Investigation of virus biodiversity in Antarctic terrestrial plants
Entry ID: ASAC_2153

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Summary
Abstract: Samples from Macquarie Island were collected between 1998 and 2004. Samples from Heard Island were collected during 2000. Continental samples were collected between 2004 and 2006. This project aims to confirm that viruses are the cause of disease symptoms observed in several plant species from Macquarie Island, and to characterise the viruses. These would be the first examples of terrestrial plant viruses found in Antarctica, and the southernmost plant viruses found. The results would be of fundamental biological significance, and will enable investigation of how plant viruses evolve in such an isolated location. The possibility of terrestrial plant viruses on Heard Island will also be investigated.

A species from this project that has been entered into the Genbank database, a partial sequence of Stilbocarpa virus from Macquarie island - AF478691 (Genbank number).

See also ASAC project 2152 (ASAC_2152).

The fields in this dataset are:

Species
Date
Latitude
Longitude
Collection Site
Genbank Number
Collection Number
Internal Transcribed Spacers
Comments

Project objectives: The project objectives, as stated in the project application round 2008/09, appear below:
This project has already enabled identification and characterisation of a new virus in Stilbocarpa polaris on Macquarie Island. This is the first example of a terrestrial plant virus found in Antarctica, and is of of fundamental biological significance. It is the southernmost plant virus known, and occurs on one of the most isolated and geologically recent islands. We have determined the complete genomic sequence of this virus, and have started to analyse the dispersal and origins of this virus.

The main objectives of the next phase of this project are:
1. to further investigate the genetic variability, origins and evolution of the Stilbocarpa virus SMBV, and compare it with other badnaviruses to assess whether it has an extra gene compared with other viruses in the group

2. to analyse its means of transmission between Stilbocarpa plants and its dispersal around the island, and the extent of its effect on the host plants (such as significantly reduced seed set).

3. to analyse the effect of climate change, already happening on Macquarie Island, on SMBV and its host plants.

4. to analyse disease symptoms observed in several other subantarctic plant species, especially Cardamine corymbosa, to test whether these species are also virus-infected. Totally different virus-like particles have also been observed by electron microscopy in one sample of diseased leaves of Stilbocarpa polaris from Macquarie Island. These will be further characterised.

5. to investigate the biodiversity and dispersal of other plant pathogens such as fungi, and their consequences on plant health. A fungal pathogen of the moss Bryum argenteum from continental Antarctica has been identified, and two others will be characterised from mosses on Heard and Macquarie Islands.

The further extension of this project will make use of specimens already collected on Heard and Macquarie Islands, to obtain as much information as possible about plant diseases in these remote locations, and their environmental adaptation to climate change.

Taken from the 2008-2009 Progress Report:

Progress against objectives:
Good progress has been made with this project, in objectives where rabbit damage on Macquarie Island has not prevented progress.
Analysis of DNA sequencing results for variants of the Stilbocarpa mosaic bacilliform virus has continued this year. Two papers are nearing completion on these results.
It has proven difficult to analyse the means of transmission of the virus in Stilbocarpa at present, mainly due to rabbits completely eating plants at sites which were being monitored. However, this season we were able to sample some very young Stilbocarpa seedlings under plants difficult for rabbits to access, and this gives the possibility of testing for seed transmission of the virus.
The potential new plant virus previously observed in Cardamine could not be followed up, as the area has been completely denuded of Cardamine plants by rabbits. An exclosure has been erected to attempt to germinate potentially infected seedlings in the area where diseased plants had been observed.
Fungal infection of mosses colonising dead Poa foliosa tussocks was observed on Macquarie Island this year, and these colonies will be further examined.
The results and publications are in line with the objectives of the project.

Taken from the 2009-2010 Progress Report:

Progress against objectives:
Good progress has been made with this project, in objectives where rabbit damage on Macquarie Island has not prevented progress.
Analysis of DNA sequencing results for variants of the Stilbocarpa mosaic bacilliform virus has continued this year. Two papers are nearing completion on these results.
It has proven difficult to analyse the means of transmission of the virus in Stilbocarpa at present, mainly due to rabbits completely eating plants at sites which were being monitored.
The potential new plant virus previously observed in Cardamine could not be followed up, as the area has been completely denuded of Cardamine plants by rabbits. An exclosure had been erected to attempt to germinate potentially infected seedlings in the area where diseased plants had been observed, but was removed this year as it had unfortunately been erected some 100m from the required site,and no infected Cardamine was growing inside the fencing. However, extensive searching in nearby locations this season has possibly revealed a new site for this potential virus, and samples will be analysed on their return to Australia in April.
Fungal infection of mosses colonising dead Poa foliosa tussocks was again observed on Macquarie Island this year, and these colonies will be further examined.
The results and publications are in line with the objectives of the project.

Related URL
Link: GET DATA
Description: Download point for the data


Link: VIEW PROJECT HOME PAGE
Description: Public information for ASAC project 2153


Link: VIEW RELATED INFORMATION
Description: Citation reference for this metadata record and dataset


Geographic Coverage
 N: -54.6 S: -54.7  E: 158.9  W: 158.8
 N: -52.6 S: -53.1  E: 73.4  W: 73.1
 N: -66.27 S: -66.29  E: 110.55  W: 110.48
 N: -67.55 S: -67.65  E: 62.9  W: 62.84
 N: -68.54 S: -68.61  E: 77.99  W: 77.91

Temporal Coverage
Start Date: 1998-11-01
Stop Date: 1999-12-31

Start Date: 2000-10-01
Stop Date: 2000-11-30

Start Date: 1999-11-01
Stop Date: 2004-03-31

Start Date: 2006-03-01
Stop Date: 2006-04-05

Start Date: 2007-04-10
Stop Date: 2007-04-17

Start Date: 2008-09-30
Stop Date: 2009-03-31

Start Date: 2009-12-01
Stop Date: 2010-01-31


Location Keywords
OCEAN > SOUTHERN OCEAN
OCEAN > SOUTHERN OCEAN > MACQUARIE ISLAND
CONTINENT > ANTARCTICA > Casey
CONTINENT > ANTARCTICA > Davis
CONTINENT > ANTARCTICA > Mawson
GEOGRAPHIC REGION > POLAR
OCEAN > SOUTHERN OCEAN > HEARD AND MCDONALD ISLANDS


Science Keywords
BIOSPHERE >TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS >ALPINE/TUNDRA    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >VEGETATION >VEGETATION SPECIES    [Definition]
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION >PLANTS >ALGAE    [Definition]
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION >PLANTS >MOSSES/HORNWORTS/LIVERWORTS    [Definition]
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION >FUNGI >LICHENS    [Definition]
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION >VIRUSES


ISO Topic Category
BIOTA


Platform
FIELD SURVEYS    [Information]
FIELD INVESTIGATION    [Information]


Instrument
VISUAL OBSERVATIONS    [Information]


Quality
The spatial quality of the dataset is poor. Site locations are poorly described, and would be difficult to replicate.

Dates provided in temporal coverage (1999-2004) are approximate only.

Taken from the 2008-2009 Progress Report:

Field work:
Fieldwork on Macquarie Island was very successful, during the short time available during resupply voyage 5. Dr M. Skotnicki revisted sites near Pyramd Peak, Green Gorge, Red River, Prion Lake, Bauer Bay, Island Lake, Scoble Lake and Razorback to reassess and rephotograph ecosystems, to collect specimens for genetic and viral/fungal disease analysis, and to monitor rabbit damage as part of a long-term analysis of vegetation responses in conjuction with plant disease and climate change.

Fieldwork was in line with the aims and timeframe of the project. All samples were obtained in accordance with permit requirements, and impacts on the plants and their habitats were minimal and transitory.

Laboratory activity/analysis:
Less experimental labwork has been done his year than originally anticipated, due to lack of funding. However, overall progress has been good, with more fieldwork components to the project being productive.

Difficulties affecting project:
Progress with experimental work was temporarily slowed this year by the time spent on ensuring compliance with new AQIS regulations, and by the lack of funding for lab work.
Rabbit damage - destruction of plants previously being monitored - is currently hampering progress with some objectives. However, once rabbits are eradicated, it will be much more feasible to assess whether regenerating plants and new seedlings are virus-infected - demonstrating whether or not virus infection is seed-transmitted.


Taken from the 2009-2010 Progress Report:

Field work:
Fieldwork on Macquarie Island was successful during six weeks in summer from December 2009 - January 2010. Dr A. Skotnicki, accompanied by Mr M. Duering, visited sites near Waterfall Bay, Pyramid Peak, Green Gorge, Red River, Bauer Bay, Island Lake, Scoble Lake, Razorback to reassess and rephotograph ecosystems, to collect specimens for genetic and viral/fungal disease analysis, and to monitor rabbit damage as part of a long-term analysis of vegetation responses in conjunction with plant disease and climate change.

Fieldwork was in line with the aims and timeframe of the project, and in accordance with permit requirements. Impacts on the plants and their habitats were minimal and transitory.

Difficulties affecting project:
Rabbit damage - destruction of plants previously being monitored - is currently hampering progress with some objectives. However, once rabbits are eradicated, it will be much more feasible to assess whether regenerating plants and new seedlings are virus-infected - demonstrating whether or not virus infection is seed-transmitted.


Access Constraints
The data are available for download from the url given below.


Use Constraints
This data set conforms to the PICCCBY Attribution License
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

Please follow instructions listed in the citation reference at the provided URL when using these data.


Keywords
BRYOPHYTE
DATE
GENBANK
HEARD ISLAND
INTERNAL TRANSCRIBED SPACERS
ITS
LATITUDE
LONGITUDE
SPECIES
VEGETATION


Data Set Progress
IN WORK


Data Center
Australian Antarctic Data Centre, Australia    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://data.aad.gov.au

Data Center Personnel
Name: DATA OFFICER AADC
Phone: +61 3 6232 3244
Fax: +61 3 6232 3351
Email: metadata at aad.gov.au
Contact Address:
Australian Antarctic Division
203 Channel Highway
City: Kingston
Province or State: Tasmania
Postal Code: 7050
Country: Australia



Distribution
Distribution_Media: HTTP
Distribution_Size: 80KB
Distribution_Format: excel
Fees: Free


Personnel
MARY SKOTNICKI
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: +61 2 6257 0501
Email: mary.skotnicki at anu.edu.au
Email: skotnicki at actewagl.net.au
Contact Address:
Research School of Biological Sciences
Australia National University
PO Box 475
City: Canberra
Province or State: ACT
Postal Code: 2601
Country: Australia


Publications/References
Bradner J.R., Sidhu R.K., Yee B., Skotnicki M.L., Selkirk P.M., Nevalainen K.M.H. (2000), A new microfungal isolate, Embellisia sp., associated with the Antarctic moss Bryum argenteum, Polar Biology, 23, 730-732

Skotnicki M.L., Selkirk P.M., McBride T.P., Shaw J., Kitajima E (2002), The first subantarctic plant virus report: Stilbocarpa mosaic bacilliform badnavirus (SMBV) from Macquarie Island, Polar Biology, 2006, 1-7

Frenot Y., Chown S.L., Whinam J., Selkirk M., Convey P., Skotnicki M., Bergstrom D. (2005), Biological invasions in the Antarctic: extent, impacts and implications., Biological Reviews, 80, 45-72

Skotnicki M.L., Mackenzie A.M., Clements M.A., Selkirk P.M. (2005), DNA sequencing and genetic diversity of the 18S-26S nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacers (ITS) in nine Antarctic moss species Antarctic Science, 3, 17, 377-384

Skotnicki M.L., Mackenzie A., Selkirk P.M. (2004), Mosses surviving on the edge: Origins, genetic diversity, and mutation in Antarctica. Molecular Systematics of Bryophytes. Goffinet B., Hollowell V., Magill R Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri, Botanical Garden, 98, 388-403

Skotnicki M.L., Selkirk P.M. (2006), Plant biodiversity in an extreme environment: Genetic studies of origins, diversity and evolution in the Antarctic Bergstrom D.M., Convey P., Huiskes A.H.L., Trends in Antarctic Terrestrial and Limnetic Ecosystems: Antarctica as a Global Indicator, 159-173

Skotnicki M.L., Copson G.R., Doube J., Gadd L., Selkirk-Bell J.M., Selkirk P.M. (2009), Biology and population studies of two endemic Nematocera (orchid) species on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island Papers, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, 143, 2, 61-71

Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2000-08-11
Last DIF Revision Date: 2014-08-29

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