Meyerson, L. A., P. Pyšek, M. Lučanová, S. Wigginton, C.-T. Tran and J. T. Cronin. 2020. Size matters: Plant genome size influences abiotic stress tolerance in native versus invasive plants. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America.


In a reciprocal common garden experiment at Louisiana State University (LSU) and the University of Rhode Island (URI), we used native and invasive lineages of the wetland plant Phragmites australis to experimentally test the role of genome size in plant tolerance to stress. We predicted that plants with large genomes would have a lower tolerance to stress and be less plastic than those with small genomes. We found mixed support for our prediction but found for the first time found that genome size is associated with plasticity, a trait widely regarded as important to invasion success. Further research is necessary!

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