Create your own conference schedule! Click here for full instructions

Abstract Detail

Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Caballero, Anthony O. [1], Kram, Karin E. [2], Theiss, Kathryn [2].

Charecterization of the nectar microbiome of Asclepias Spp.

The nectar microbiome is an under-studied aspect of plant reproductive biology, yet can affect pollinator visitation and behavior. Plant species with generalist pollinators may demonstrate high variability in the nectar microbiome, which may be influenced by location. Milkweeds, Asclepias, grow throughout North and South America and are visited by a broad suite of insects including bees, wasps, and butterflies. In Southern California, there are both native and non-native Asclepias species which vary in floral size, floral color, blooming time, and presumably also in pollinator types. We hypothesized that the microbes that live in the nectar of these different species vary based on plant species and location due to presumed differences in pollinators. We bagged whole inflorescences before the flowers opened at three different locations and watered the plants for two days to encourage as much nectar production as possible. We then exposed the newly opened flowers to pollinators for one day before re-bagging them and allowing nectar to accumulate overnight. We extracted the remaining nectar, and isolated the genomic DNA. Sequencing libraries were prepared for whole metagenomic shotgun sequencing and 16S DNA sequencing. We used MG-RAST to analyze the metagenomic data, resulting in identifying over 2000 taxonomic units of organisms present in the nectar of native and non-native Asclepias species. We found a much larger diversity in non-native nectar as compared to native nectar and the most common genus found in both groups was Acinetobacter. In comparison, the 16S DNA sequencing identified approximately 500 species, with more organisms in the native Asclepias species and the most common genus was Burkholderia. We plan to expand our sampling across the urban environment as well as observe floral visitors and isolate nectar bacteria after single pollinator visits to further elucidate the relationship between the pollinators and the nectar microbiome.

Log in to add this item to your schedule

1 - California State University Dominguez HIlls , Biology, 1000 E victoria, Carson, California, 90047, United States
2 - California State University Dominguez HIlls, 1000 E victoria, Carson, California, 90047, United States

Nectar Microbiome
next generation sequencing
Pollinator visitation and behavior
Non-native Asclepias speciesĀ 
Native Asclepias species.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 24, Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions
Location: Fort Worth Ballroom 5/Omni Hotel
Date: Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
Time: 10:45 AM
Number: 24004
Abstract ID:201
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright © 2000-2017, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved