Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi promote coexistence and niche divergence of sympatric palm species on a remote oceanic island

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Title: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi promote coexistence and niche divergence of sympatric palm species on a remote oceanic island
Authors: Osborne, OG
De-Kayne, R
Bidartondo, MI
Hutton, I
Baker, WJ
Turnbull, CGN
Savolainen, V
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Microbes can have profound effects on their hosts, driving natural selection, promoting speciation and determining species distributions. However, soil-dwelling microbes are rarely investigated as drivers of evolutionary change in plants. We used metabarcoding and experimental manipulation of soil microbiomes to investigate the impact of soil and root microbes in a well-known case of sympatric speciation, the Howea palms of Lord Howe Island (Australia). Whereas H. forsteriana can grow on both calcareous and volcanic soils, H. belmoreana is restricted to, but more successful on, volcanic soil, indicating a trade-off in adaptation to the two soil types. We suggest a novel explanation for this trade-off. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are significantly depleted in H. forsteriana on volcanic soil, relative to both H. belmoreana on volcanic soil and H. forsteriana on calcareous soil. This is mirrored by the results of survival experiments, where the sterilization of natural soil reduces Howea fitness in every soil–species combination except H. forsteriana on volcanic soil. Furthermore, AMF-associated genes exhibit evidence of divergent selection between Howea species. These results show a mechanism by which divergent adaptation can have knock-on effects on host–microbe interactions, thereby reducing interspecific competition and promoting the coexistence of plant sister species.
Issue Date: 16-Oct-2017
Date of Acceptance: 14-Sep-2017
ISSN: 0028-646X
Publisher: Wiley
Start Page: 1254
End Page: 1266
Journal / Book Title: New Phytologist
Volume: 217
Issue: 3
Copyright Statement: © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sponsor/Funder: Commission of the European Communities
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
The Leverhulme Trust
Funder's Grant Number: 233190
Keywords: Palmae
ecological speciation
edaphic adaptation
sympatric speciation
06 Biological Sciences
07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
Plant Biology & Botany
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences

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