Title

The Effects of Light on ±-Catechin’s Inhibition of Idaho Fescue’s Root Growth

Presenter Information

Sarah Clark
Ian Seiler

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom B/C/D

Start Date

21-5-2015

End Date

21-5-2015

Keywords

Allelopathy, Catechin, Invasive Plants

Abstract

Spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe), a common invasive plant in the Pacific Northwest, produces the racemic chemical ±-Catechin. Current research suggests that ±-Catechin inhibits root growth in Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis), a common native bunch grass. These findings suggest that competition between these two species results in a negative fitness and diminished ecological success of Idaho fescue. This phenomenon of one species’ chemical exudate affecting another species’ fitness is known as allelopathy. Current allelopathic research is conducted in the dark to highlight any differential growth between control and experimental groups due to the over-expression of gibberellin hormones resulting in etiolation. It is difficult to simulate environmental conditions completely, and it is unknown if energy input through photosynthesis would affect ±-Catechin’s inhibition of Idaho fescue root elongation. Therefore, we will investigate if ±-Catechin’s allelopathic effects are mitigated by the input of energy by replicating previous ±-Catechin research under similar conditions and using light as the experimental variable. Using germination paper, three replicates of 120 Idaho fescue seeds that will be placed into rows and grown in solutions of (±)-Catechin at concentrations of 20 ppm. After two weeks, root length will be analyzed for significant differences between these experiments in the light and previous experiments conducted in the dark. Results of this research will be invaluable in understanding the ecological interactions of spotted knapweed on native plants and help current research more accurately replicate environmental conditions in a laboratory setting.

Poster Number

39

Faculty Mentor(s)

Clay Arango

Department/Program

Biological Sciences

Additional Mentoring Department

Biological Sciences

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May 21st, 8:30 AM May 21st, 11:00 AM

The Effects of Light on ±-Catechin’s Inhibition of Idaho Fescue’s Root Growth

SURC Ballroom B/C/D

Spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe), a common invasive plant in the Pacific Northwest, produces the racemic chemical ±-Catechin. Current research suggests that ±-Catechin inhibits root growth in Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis), a common native bunch grass. These findings suggest that competition between these two species results in a negative fitness and diminished ecological success of Idaho fescue. This phenomenon of one species’ chemical exudate affecting another species’ fitness is known as allelopathy. Current allelopathic research is conducted in the dark to highlight any differential growth between control and experimental groups due to the over-expression of gibberellin hormones resulting in etiolation. It is difficult to simulate environmental conditions completely, and it is unknown if energy input through photosynthesis would affect ±-Catechin’s inhibition of Idaho fescue root elongation. Therefore, we will investigate if ±-Catechin’s allelopathic effects are mitigated by the input of energy by replicating previous ±-Catechin research under similar conditions and using light as the experimental variable. Using germination paper, three replicates of 120 Idaho fescue seeds that will be placed into rows and grown in solutions of (±)-Catechin at concentrations of 20 ppm. After two weeks, root length will be analyzed for significant differences between these experiments in the light and previous experiments conducted in the dark. Results of this research will be invaluable in understanding the ecological interactions of spotted knapweed on native plants and help current research more accurately replicate environmental conditions in a laboratory setting.