Project

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PhytoChemAlp: Assessing the causes and consequences of phytochemical diversity

English title PhytoChemAlp: Assessing the causes and consequences of phytochemical diversity
Applicant Rasmann Sergio
Number 179481
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Institut de Biologie Université de Neuchâtel
Institution of higher education University of Neuchatel - NE
Main discipline Ecology
Start/End 01.06.2018 - 31.05.2022
Approved amount 800'000.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Ecology
Zoology
Botany
Environmental Research

Keywords (6)

phytochemistry; Chemical ecology; Phylogenetic analysis; chemical analytical tools; Plant-insect interaction; elevation gradients

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Les métabolites chimiques produits par les plantes gouvernent toutes les interactions entre les plantes et leur environnement. Les origines et les causes de cette diversité phytochimiques sont encore très peu étudiées. Le projet apporte sa contribution à ce domaine de recherche.
Lay summary

Tout au long de savie, chaque plante produits des milliers de molécules chimiques qui servent spécialementpour mieux tolérer les conditions du milieu, pour mieux se protéger contre lesravageurs et pathogènes, et de manière générale, pour communiquer avec d’autresorganismes.

 

Les butsprincipaux de ce projet sont de mieux comprendre comment les conditionsenvironnementales et biotiques (animaux, microorganismes) du milieu influencentla production de ces composés chimiques (aussi appelés métabolites secondaires).Ensuite, nous avons comme but de comprendre comment la composition chimique dela plante peut influencer la décomposition de la matière organique végétale, eten générale de mieux comprendre les cycles bio-géo-chimiques de la matièreorganique. Pour faire celanous travaillerons sur les pentes montagneuses des Alpes Suisses. Un gradient écologiquenaturel optimal pour tester nos hypothèses.

 

Les résultats dece projet pourront informer de manière plus vaste la recherche en agroécologiepour mieux sélectionner de variétés végétales adaptées à leur milieu. Deuxièmement,notre développent d’analyses chimiques spécifiques pourra aussi être appliqué àla recherche de nouveaux produits médicaux produits par les plantes.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 18.04.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Natural persons


Name Institute

Publications

Publication
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi prevent the negative effect of drought and modulate the growth‐defence trade‐off in tomato plants
Orine Dimitri, Defossez Emmanuel, Vergara Fredd, Uthe Henriette, Van Dam Nicole M., Rasmann Sergio (2022), Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi prevent the negative effect of drought and modulate the growth‐defence trade‐off in tomato plants, in Journal of Sustainable Agriculture and Environment, 1.
DNA‐based networks reveal the ecological determinants of plant–herbivore interactions along environmental gradients
Pitteloud Camille, Defossez Emmanuel, Albouy Camille, Descombes Patrice, Rasmann Sergio, Pellissier Loïc (2022), DNA‐based networks reveal the ecological determinants of plant–herbivore interactions along environmental gradients, in Molecular Ecology, 1.
Functional Traits 2.0: The power of the metabolome for ecology
Walker Tom W. N., Alexander Jake M., Allard Pierre‐Marie, Baines Oliver, Baldy Virginie, Bardgett Richard D., Capdevila Pol, Coley Phyllis D., David Bruno, Defossez Emmanuel, Endara María‐José, Ernst Madeleine, Fernandez Catherine, Forrister Dale, Gargallo‐Garriga Albert, Jassey Vincent E. J., Marr Sue, Neumann Steffen, Pellissier Loïc, Peñuelas Josep, Peters Kristian, Rasmann Sergio, Roessner Ute, Sardans Jordi, Schrodt Franziska, Schuman Meredith C., Soule Abrianna, Uthe Henriette, Weckwerth Wolfram, Wolfender Jean‐Luc, Dam Nicole M., Salguero‐Gómez Roberto (2022), Functional Traits 2.0: The power of the metabolome for ecology, in Journal of Ecology, 110(1), 4-20.
Relative contribution of high and low elevation soil microbes and nematodes to ecosystem functioning
Semeraro Sarah, Kergunteuil Alan, Sánchez‐Moreno Sara, Puissant Jérémy, Goodall Tim, Griffiths Robert, Rasmann Sergio (2022), Relative contribution of high and low elevation soil microbes and nematodes to ecosystem functioning, in Functional Ecology, 1.
The effect of climate change on invasive crop pests across biomes
Schneider Léonard, Rebetez Martine, Rasmann Sergio (2022), The effect of climate change on invasive crop pests across biomes, in Current Opinion in Insect Science, 50, 100895-100895.
The effect of community‐wide phytochemical diversity on herbivory reverses from low to high elevation
Fernandez‐Conradi Pilar, Defossez Emmanuel, Delavallade Adrien, Descombes Patrice, Pitteloud Camille, Glauser Gaëtan, Pellissier Loïc, Rasmann Sergio (2022), The effect of community‐wide phytochemical diversity on herbivory reverses from low to high elevation, in Journal of Ecology, 110(1), 46-56.
Combining phytochemicals and multitrophic interactions to control forest insect pests
Fernandez-Conradi P., Castagneyrol B., Jactel H., Rasmann S. (2021), Combining phytochemicals and multitrophic interactions to control forest insect pests, in Curr Opin Insect Sci, 44, 101-106.
Eight key rules for successful data-dependent acquisition in mass spectrometry-based metabolomics
Defossez E., Bourquin J., von Reuss S., Rasmann S., Glauser G. (2021), Eight key rules for successful data-dependent acquisition in mass spectrometry-based metabolomics, in Mass Spectrom Rev, 1.
Spatial and evolutionary predictability of phytochemical diversity
Defossez Emmanuel, Pitteloud Camille, Descombes Patrice, Glauser Gaétan, Allard Pierre-Marie, Walker Tom W. N., Fernandez-Conradi Pilar, Wolfender Jean-Luc, Pellissier Loïc, Rasmann Sergio (2021), Spatial and evolutionary predictability of phytochemical diversity, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(3), 2013344118-2013344118.
The structure of plant–herbivore interaction networks varies along elevational gradients in the European Alps
Pitteloud Camille, Walser Jean‐Claude, Descombes Patrice, Novaes De Santana Charles, Rasmann Sergio, Pellissier Loïc (2021), The structure of plant–herbivore interaction networks varies along elevational gradients in the European Alps, in Journal of Biogeography, 48(2), 465-476.
Contrasting responses of above- and below-ground herbivore communities along elevation
Pitteloud Camille, Descombes Patrice, Sànchez-Moreno Sara, Kergunteuil Alan, Ibanez Sébastien, Rasmann Sergio, Pellissier Loïc (2020), Contrasting responses of above- and below-ground herbivore communities along elevation, in Oecologia, 1.
Ecological convergence of secondary phytochemicals along elevational gradients
Bakhtiari Moe, Glauser Gaétan, Defossez Emmanuel, Rasmann Sergio (2020), Ecological convergence of secondary phytochemicals along elevational gradients, in New Phytologist, 1.
Elevational gradients in constitutive and induced oak defences based on individual traits and their correlated expression patterns
Galmán Andrea, Abdala‐Roberts Luis, Wartalska Pola, Covelo Felisa, Röder Gregory, Szenteczki Mark A., Moreira Xoaquín, Rasmann Sergio (2020), Elevational gradients in constitutive and induced oak defences based on individual traits and their correlated expression patterns, in Oikos, 1.
Novel trophic interactions under climate change promote alpine plant coexistence
Descombes Patrice, Pitteloud Camille, Glauser Gaëtan, Defossez Emmanuel, Kergunteuil Alan, Allard Pierre-Marie, Rasmann Sergio, Pellissier Loïc (2020), Novel trophic interactions under climate change promote alpine plant coexistence, in Science, 370(6523), 1469-1473.
Out of scale out of place: black rhino forage preference across the hierarchical organization of the savanna ecosystem
Duthé Vanessa, Defossez Emmanuel, van der Westhuizen Rickert, Glauser Gaétan, Rasmann Sergio (2020), Out of scale out of place: black rhino forage preference across the hierarchical organization of the savanna ecosystem, in Conservation Science and Practice, 2(5), 191-191.
Plant physical and chemical traits associated with herbivory in situ and under a warming treatment
Descombes Patrice, Kergunteuil Alan, Glauser Gaëtan, Rasmann Sergio, Pellissier Loïc (2020), Plant physical and chemical traits associated with herbivory in situ and under a warming treatment, in Journal of Ecology, 108(2), 733-749.
Seasonal changes in arthropod diversity patterns along an Alpine elevation gradient
Fernandez‐Conradi Pilar, Mocellin Loïc, Desfossez Emmanuel, Rasmann Sergio (2020), Seasonal changes in arthropod diversity patterns along an Alpine elevation gradient, in Ecological Entomology, 45(5), 1035-1043.
The effect of root‐associated microbes on plant growth and chemical defence traits across two contrasted elevations
Formenti Ludovico, Caggìa Veronica, Puissant Jérémy, Goodall Tim, Glauser Gaétan, Griffiths Robert, Rasmann Sergio (2020), The effect of root‐associated microbes on plant growth and chemical defence traits across two contrasted elevations, in Journal of Ecology, 109(1), 38-50.
Variation in below-to aboveground systemic induction of glucosinolates mediates plant fitness consequences under herbivore attack
Bakhtiari Moe, Rasmann Sergio (2020), Variation in below-to aboveground systemic induction of glucosinolates mediates plant fitness consequences under herbivore attack, in Journal of Chemical Ecology, 46(3), 317-329.
Contribution of different predator guilds to tritrophic interactions along ecological clines
Godschalx Adrienne L., Rodríguez-Castañeda Genoveva, Rasmann Sergio (2019), Contribution of different predator guilds to tritrophic interactions along ecological clines, in Current Opinion in Insect Science, 32, 104-109.
Mycorrhizal fungi enhance resistance to herbivores in tomato plants with reduced jasmonic acid production
Formenti Ludovico, Rasmann Sergio (2019), Mycorrhizal fungi enhance resistance to herbivores in tomato plants with reduced jasmonic acid production, in Agronomy, 9(3), 131-131.
Plant adaptation to different climates shapes the strengths of chemically mediated tritrophic interactions
Kergunteuil Alan, Humair Lauréline, Münzbergová Zuzana, Rasmann Sergio (2019), Plant adaptation to different climates shapes the strengths of chemically mediated tritrophic interactions, in Functional Ecology, 33(10), 1893-1903.
The effect of biochar amendment on N-cycling genes in soils: A meta-analysis
Xiao Zhenggao, Rasmann Sergio, Yue Le, Lian Fei, Zou Hua, Wang Zhenyu (2019), The effect of biochar amendment on N-cycling genes in soils: A meta-analysis, in Science of The Total Environment, 696, 133984-133984.
Variable effects on growth and defense traits for plant ecotypic differentiation and phenotypic plasticity along elevation gradients
Bakhtiari Moe, Formenti Ludovico, Caggìa Veronica, Glauser Gaëtan, Rasmann Sergio (2019), Variable effects on growth and defense traits for plant ecotypic differentiation and phenotypic plasticity along elevation gradients, in Ecology and Evolution, 9(7), 3740-3755.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Botanical garden of Lausanne, Switzerland Individual talk Les grands gradients écologiques de biodiversité nous informent sur les effets des changements climatiques 08.12.2021 Lausanne, Switzerland Rasmann Sergio;
World Biodiversity Forum Talk given at a conference Socio-economic and ecological implications and challenges of conserving biodiversity 24.02.2020 Davos, Switzerland Rasmann Sergio;
University of Bern, Switzerland Individual talk Plant-herbivore interaction along elevation gradients 03.10.2019 Basel, Switzerland Rasmann Sergio;
Norway University, Olso, Norway Individual talk plant-herbivore interaction along elevation gradients 09.05.2019 Oslo, Norway Rasmann Sergio;
NIOO, The Netherlands Individual talk plant-herbivore interaction along elevation gradients 01.02.2019 Wageningen, Netherlands Rasmann Sergio;
SwissPLANT symposium 2019 Talk given at a conference plant-herbivore interaction along elevation gradients 01.02.2019 Switzerland, Switzerland Rasmann Sergio;


Awards

Title Year
Facutly member Faculty Opnion 2018

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
204811 Unravelling plant chemical and functional trait variation across environments 01.06.2022 Project funding
204811 Unravelling plant chemical and functional trait variation across environments 01.06.2022 Project funding
183365 Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography-High Resolution Tandem Mass Spectrometry (UHPLC-HRMS/MS) for metabolomics and identification of bioactive molecules 01.10.2019 R'EQUIP

Abstract

Phytochemical diversity, or the amount of individual chemical compound species within plants, governs the overwhelming complexity of interactions between plants and their biotic and abiotic environment. While several thousand phytochemicals have already been identified, for only a small fraction of them has the ecological function been elucidated. In addition, while functionalities for most phytochemicals could be predicted from chemical structure analysis, the ecological role of the majority of phytochemicals seems to be redundant or has no direct functionality. This project therefore aims at tackling the overarching question of the ecological causes and consequences of variation in phytochemical diversity within and between plant taxa. I propose to answer this question using the natural variation in biotic and climatic variables that exists when moving from low to high elevations, such as along Alpine mountain transects. Elevation gradients offer perfect tools for measuring variation in putative causes - and consequences - of phytochemical diversity, including biotic pressure, edaphic factors, and climatic conditions. I will sample vegetation, and phytochemical composition therein, along several mountain transects of the Alps spanning several biomes and climatic conditions. I will next perform manipulative experiments in common gardens at different elevations to dissect the effect of individual factors on plant phytochemical production. In turn, common garden experiments in the Alps that manipulate phytochemical composition will identify the effects of phytochemical diversity on the surrounding animal and microbial communities. One of the keys to the success of such a project is the combination of different approaches. Plant chemistry will be analysed through high-throughput chromatography, mass spectrometry and various other chemical analytical techniques. I will then include field experiments where plants and herbivores will be factorially manipulated to specifically quantify the relative contribution of biotic (herbivory) and abiotic (e.g., soil nutrients, temperature) factors to phytochemistry. Also, I will use genomic information to create phylogenetic trees of the studied species, in order to address questions on the macroevolution of phytochemistry along elevation gradients. All of these results will enhance our knowledge of the ecological and evolutionary processes that drive phytochemical diversity, and how this drives community assembly and the maintenance of biodiversity.
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