Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Plant Research
Room: Exhibit Hall A
Rachel Richardson - California State University Channel Islands
Co-Author(s): Ava Garrison, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; Dr. Jeffrey Conner, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
Organisms have limited resources to allocate to competing needs such as growth, reproduction, and defense against enemies. The growth-defense trade-off hypothesis suggests that faster flowering plants allocate less to defense against herbivores and pathogens compared to slower-flowering plants. Wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum) is native only to the Mediterranean but is a serious weed in agricultural fields across the globe. Prior research has shown that weedy radish flowers faster than native radish, and this rapid flowering may be caused by higher levels of gibberellic acid (GA), a plant growth hormone, in weedy compared to native radish. The application of GA to native radish resulted in the natives flowering faster but not as fast as weedy radish; however, GA did not affect weedy radish. These results combined with the trade-off hypothesis suggests that native radish receiving the GA treatment should be more susceptible to herbivores due to their faster flowering. We are measuring leaf area removed by herbivory for both the native and weedy radish, with and without the addition of exogenous GA. We predict that native plants treated with GA treatment will suffer more herbivory and flower faster than native controls. We expect GA to have no effect on the weedy radish, with both treatments receiving the highest herbivory due to their rapid flowering. A better understanding of weed allocation for growth and defense in native and weedy radish could improve weed control in agricultural fields.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Nation Science Foundation
Faculty Advisor: Jeffrey Conner, email@example.com
Role: My main contribution to the project includes: setting up the research site, applying treatments, collect data over the course of the project, and analyze data using an imaging software.