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Abstract Detail


Gilbert, Kadeem [1], Renner, Tanya [2].

Acid or base? How do plants regulate the ecology of their phylloplane?

Plants can manipulate the abiotic conditions of their external environment in many ways. It is well known that plants’ roots modify pH levels in the rhizosphere. However, less appreciated is the fact that plants can also alter pH levels on their leaf surfaces. Our literature review reveals that pH is understudied on leaf surfaces (phylloplane) relative to the rhizosphere. This lack of attention given to pH aboveground is particularly surprising considering how important are the impacts of pH belowground. Rhizosphere pH modification is not only important for mitigating abiotic stress, but also has a large role in structuring microbial communities, as microbiomes are generally sensitive to pH changes. What little is known of phylloplane pH comes largely from simulated acid rain studies. Plants can neutralize acid rain inputs in a period of hours, and either acidify or alkalinize the pH of neutral water droplets in minutes. In most species, these changes are relatively mild, roughly 1.5 pH units. Certain species exhibit extremes, from the incredible alkalinization seen in Malvaceae (up to pH 11) to the exceptional acidification seen in carnivorous plants (down to pH 1). However, much remains to be learned about the extent of variation across land plants, let alone the mechanistic causes behind these differences in pH regulation. In this talk, we discuss phylloplane pH regulation from physiological, molecular, evolutionary, and ecological perspectives, providing information on the possible molecular underpinnings, selective drivers, and ecological consequences to other organisms.

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1 - Pennsylvania State University, Department Of Entomology, 505 Agricultural Sciences And Industries Building, State College, PA, 16802, United States
2 - The Pennsylvania State University, Department Of Entomology, 514 Agricultural Sciences & Industries Building, University Park, PA, 16802, United States

plant-microbe interactions
plant-animal interactions.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: ECOPH2, Ecophysiology II
Location: /
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 10:30 AM(EDT)
Number: ECOPH2003
Abstract ID:453
Candidate for Awards:None

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