J Plant Ecol ›› 2020, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (2): 241-246 .DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtaa006

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Population-level performance of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh in dense monocultures

Susanna Vain1, *, Iris Gielen1,2, Jaan Liira1, and Kristjan Zobel1   

  1. 1 Department of Botany, University of Tartu, 40 Lai St., 51005 Tartu, Estonia, 2 Hugo Treffner Gymnasium, 12 Munga St., 51007 Tartu, Estonia

    *Corresponding author. E-mail: susanna.vain@ut.ee
  • Received:2020-01-08 Revised:2020-01-28 Accepted:2020-02-05 Online:2020-02-07 Published:2020-04-01



Very little is known about the performance of non-agricultural plant species in monocultures, even though nearly all agricultural species have experienced the transition from multi-species environments to dense monospecific stands during the breeding process. In the light of recent work that highlighted the possibility that the weedy species Arabidopsis thaliana can offer novel insight into crop breeding, we aimed to test the effect of sowing density on group and individual performance in different photoperiod environments in A. thaliana.


We studied the performance of A. thaliana Cvi-0 ecotype. The choice of Cvi-0 was based on a preliminary experiment in which plants of Cvi-0 ecotype exhibited high competitive performance. Sowing densities used were 17.6, 8.8, 4.4, 2.2 and 1.1 cm2 per plant and photoperiod environments 12 or 16 h of day light.

Important Findings

In this experiment, populations attained constant total seed yield for all densities. Some interaction effect occurred, as at high sowing density and at longer day length plants produced heavier seeds, whereas at shorter day length seed weight was negatively related to plant density. These results shed light on different strategies that annual plants can adopt when they face intense intraspecific competition, and could help to offer new perspectives for breeding crops with enhanced group performance.

Key words: Arabidopsis thaliana, constant final yield, intraspecific competition, monoculture, photoperiod


尽管几乎所有的农业物种在育种过程中都经历了从多物种环境向密集单种农田的过渡,但对非农业植物物种在单一栽培条件下的表现知之甚少。鉴于最近的研究成果突出杂草物种拟南芥为作物育种提供新视角的可能性,本研究的目的是了解播种密度对拟南芥在不同光周期环境下群体和个体表现的影响。我们研究了拟南芥Cvi-0生态型的表现。Cvi-0的选择基于一项初步实验,发现Cvi-0生态型植物表现出强烈的竞争性能。播种密度处理设置为每株17.6、8.8、4.4、2.2和1.1 cm2,光周期环境为日照12小时或16小时。结果表明,植物在所有密度处理下均获得了恒定的总种子产量。播种密度和日照时间处理会有一些相互作用:在高播种密度和长日照时间的处理下,种子重量更大,而日照时间短的处理下种子重量与密度呈负相关。这些结果阐明了一年生植物在面对激烈的种内竞争时能够采取不同的策略,并有助于为提高群体表现的作物育种提供新的前景。

关键词: 拟南芥, 最终产量恒定, 种内竞争, 单一栽培, 光周期