Cultivated Sub-Populations of Soil Microbiomes Retain Early Flowering Plant Trait.
ABSTRACT: The collection of microorganisms found in the root zone of soil, termed the rhizosphere microbiome, has been shown to impact plant growth and development. Here, we tease apart the function of the cultivable portion of the microbiome from the whole microbiome in retaining plant traits modified through artificial selection on flowering time. Specifically, the whole microbiome associated with earlier flowering time of Arabidopsis thaliana was cultivated on four types of solid media to create cultivated fractions of the microbiome. These cultivated microbiomes were subsequently preserved in glycerol, frozen, and revived to yield a portion of the cultivable fraction to compare (1) whole microbiome, (2) cultivable microbiome, and (3) revived, cultivable microbiome controls on early flowering time. Plants grown in soils inoculated with bacteria grown on 25 % Luria broth and 10 % tryptic soy agar retained the early flowering trait. An increase in leaf biomass with two of the cultivated microbiomes (49.4 and 38.5 %) contrasted the lowered biomass effect of the whole microbiome. Inoculation with the cultivated microbiomes that were cryopreserved in glycerol showed no effect on flowering time or leaf biomass. The results indicate that the cultivable portion of a plant's microbiome retains the early flowering effect in A. thaliana, but cryopreservation of the cultivated microbiomes disrupts the microbial effects on flowering time. Furthermore, the contrasting effects on leaf biomass (an indirect response from selection on early flowering time), seen with the whole microbiome versus the cultivable portion, suggests versatility in using cultivation methods to modify multiple traits of plants.
Project description:Giant panda are carnivorous bears which feed almost exclusively on plant biomass (i.e. bamboo). The potential contribution of its gut microbiome to lignocellulose degradation has been mostly investigated with cultivation-independent approaches. Recently, we reported on the first lab-scale cultivation of giant panda gut microbiomes and described their actual fermentation capacity. Fermentation of bamboo leaf using green dung resulted in a neutral pH, the main products being ethanol, lactate and H2. Fermentation of bamboo pith using yellow dung resulted in an acidic pH, the main product being lactate. Here, we cultivated giant panda gut microbiomes to test 1) the impact of mixed dung as inoculum; 2) the fermentation capacity of solid lignocellulose as opposed to organics-rich biofluids in the dung; 3) the artificial shift of pH from neutral to acidic on bamboo leaf fermentation. Our results indicate that i) gut microbiomes fermentation of solid lignocellulose contributes up to a maximum of 1/3 even in the presence of organics-rich biofluids; ii) alcohols are an important product of bamboo leaf fermentation at neutral pH; iii) aside hemicellulose, gut microbiomes may degrade plant cell membranes to produce glycerol; iv) pH, rather than portion of bamboo, ultimately determines fermentation profiles and gut microbiome assemblage.
Project description:Soil microorganisms found in the root zone impact plant growth and development, but the potential to harness these benefits is hampered by the sheer abundance and diversity of the players influencing desirable plant traits. Here, we report a high level of reproducibility of soil microbiomes in altering plant flowering time and soil functions when partnered within and between plant hosts. We used a multi-generation experimental system using Arabidopsis thaliana Col to select for soil microbiomes inducing earlier or later flowering times of their hosts. We then inoculated the selected microbiomes from the tenth generation of plantings into the soils of three additional A. thaliana genotypes (Ler, Be, RLD) and a related crucifer (Brassica rapa). With the exception of Ler, all other plant hosts showed a shift in flowering time corresponding with the inoculation of early- or late-flowering microbiomes. Analysis of the soil microbial community using 16 S rRNA gene sequencing showed distinct microbiota profiles assembling by flowering time treatment. Plant hosts grown with the late-flowering-associated microbiomes showed consequent increases in inflorescence biomass for three A. thaliana genotypes and an increase in total biomass for B. rapa. The increase in biomass was correlated with two- to five-fold enhancement of microbial extracellular enzyme activities associated with nitrogen mineralization in soils. The reproducibility of the flowering phenotype across plant hosts suggests that microbiomes can be selected to modify plant traits and coordinate changes in soil resource pools.
Project description:In terrestrial ecosystems, plants interact with diverse taxonomic groups of bacteria and fungi in the phyllosphere and rhizosphere. Although recent studies based on high-throughput DNA sequencing have drastically increased our understanding of plant-associated microbiomes, we still have limited knowledge of how plant species in a species-rich community differ in their leaf and root microbiome compositions. In a cool-temperate semi-natural grassland in Japan, we compared leaf- and root-associated microbiomes across 137 plant species belonging to 33 plant orders. Based on the whole-microbiome inventory data, we analyzed how sampling season as well as the taxonomy, nativeness (native or alien), lifeform (herbaceous or woody), and mycorrhizal type of host plants could contribute to variation in microbiome compositions among co-occurring plant species. The data also allowed us to explore prokaryote and fungal lineages showing preferences for specific host characteristics. The list of microbial taxa showing significant host preferences involved those potentially having some impacts on survival, growth, or environmental resistance of host plants. Overall, this study provides a platform for understanding how plant and microbial communities are linked with each other at the ecosystem level.
Project description:The human gut microbiome contributes to a broad range of biochemical and metabolic functions that directly or indirectly affect human physiology. Several recent studies have indicated that factors like age, geographical location, genetic makeup, and individual health status significantly influence the diversity, stability, and resilience of the gut microbiome. Of the mentioned factors, geographical location (and related dietary/socio-economic context) appears to explain a significant portion of microbiome variation observed in various previously conducted base-line studies on human gut microbiome. Given this context, we have undertaken a microbiome study with the objective of cataloguing the taxonomic diversity of gut microbiomes sampled from an urban cohort from Ahmedabad city in Western India. Computational analysis of microbiome sequence data corresponding to 160 stool samples (collected from 80 healthy individuals at two time-points, 60 days apart) has indicated a Prevotella-dominated microbial community. Given that the typical diet of participants included carbohydrate and fibre-rich components (predominantly whole grains and legume-based preparations), results appear to validate the proposed correlation between diet/geography and microbiome composition. Comparative analysis of obtained gut microbiome profiles with previously published microbiome profiles from US, China, Finland, and Japan additionally reveals a distinct taxonomic and (inferred) functional niche for the sampled microbiomes.
Project description:Agriculture is facing a major challenge nowadays: to increase crop production for food and energy while preserving ecosystem functioning and soil quality. Argentine Pampas is one of the main world producers of crops and one of the main adopters of conservation agriculture. Changes in soil chemical and physical properties of Pampas soils due to different tillage systems have been deeply studied. Still, not much evidence has been reported on the effects of agricultural practices on Pampas soil microbiomes. The aim of our study was to investigate the effects of agricultural land use on community structure, composition and metabolic profiles on soil microbiomes of Argentine Pampas. We also compared the effects associated to conventional practices with the effects of no-tillage systems. Our results confirmed the impact on microbiome structure and composition due to agricultural practices. The phyla Verrucomicrobia, Plactomycetes, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi were more abundant in non cultivated soils while Gemmatimonadetes, Nitrospirae and WS3 were more abundant in cultivated soils. Effects on metabolic metagenomic profiles were also observed. The relative abundance of genes assigned to transcription, protein modification, nucleotide transport and metabolism, wall and membrane biogenesis and intracellular trafficking and secretion were higher in cultivated fertilized soils than in non cultivated soils. We also observed significant differences in microbiome structure and taxonomic composition between soils under conventional and no-tillage systems. Overall, our results suggest that agronomical land use and the type of tillage system have induced microbiomes to shift their life-history strategies. Microbiomes of cultivated fertilized soils (i.e. higher nutrient amendment) presented tendencies to copiotrophy while microbiomes of non cultivated homogenous soils appeared to have a more oligotrophic life-style. Additionally, we propose that conventional tillage systems may promote copiotrophy more than no-tillage systems by decreasing soil organic matter stability and therefore increasing nutrient availability.
Project description:Herbivores can gain indirect access to recalcitrant carbon present in plant cell walls through symbiotic associations with lignocellulolytic microbes. A paradigmatic example is the leaf-cutter ant (Tribe: Attini), which uses fresh leaves to cultivate a fungus for food in specialized gardens. Using a combination of sugar composition analyses, metagenomics, and whole-genome sequencing, we reveal that the fungus garden microbiome of leaf-cutter ants is composed of a diverse community of bacteria with high plant biomass-degrading capacity. Comparison of this microbiome's predicted carbohydrate-degrading enzyme profile with other metagenomes shows closest similarity to the bovine rumen, indicating evolutionary convergence of plant biomass degrading potential between two important herbivorous animals. Genomic and physiological characterization of two dominant bacteria in the fungus garden microbiome provides evidence of their capacity to degrade cellulose. Given the recent interest in cellulosic biofuels, understanding how large-scale and rapid plant biomass degradation occurs in a highly evolved insect herbivore is of particular relevance for bioenergy.
Project description:Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is a marine foundation species essential for coastal ecosystem services around the northern hemisphere. Like all macroscopic organisms, it possesses a microbiome (here defined as an associated prokaryotic community) which may play critical roles in modulating the interaction of eelgrass with its environment. For example, its leaf surface microbiome could inhibit or attract eukaryotic epibionts which may overgrow the eelgrass leading to reduced primary productivity and subsequent eelgrass meadow decline. We used amplicon sequencing of the 16S and 18S rRNA genes of prokaryotes and eukaryotes to assess the leaf surface microbiome (prokaryotes) as well as eukaryotic epibionts in- and outside lagoons on the German Baltic Sea coast. Prokaryote microbiomes varied substantially both between sites inside lagoons and between open coastal and lagoon sites. Water depth, leaf area and biofilm chlorophyll a concentration explained a large amount of variation in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic community composition. The prokaryotic microbiome and eukaryotic epibiont communities were highly correlated, and network analysis revealed disproportionate co-occurrence between a limited number of eukaryotic taxa and several bacterial taxa. This suggests that eelgrass leaf surfaces are home to a mosaic of microbiomes of several epibiotic eukaryotes, in addition to the microbiome of the eelgrass itself. Our findings thereby underline that eukaryotic diversity should be taken into account in order to explain prokaryotic microbiome assembly and dynamics in aquatic environments.
Project description:Microbiomes of soils and plants are linked, but how this affects microbiomes of aboveground herbivorous insects is unknown. We first generated plant-conditioned soils in field plots, then reared leaf-feeding caterpillars on dandelion grown in these soils, and then assessed whether the microbiomes of the caterpillars were attributed to the conditioned soil microbiomes or the dandelion microbiome. Microbiomes of caterpillars kept on intact plants differed from those of caterpillars fed detached leaves collected from plants growing in the same soil. Microbiomes of caterpillars reared on detached leaves were relatively simple and resembled leaf microbiomes, while those of caterpillars from intact plants were more diverse and resembled soil microbiomes. Plant-mediated changes in soil microbiomes were not reflected in the phytobiome but were detected in caterpillar microbiomes, however, only when kept on intact plants. Our results imply that insect microbiomes depend on soil microbiomes, and that effects of plants on soil microbiomes can be transmitted to aboveground insects feeding later on other plants.
Project description:Perennial grasses are promising feedstocks for biofuel production, with potential for leveraging their native microbiomes to increase their productivity and resilience to environmental stress. Here, we characterize the 16S rRNA gene diversity and seasonal assembly of bacterial and archaeal microbiomes of two perennial cellulosic feedstocks, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus). We sample leaves and soil every three weeks from pre-emergence through senescence for two consecutive switchgrass growing seasons and one miscanthus season, and identify core leaf taxa based on occupancy. Virtually all leaf taxa are also detected in soil; source-sink modeling shows non-random, ecological filtering by the leaf, suggesting that soil is an important reservoir of phyllosphere diversity. Core leaf taxa include early, mid, and late season groups that were consistent across years and crops. This consistency in leaf microbiome dynamics and core members is promising for microbiome manipulation or management to support crop production.
Project description:Gut microbiomes perform crucial roles in host health and development, but few studies have explored cetacean microbiomes especially deep divers. We characterized the gut microbiomes of stranded dwarf (Kogia sima) and pygmy (K. breviceps) sperm whales to examine the effects of phylogeny and life stage on microbiome composition and diversity. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis revealed diverse gut communities (averaging 674 OTUs) dominated by a few symbiont taxa (25 OTUs accounted for 64% of total relative abundance). Both phylogeny and life stage shaped community composition and diversity, with species-specific microbiome differences present early in life. Further analysis showed evidence of microbiome convergence with host maturity, albeit through different processes: symbiont 'accumulation' in K. sima and 'winnowing' in K. breviceps, indicating different methods of community assembly during host development. Furthermore, culture-based analyses yielded 116 pure cultures matching 25 OTUs, including one isolate positive for chitin utilization. Our findings indicate that kogiid gut microbiomes are highly diverse and species-specific, undergo significant shifts with host development, and can be cultivated on specialized media under anaerobic conditions. These results enhance our understanding of the kogiid gut microbiome and may provide useful information for symbiont assessment in host health.