The impact of the pathogen Rhizoctonia solani and its beneficial counterpart Bacillus amyloliquefaciens on the indigenous lettuce microbiome.
ABSTRACT: Lettuce belongs to the most commonly raw eaten food worldwide and its microbiome plays an important role for both human and plant health. Yet, little is known about the impact of potentially occurring pathogens and beneficial inoculants of the indigenous microorganisms associated with lettuce. To address this question we studied the impact of the phytopathogenic fungus Rhizoctonia solani and the biological control agent Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42 on the indigenous rhizosphere and phyllosphere community of greenhouse-grown lettuce at two plant stages. The rhizosphere and phyllosphere gammaproteobacterial microbiomes of lettuce plants showed clear differences in their overall and core microbiome composition as well as in corresponding diversity indices. The rhizosphere was dominated by Xanthomonadaceae (48%) and Pseudomonadaceae (37%) with Rhodanobacter, Pseudoxanthomonas, Dokdonella, Luteimonas, Steroidobacter, Thermomonas as core inhabitants, while the dominating taxa associated to phyllosphere were Pseudomonadaceae (54%), Moraxellaceae (16%) and Enterobacteriaceae (25%) with Alkanindiges, Pantoea and a group of Enterobacteriaceae unclassified at genus level. The preferential occurrence of enterics in the phyllosphere was the most significant difference between both habitats. Additional enhancement of enterics on the phyllosphere was observed in bottom rot diseased lettuce plants, while Acinetobacter and Alkanindiges were identified as indicators of healthy plants. Interestingly, the microbial diversity was enhanced by treatment with both the pathogen, and the co-inoculated biological control agent. The highest impact and bacterial diversity was found by Rhizoctonia inoculation, but FZB42 lowered the impact of Rhizoctonia on the microbiome. This study shows that the indigenous microbiome shifts as a consequence to pathogen attack but FZB42 can compensate these effects, which supports their role as biocontrol agent and suggests a novel mode of action.
Project description:The soil-borne pathogen Rhizoctonia solani is responsible for crop losses on a wide range of important crops worldwide. The lack of effective control strategies and the increasing demand for organically grown food has stimulated research on biological control. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the rhizosphere competence of the commercially available inoculant Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42 on lettuce growth and health together with its impact on the indigenous rhizosphere bacterial community in field and pot experiments. Results of both experiments demonstrated that FZB42 is able to effectively colonize the rhizosphere (7.45 to 6.61 Log 10 CFU g(-1) root dry mass) within the growth period of lettuce in the field. The disease severity (DS) of bottom rot on lettuce was significantly reduced from severe symptoms with DS category 5 to slight symptom expression with DS category 3 on average through treatment of young plants with FZB42 before and after planting. The 16S rRNA gene based fingerprinting method terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) showed that the treatment with FZB42 did not have a major impact on the indigenous rhizosphere bacterial community. However, the bacterial community showed a clear temporal shift. The results also indicated that the pathogen R. solani AG1-IB affects the rhizosphere microbial community after inoculation. Thus, we revealed that the inoculant FZB42 could establish itself successfully in the rhizosphere without showing any durable effect on the rhizosphere bacterial community.
Project description:Application of the plant associated bacterium Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42 on lettuce (Lactuca sativa) confirmed its capability to promote plant growth and health by reducing disease severity (DS) caused by the phytopathogenic fungus Rhizoctonia solani. Therefore this strain is commercially applied as an eco-friendly plant protective agent. It is able to produce cyclic lipopeptides (CLP) and polyketides featuring antifungal and antibacterial properties. Production of these secondary metabolites led to the question of a possible impact of strain FZB42 on the composition of microbial rhizosphere communities after its application. Rating of DS and lettuce growth during a field trial confirmed the positive impact of strain FZB42 on the health of the host plant. To verify B. amyloliquefaciens as an environmentally compatible plant protective agent, its effect on the indigenous rhizosphere community was analyzed by metagenome sequencing. Rhizosphere microbial communities of lettuce treated with B. amyloliquefaciens FZB42 and non-treated plants were profiled by high-throughput metagenome sequencing of whole community DNA. Fragment recruitments of metagenome sequence reads on the genome sequence of B. amyloliquefaciens FZB42 proved the presence of the strain in the rhizosphere over 5 weeks of the field trial. Comparison of taxonomic community profiles only revealed marginal changes after application of strain FZB42. The orders Burkholderiales, Actinomycetales and Rhizobiales were most abundant in all samples. Depending on plant age a general shift within the composition of the microbial communities that was independent of the application of strain FZB42 was observed. In addition to the taxonomic profiling, functional analysis of annotated sequences revealed no major differences between samples regarding application of the inoculant strain.
Project description:Biocontrol inoculants often show inconsistency in their efficacy at field scale and the reason for this remains often unclear. A high rhizosphere competence of inoculant strains is assumed to be a key factor for successful biocontrol effects as the biocontrol strain has to compete with the indigenous microbial community in the rhizosphere. It is known that many factors, among them plant species and soil type shape the rhizosphere microbial community composition. However, microbial community composition in the rhizosphere can also be influenced by the presence of a pathogen. We hypothesized that plant species, soil type, and a pathogen affect the rhizosphere competence of a biocontrol strain and its biocontrol effect against a soil-borne pathogen. To test the hypothesis, we used an experimental plot system with three soil types (diluvial sand, alluvial loam, loess loam) kept under similar agricultural management at the same field site for 12 years. We investigate the rhizosphere competence of Pseudomonas sp. RU47 in two plant species (potato and lettuce) and its biocontrol effect against Rhizoctonia diseases. The colonization density of a rifampicin resistant mutant of RU47 in the rhizosphere of both crops was evaluated by plate counts. Bacterial community compositions were analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified from total community DNA. The inoculant RU47 was able to colonize the rhizosphere of both model crops in a sufficient density and to reduce disease severity of black scurf on potato and bottom rot on lettuce in all three soils. DGGE indicated that RU47 affected the bacterial community composition stronger in the rhizosphere of lettuce than in the potato rhizosphere. In contrast, the effect of the pathogen Rhizoctonia solani on the bacterial community was much stronger in the rhizosphere of potato than in the lettuce rhizosphere. A significant effect of RU47 on the Pseudomonas-specific gacA fingerprints of the rhizosphere was only observed in lettuce in alluvial soil. The soil type and plant species independent biocontrol effects of RU47 and its minor influence on the indigenous bacterial community composition might be important criteria for the registration and use of RU47 as biocontrol strain.
Project description:Rhizosphere competence of bacterial inoculants is assumed to be important for successful biocontrol. Knowledge of factors influencing rhizosphere competence under field conditions is largely lacking. The present study is aimed to unravel the effects of soil types on the rhizosphere competence and biocontrol activity of the two inoculant strains Pseudomonas jessenii RU47 and Serratia plymuthica 3Re4-18 in field-grown lettuce in soils inoculated with Rhizoctonia solani AG1-IB or not. Two independent experiments were carried out in 2011 on an experimental plot system with three soil types sharing the same cropping history and weather conditions for more than 10 years. Rifampicin resistant mutants of the inoculants were used to evaluate their colonization in the rhizosphere of lettuce. The rhizosphere bacterial community structure was analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified from total community DNA to get insights into the effects of the inoculants and R. solani on the indigenous rhizosphere bacterial communities. Both inoculants showed a good colonization ability of the rhizosphere of lettuce with more than 10(6) colony forming units per g root dry mass two weeks after planting. An effect of the soil type on rhizosphere competence was observed for 3Re4-18 but not for RU47. In both experiments a comparable rhizosphere competence was observed and in the presence of the inoculants disease symptoms were either significantly reduced, or at least a non-significant trend was shown. Disease severity was highest in diluvial sand followed by alluvial loam and loess loam suggesting that the soil types differed in their conduciveness for bottom rot disease. Compared to effect of the soil type of the rhizosphere bacterial communities, the effects of the pathogen and the inoculants were less pronounced. The soil types had a surprisingly low influence on rhizosphere competence and biocontrol activity while they significantly affected the bottom rot disease severity.
Project description:Chitin is a promising soil amendment for improving soil quality, plant growth, and plant resilience. The objectives of this study were twofold. First, to study the effect of chitin mixed in potting soil on lettuce growth and on the survival of two zoonotic bacterial pathogens, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica on the lettuce leaves. Second, to assess the related changes in the microbial lettuce rhizosphere, using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis and amplicon sequencing of a bacterial 16S rRNA gene fragment and the fungal ITS2. As a result of chitin addition, lettuce fresh yield weight was significantly increased. S. enterica survival in the lettuce phyllosphere was significantly reduced. The E. coli O157:H7 survival was also lowered, but not significantly. Moreover, significant changes were observed in the bacterial and fungal community of the lettuce rhizosphere. PLFA analysis showed a significant increase in fungal and bacterial biomass. Amplicon sequencing showed no increase in fungal and bacterial biodiversity, but relative abundances of the bacterial phyla Acidobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria and the fungal phyla Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and Zygomycota were significantly changed. More specifically, a more than 10-fold increase was observed for operational taxonomic units belonging to the bacterial genera Cellvibrio, Pedobacter, Dyadobacter, and Streptomyces and to the fungal genera Lecanicillium and Mortierella. These genera include several species previously reported to be involved in biocontrol, plant growth promotion, the nitrogen cycle and chitin degradation. These results enhance the understanding of the response of the rhizosphere microbiome to chitin amendment. Moreover, this is the first study to investigate the use of soil amendments to control the survival of S. enterica on plant leaves.
Project description:UNLABELLED:The aerial surfaces of plants, or phyllosphere, are microbial habitats important to plant and human health. In order to accurately investigate microbial interactions in the phyllosphere under laboratory conditions, the composition of the phyllosphere microbiota should be representative of the diversity of microorganisms residing on plants in nature. We found that Romaine lettuce grown in the laboratory contained 10- to 100-fold lower numbers of bacteria than age-matched, field-grown lettuce. The bacterial diversity on laboratory-grown plants was also significantly lower and contained relatively higher proportions of Betaproteobacteria as opposed to the Gammaproteobacteria-enriched communities on field lettuce. Incubation of field-grown Romaine lettuce plants in environmental growth chambers for 2 weeks resulted in bacterial cell densities and taxa similar to those on plants in the field but with less diverse bacterial populations overall. In comparison, the inoculation of laboratory-grown Romaine lettuce plants with either freshly collected or cryopreserved microorganisms recovered from field lettuce resulted in the development of a field-like microbiota on the lettuce within 2 days of application. The survival of an inoculated strain of Escherichia coli O157:H7 was unchanged by microbial community transfer; however, the inoculation of E. coli O157:H7 onto those plants resulted in significant shifts in the abundance of certain taxa. This finding was strictly dependent on the presence of a field-associated as opposed to a laboratory-associated microbiota on the plants. Phyllosphere microbiota transplantation in the laboratory will be useful for elucidating microbial interactions on plants that are important to agriculture and microbial food safety. IMPORTANCE:The phyllosphere is a habitat for a variety of microorganisms, including bacteria with significant relevance to plant and human health. Some indigenous epiphytic bacteria might affect the persistence of human food-borne pathogens in the phyllosphere. However, studies on human pathogens are typically performed on plants grown indoors. This study compares the phyllosphere microbiota on Romaine lettuce plants grown in a Salinas Valley, CA, field to that on lettuce plants grown in environmental chambers. We show that phyllosphere microbiota from laboratory-grown plants is distinct from that colonizing plants grown in the field and that the field microbiota can be successfully transferred to plants grown indoors. The microbiota transplantation method was used to examine alterations to the phyllosphere microbiota after Escherichia coli O157:H7 inoculation on lettuce plants in a controlled environment. Our findings show the importance and validity of phyllosphere microbiota transplantation for future phyllosphere microbiology research.
Project description:The phyllosphere microbiome is increasingly recognised as an influential component of plant physiology, yet it remains unclear whether stable host-microbe associations generally exist in the phyllosphere. Leptospermum scoparium (m?nuka) is a tea tree indigenous to New Zealand, and honey derived from m?nuka is widely known to possess unique antimicrobial properties. However, the host physiological traits associated with these antimicrobial properties vary widely, and the specific cause of such variation has eluded scientists despite decades of research. Notably, the m?nuka phyllosphere microbiome remains uncharacterised, and its potential role in mediating host physiology has not been considered. Working within the prevailing core microbiome conceptual framework, we hypothesise that the phyllosphere microbiome of m?nuka exhibits specific host association patterns congruent with those of a microbial community under host selective pressure (null hypothesis: the m?nuka phyllosphere microbiome is recruited stochastically from the surrounding environment). To examine our hypothesis, we characterised the phyllosphere and associated soil microbiomes of five distinct and geographically distant m?nuka populations across the North Island of New Zealand. We identified a habitat-specific and relatively abundant core microbiome in the m?nuka phyllosphere, which was persistent across all samples. In contrast, non-core phyllosphere microorganisms exhibited significant variation across individual host trees and populations that was strongly driven by environmental and spatial factors. Our results demonstrate the existence of a dominant and ubiquitous core microbiome in the phyllosphere of m?nuka, supporting our hypothesis that phyllosphere microorganisms of m?nuka exhibit specific host association and potentially mediate physiological traits of this nationally and culturally treasured indigenous plant. In addition, our results illustrate biogeographical patterns in m?nuka phyllosphere microbiomes and offer insight into factors contributing to phyllosphere microbiome assembly.
Project description:Contamination of romaine lettuce with human pathogens, antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB), and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) occurs during production. Post-harvest interventions are emplaced to mitigate pathogens, but could also mitigate ARB and ARGs on vegetables. The objective of this research was to determine changes to lettuce phyllosphere microbiota, inoculated ARB, and the resistome (profile of ARGs) following washing with a sanitizer, gamma irradiation, and cold storage. To simulate potential sources of pre-harvest contamination, romaine lettuce leaves were inoculated with compost slurry containing antibiotic-resistant strains of pathogenic (Escherichia coli O157:H7) and representative of spoilage bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa). Various combinations of washing with sodium hypochlorite (50 ppm free chlorine), packaging under modified atmosphere (98% nitrogen), irradiating (1.0 kGy) and storing at 4°C for 1 day versus 14 days were compared. Effects of post-harvest treatments on the resistome were profiled by shotgun metagenomic sequencing. Bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing was performed to determine changes to the phyllosphere microbiota. Survival and regrowth of inoculated ARB were evaluated by enumeration on selective media. Washing lettuce in water containing sanitizer was associated with reduced abundance of ARG classes that confer resistance to glycopeptides, ?-lactams, phenicols, and sulfonamides (Wilcoxon, p < 0.05). Washing followed by irradiation resulted in a different resistome chiefly due to reductions in multidrug, triclosan, polymyxin, ?-lactam, and quinolone ARG classes (Wilcoxon, p < 0.05). Irradiation followed by storage at 4°C for 14 days led to distinct changes to the ?-diversity of the host bacteria of ARGs compared to 1 day after treatment (ANOSIM, R = 0.331; p = 0.003). Storage of washed and irradiated lettuce at 4°C for 14 days increased the relative abundance of Pseudomonadaceae and Carnobacteriaceae (Wilcoxon, p < 0.05), two groups whose presence correlated with detection of 10 ARG classes on the lettuce phyllosphere (p < 0.05). Irradiation resulted in a significant reduction (?3.5 log CFU/g) of inoculated strains of E. coli O157:H7 and P. aeruginosa (ANOVA, p < 0.05). Results indicate that washing, irradiation and storage of modified atmosphere packaged lettuce at 4°C are effective strategies to reduce antibiotic-resistant E. coli O157:H7 and P. aeruginosa and relative abundance of various ARG classes.
Project description:Plant-associated microbial communities play a central role in the plant response to biotic and abiotic stimuli, improving plant fitness under challenging growing conditions. Many studies have focused on the characterization of changes in abundance and composition of root-associated microbial communities as a consequence of the plant response to abiotic factors such as altered soil nutrients and drought. However, changes in composition in response to abiotic factors are still poorly understood concerning the endophytic community associated to the phyllosphere, the above-ground plant tissues. In the present study, we applied high-throughput 16S rDNA gene sequencing of the phyllosphere endophytic bacterial communities colonizing wild Populus trichocarpa (black cottonwood) plants growing in native, nutrient-limited environments characterized by hot-dry (xeric) riparian zones (Yakima River, WA), riparian zones with mid hot-dry (Tieton and Teanaway Rivers, WA) and moist (mesic) climates (Snoqualmie, Skykomish and Skagit Rivers, WA). From sequencing data, 587 Amplicon Sequence Variants (ASV) were identified. Surprisingly, our data show that a core microbiome could be found in phyllosphere-associated endophytic communities in trees growing on opposite sides of the Cascades Mountain Range. Considering only taxa appearing in at least 90% of all samples within each climatic zone, the core microbiome was dominated only by two ASVs affiliated Pseudomonadaceae and two ASVs of the Enterobacteriaceae family. Alpha-diversity measures indicated that plants colonizing hot-dry environments showed a lower diversity than those from mid hot-dry and moist climates. Beta-diversity measures showed that bacterial composition was significantly different across sampling sites. Accordingly, we found that specific ASV affiliated to Pseudomonadaceae and Enterobacteriaceae were significantly more abundant in the phyllosphere endophytic community colonizing plants adapted to the xeric environment. In summary, this study highlights that sampling site is the major driver of variation and that only a few ASV showed a distribution that significantly correlated to climate variables.
Project description:The rhizosphere microbiome is crucial for plant health, especially for preventing roots from being infected by soil-borne pathogens. Microbiota-mediated pathogen response in the soil-root interface may hold the key for microbiome-based control strategies of phytopathogens. We studied the pathosystem sugar beet-late sugar beet root rot caused by Rhizoctonia solani in an integrative design of combining in vitro and in vivo (greenhouse and field) trials. We used five different cultivars originating from two propagation sites (France, Italy) with different degrees of susceptibility towards R. solani (two susceptible, one moderately tolerant and two cultivars with partial resistance). Analyzing bacterial communities in seeds and roots grown under different conditions by 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, we found site-, cultivar-, and microhabitat-specific amplicon sequences variants (ASV) as well as a seed core microbiome shared between all sugar beet cultivars (121 ASVs representing 80%-91% relative abundance). In general, cultivar-specific differences in the bacterial communities were more pronounced in seeds than in roots. Seeds of Rhizoctonia-tolerant cultivars contain a higher relative abundance of the genera Paenibacillus, Kosakonia, and Enterobacter, while Gaiellales, Rhizobiales, and Kosakonia were enhanced in responsive rhizospheres. These results indicate a correlation between bacterial seed endophytes and Rhizoctonia-tolerant cultivars. Root communities are mainly substrate-derived but also comprise taxa exclusively derived from seeds. Interestingly, the signature of Pseudomonas poae Re*1-1-14, a well-studied sugar-beet specific biocontrol agent, was frequently found and in higher relative abundances in Rhizoctonia-tolerant than in susceptible cultivars. For microbiome management, we introduced microbial inoculants (consortia) and microbiome transplants (vermicompost) in greenhouse and field trials; both can modulate the rhizosphere and mediate tolerance towards late sugar beet root rot. Both, seeds and soil, provide specific beneficial bacteria for rhizosphere assembly and microbiota-mediated pathogen tolerance. This can be translated into microbiome management strategies for plant and ecosystem health.