.05.012

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Plant invasion is associated with higher plant-soil nutrient concentrations in nutrient-poor environments

Sardans, J., Bartrons, M., Margalef, O., Gargallo-Garriga, A., Janssens, I.A., Ciais, P., Obersteiner, M., Sigurdsson, B.D., Chen, H.Y.H., Peñuelas, J. (2016) Plant invasion is associated with higher plant-soil nutrient concentrations in nutrient-poor environments. Global Change Biology. : 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1111/gcb.13384

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Warming differentially influences the effects of drought on stoichiometry and metabolomics in shoots and roots

Gargallo-Garriga A., Sardans J., Perez-Trujillo M., Oravec M., Urban O., Jentsch A., Kreyling J., Beierkuhnlein C., Parella T., Penuelas J. (2015) Warming differentially influences the effects of drought on stoichiometry and metabolomics in shoots and roots. New Phytologist. : 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1111/nph.13377

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Plants in natural environments are increasingly being subjected to a combination of abiotic stresses, such as drought and warming, in many regions. The effects of each stress and the combination of stresses on the functioning of shoots and roots have been studied extensively, but little is known about the simultaneous metabolome responses of the different organs of the plant to different stresses acting at once. We studied the shift in metabolism and elemental composition of shoots and roots of two perennial grasses, Holcus lanatus and Alopecurus pratensis, in response to simultaneous drought and warming. These species responded differently to individual and simultaneous stresses. These responses were even opposite in roots and shoots. In plants exposed to simultaneous drought and warming, terpenes, catechin and indole acetic acid accumulated in shoots, whereas amino acids, quinic acid, nitrogenous bases, the osmoprotectants choline and glycine betaine, and elements involved in growth (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) accumulated in roots. Under drought, warming further increased the allocation of primary metabolic activity to roots and changed the composition of secondary metabolites in shoots. These results highlight the plasticity of plant metabolomes and stoichiometry, and the different complementary responses of shoots and roots to complex environmental conditions. © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

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Opposite metabolic responses of shoots and roots to drought

Gargallo-Garriga A., Sardans J., Pérez-Trujillo M., Rivas-Ubach A., Oravec M., Vecerova K., Urban O., Jentsch A., Kreyling J., Beierkuhnlein C., Parella T., Peñuelas J. (2014) Opposite metabolic responses of shoots and roots to drought. Scientific Reports. 4: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1038/srep06829

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Shoots and roots are autotrophic and heterotrophic organs of plants with different physiological functions. Do they have different metabolomes? Do their metabolisms respond differently to environmental changes such as drought? We used metabolomics and elemental analyses to answer these questions. First, we show that shoots and roots have different metabolomes and nutrient and elemental stoichiometries. Second, we show that the shoot metabolome is much more variable among species and seasons than is the root metabolome. Third, we show that the metabolic response of shoots to drought contrasts with that of roots; shoots decrease their growth metabolism (lower concentrations of sugars, amino acids, nucleosides, N, P, and K), and roots increase it in a mirrored response. Shoots are metabolically deactivated during drought to reduce the consumption of water and nutrients, whereas roots are metabolically activated to enhance the uptake of water and nutrients, together buffering the effects of drought, at least at the short term.

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