Large-scale replicated field study of maize rhizosphere identifies heritable microbes.
ABSTRACT: Soil microbes that colonize plant roots and are responsive to differences in plant genotype remain to be ascertained for agronomically important crops. From a very large-scale longitudinal field study of 27 maize inbred lines planted in three fields, with partial replication 5 y later, we identify root-associated microbiota exhibiting reproducible associations with plant genotype. Analysis of 4,866 samples identified 143 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) whose variation in relative abundances across the samples was significantly regulated by plant genotype, and included five of seven core OTUs present in all samples. Plant genetic effects were significant amid the large effects of plant age on the rhizosphere microbiome, regardless of the specific community of each field, and despite microbiome responses to climate events. Seasonal patterns showed that the plant root microbiome is locally seeded, changes with plant growth, and responds to weather events. However, against this background of variation, specific taxa responded to differences in host genotype. If shown to have beneficial functions, microbes may be considered candidate traits for selective breeding.
Project description:Endophytes are microorganisms colonizing plant internal tissues. They are ubiquitously associated with plants and play an important role in plant growth and health. In this work, we grew five modern cultivars of barley in axenic systems using sterile sand mixture as well as in greenhouse with natural soil. We characterized the potentially active microbial communities associated with seeds and roots using rRNA based amplicon sequencing. The seeds of the different cultivars share a great part of their microbiome, as we observed a predominance of a few bacterial OTUs assigned to Phyllobacterium, Paenibacillus, and Trabusiella. Seed endophytes, particularly members of the Enterobacteriacea and Paenibacillaceae, were important members of root endophytes in axenic systems, where there were no external microbes. However, when plants were grown in soil, seed endophytes became less abundant in root associated microbiome. We observed a clear enrichment of Actinobacteriacea and Rhizobiaceae, indicating a strong influence of the soil bacterial communities on the composition of the root microbiome. Two OTUs assigned to Phyllobacteriaceae were found in all seeds and root samples growing in soil, indicating a relationship between seed-borne and root associated microbiome in barley. Even though the role of endophytic bacteria remains to be clarified, it is known that many members of the genera detected in our study produce phytohormones, shape seedling exudate profile and may play an important role in germination and establishment of the seedlings.
Project description:The two-step model for plant root microbiomes considers soil as the primary microbial source. Active selection of the plant's bacterial inhabitants results in a biodiversity decrease toward roots. We collected sixteen samples of in situ ruderal plant roots and their soils and used these soils as the main microbial input for single genotype tomatoes grown in a greenhouse. Our main goal was to test the soil influence in the structuring of rhizosphere microbiomes, minimizing environmental variability, while testing multiple plant species. We massively sequenced the 16S rRNA and shotgun metagenomes of the soils, in situ plants, and tomato roots. We identified a total of 271,940 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) within the soils, rhizosphere and endospheric microbiomes. We annotated by homology a total of 411,432 (13.07%) of the metagenome predicted proteins. Tomato roots did follow the two-step model with lower ?-diversity than soil, while ruderal plants did not. Surprisingly, ruderal plants are probably working as a microenvironmental oasis providing moisture and plant-derived nutrients, supporting larger ?-diversity. Ruderal plants and their soils are closer according to their microbiome community composition than tomato and its soil, based on OTUs and protein comparisons. We expected that tomato ?-diversity clustered together with their soil, if it is the main rhizosphere microbiome structuring factor. However, tomato microbiome ?-diversity was associated with plant genotype in most samples (81.2%), also supported by a larger set of enriched proteins in tomato rhizosphere than soil or ruderals. The most abundant bacteria found in soils was the Actinobacteria Solirubrobacter soli, ruderals were dominated by the Proteobacteria Sphingomonas sp. URGHD0057, and tomato mainly by the Bacteroidetes Ohtaekwangia koreensis, Flavobacterium terrae, Niastella vici, and Chryseolinea serpens. We calculated a metagenomic tomato root core of 51 bacterial genera and 2,762 proteins, which could be the basis for microbiome-oriented plant breeding programs. We attributed a larger diversity in ruderal plants roots exudates as an effect of the moisture and nutrient acting as a microbial harbor. The tomato and ruderal metagenomic differences are probably due to plant domestication trade-offs, impacting plant-bacteria interactions.
Project description:Virtually all studied plant tissues are internally inhabited by endophytes. Due to their relevance for plant growth and health, bacterial microbiota of crop plants have been broadly studied. In plant microbiome research the root is the most frequently addressed environment, whereas the ecology of microbiota associated with reproductive organs still demands investigation. In this work, we chose the model grasses Setaria viridis and Setaria pumila to better understand the drivers shaping bacterial communities associated with panicles (representing a reproductive organ) as compared to those associated with roots. We collected wild individuals of both grass species from 20 different locations across Austria and investigated the bacterial assemblages within roots and ripe grain-harboring panicles by 16S rRNA gene-based Illumina sequencing. Furthermore, plant samples were subjected to genotyping by genetic diversity-focused Genotyping by Sequencing. Overall, roots hosted more diverse microbiota than panicles. Both the plant organ and sampling site significantly shaped the root and panicle-associated microbiota, whereas the host genotype only affected root communities. In terms of community structure, root-specific assemblages were highly diverse and consisted of conserved bacterial taxa. In contrast, panicle-specific communities were governed by Gammaproteobacteria, were less diverse and highly origin-dependent. Among OTUs found in both plant tissues, relative abundances of Gammaproteobacteria were higher in panicles, whereas Rhizobiales dominated root communities. We further identified core and non-core taxa within samples of both Setaria species. Non-core taxa included members of the Saccharibacteria and Legionelalles, while core communities encompassed eleven OTUs of seven bacterial orders, together with a set of ten panicle-enriched OTUs. These communities were widespread across root and panicle samples from all locations, hinting toward an evolved form of mutualism through potential vertical transmission of these taxa within Setaria species.
Project description:The root microbes play pivotal roles in plant productivity, nutrient uptakes, and disease resistance. The root microbial community structure has been extensively investigated by 16S/18S/ITS amplicons and metagenomic sequencing in crops and model plants. However, the functional associations between root microbes and host plant growth are poorly understood. This work investigates the root bacterial community of foxtail millet (Setaria italica) and its potential effects on host plant productivity. We determined the bacterial composition of 2882 samples from foxtail millet rhizoplane, rhizosphere and corresponding bulk soils from 2 well-separated geographic locations by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. We identified 16 109 operational taxonomic units (OTUs), and defined 187 OTUs as shared rhizoplane core OTUs. The ?-diversity analysis revealed that microhabitat was the major factor shaping foxtail millet root bacterial community, followed by geographic locations. Large-scale association analysis identified the potential beneficial bacteria correlated with plant high productivity. Besides, the functional prediction revealed specific pathways enriched in foxtail millet rhizoplane bacterial community. We systematically described the root bacterial community structure of foxtail millet and found its core rhizoplane bacterial members. Our results demonstrated that host plants enrich specific bacteria and functions in the rhizoplane. The potentially beneficial bacteria may serve as a valuable knowledge foundation for bio-fertilizer development in agriculture.
Project description:Plant root-associated microbial symbionts comprise the plant rhizobiome. These microbes function in provisioning nutrients and water to their hosts, impacting plant health and disease. The plant microbiome is shaped by plant species, plant genotype, soil and environmental conditions, but the contributions of these variables are hard to disentangle from each other in natural systems. We used bioassay common garden experiments to decouple plant genotype and soil property impacts on fungal and bacterial community structure in the Populus rhizobiome. High throughput amplification and sequencing of 16S, ITS, 28S and 18S rDNA was accomplished through 454 pyrosequencing. Co-association patterns of fungal and bacterial taxa were assessed with 16S and ITS datasets. Community bipartite fungal-bacterial networks and PERMANOVA results attribute significant difference in fungal or bacterial communities to soil origin, soil chemical properties and plant genotype. Indicator species analysis identified a common set of root bacteria as well as endophytic and ectomycorrhizal fungi associated with Populus in different soils. However, no single taxon, or consortium of microbes, was indicative of a particular Populus genotype. Fungal-bacterial networks were over-represented in arbuscular mycorrhizal, endophytic, and ectomycorrhizal fungi, as well as bacteria belonging to the orders Rhizobiales, Chitinophagales, Cytophagales, and Burkholderiales. These results demonstrate the importance of soil and plant genotype on fungal-bacterial networks in the belowground plant microbiome.
Project description:Many plants have natural partnerships with microbes that can boost their nitrogen (N) and/or phosphorus (P) acquisition. To assess whether wheat may have undiscovered associations of these types, we tested if N/P-starved Triticum aestivum show microbiome profiles that are simultaneously different from those of N/P-amended plants and those of their own bulk soils. The bacterial and fungal communities of root, rhizosphere, and bulk soil samples from the Historical Dryland Plots (Lethbridge, Canada), which hold T. aestivum that is grown both under N/P fertilization and in conditions of extreme N/P-starvation, were taxonomically described and compared (bacterial 16S rRNA genes and fungal Internal Transcribed Spacers-ITS). As the list may include novel N- and/or P-providing wheat partners, we then identified all the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) that were proportionally enriched in one or more of the nutrient starvation- and plant-specific communities. These analyses revealed: a) distinct N-starvation root and rhizosphere bacterial communities that were proportionally enriched, among others, in OTUs belonging to families Enterobacteriaceae, Chitinophagaceae, Comamonadaceae, Caulobacteraceae, Cytophagaceae, Streptomycetaceae, b) distinct N-starvation root fungal communities that were proportionally enriched in OTUs belonging to taxa Lulworthia, Sordariomycetes, Apodus, Conocybe, Ascomycota, Crocicreas, c) a distinct P-starvation rhizosphere bacterial community that was proportionally enriched in an OTU belonging to genus Agrobacterium, and d) a distinct P-starvation root fungal community that was proportionally enriched in OTUs belonging to genera Parastagonospora and Phaeosphaeriopsis. Our study might have exposed wheat-microbe connections that can form the basis of novel complementary yield-boosting tools.
Project description:Bacterial and fungal communities associated with plant roots are central to the host health, survival and growth. However, a robust understanding of the root-microbiome and the factors that drive host associated microbial community structure have remained elusive, especially in mature perennial plants from natural settings. Here, we investigated relationships of bacterial and fungal communities in the rhizosphere and root endosphere of the riparian tree species Populus deltoides, and the influence of soil parameters, environmental properties (host phenotype and aboveground environmental settings), host plant genotype (Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) markers), season (Spring vs. Fall) and geographic setting (at scales from regional watersheds to local riparian zones) on microbial community structure. Each of the trees sampled displayed unique aspects to its associated community structure with high numbers of Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) specific to an individual trees (bacteria >90%, fungi >60%). Over the diverse conditions surveyed only a small number of OTUs were common to all samples within rhizosphere (35 bacterial and 4 fungal) and endosphere (1 bacterial and 1 fungal) microbiomes. As expected, Proteobacteria and Ascomycota were dominant in root communities (>50%) while other higher-level phylogenetic groups (Chytridiomycota, Acidobacteria) displayed greatly reduced abundance in endosphere compared to the rhizosphere. Variance partitioning partially explained differences in microbiome composition between all sampled roots on the basis of seasonal and soil properties (4% to 23%). While most variation remains unattributed, we observed significant differences in the microbiota between watersheds (Tennessee vs. North Carolina) and seasons (Spring vs. Fall). SSR markers clearly delineated two host populations associated with the samples taken in TN vs. NC, but overall host genotypic distances did not have a significant effect on corresponding communities that could be separated from other measured effects.
Project description:Background Understanding the genetic and environmental factors that structure plant microbiomes is necessary for leveraging these interactions to address critical needs in agriculture, conservation, and sustainability. Legumes, which form root nodule symbioses with nitrogen-fixing rhizobia, have served as model plants for understanding the genetics and evolution of beneficial plant-microbe interactions for decades, and thus have added value as models of plant-microbiome interactions. Here we use a common garden experiment with 16S rRNA gene amplicon and shotgun metagenomic sequencing to study the drivers of microbiome diversity and composition in three genotypes of the model legume Medicago truncatula grown in two native soil communities. Results Bacterial diversity decreased between external (rhizosphere) and internal plant compartments (root endosphere, nodule endosphere, and leaf endosphere). Community composition was shaped by strong compartment × soil origin and compartment × plant genotype interactions, driven by significant soil origin effects in the rhizosphere and significant plant genotype effects in the root endosphere. Nevertheless, all compartments were dominated by Ensifer, the genus of rhizobia that forms root nodule symbiosis with M. truncatula, and additional shotgun metagenomic sequencing suggests that the nodulating Ensifer were not genetically distinguishable from those elsewhere in the plant. We also identify a handful of OTUs that are common in nodule tissues, which are likely colonized from the root endosphere. Conclusions Our results demonstrate strong host filtering effects, with rhizospheres driven by soil origin and internal plant compartments driven by host genetics, and identify several key nodule-inhabiting taxa that coexist with rhizobia in the native range. Our results set the stage for future functional genetic experiments aimed at expanding our pairwise understanding of legume-rhizobium symbiosis toward a more mechanistic understanding of plant microbiomes. Video Abstract
Project description:Root-associated microbes are critical to plant health and performance, although understanding of the factors that structure these microbial communities and the theory to predict microbial assemblages are still limited. Here, we use a grafted tomato system to study the effects of rootstock genotypes and grafting in endosphere and rhizosphere microbiomes that were evaluated by sequencing 16S rRNA. We compared the microbiomes of nongrafted tomato cultivar BHN589, self-grafted BHN589, and BHN589 grafted to Maxifort or RST-04-106 hybrid rootstocks. Operational taxonomic unit (OTU)-based bacterial diversity was greater in Maxifort compared to the nongrafted control, whereas bacterial diversity in the controls (self-grafted and nongrafted) and the other rootstock (RST-04-106) was similar. Grafting itself did not affect bacterial diversity; diversity in the self-graft was similar to that of the nongraft. Bacterial diversity was higher in the rhizosphere than in the endosphere for all treatments. However, despite the lower overall diversity, there was a greater number of differentially abundant OTUs (DAOTUs) in the endosphere, with the greatest number of DAOTUs associated with Maxifort. In a permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA), there was evidence for an effect of rootstock genotype on bacterial communities. The endosphere-rhizosphere compartment and study site explained a high percentage of the differences among bacterial communities. Further analyses identified OTUs responsive to rootstock genotypes in both the endosphere and rhizosphere. Our findings highlight the effects of rootstocks on bacterial diversity and composition. The influence of rootstock and plant compartment on microbial communities indicates opportunities for the development of designer communities and microbiome-based breeding to improve future crop production.IMPORTANCE Understanding factors that control microbial communities is essential for designing and supporting microbiome-based agriculture. In this study, we used a grafted tomato system to study the effect of rootstock genotypes and grafting on bacterial communities colonizing the endosphere and rhizosphere. To compare the bacterial communities in control treatments (nongrafted and self-grafted plants) with the hybrid rootstocks used by farmers, we evaluated the effect of rootstocks on overall bacterial diversity and composition. These findings indicate the potential for using plant genotype to indirectly select bacterial taxa. In addition, we identify taxa responsive to each rootstock treatment, which may represent candidate taxa useful for biocontrol and in biofertilizers.
Project description:Roots provide plants mineral nutrients and stability in soil; while doing so, they come into contact with diverse soil microbes that affect plant health and productivity. Despite their ecological and agricultural relevance, the factors that shape the root microbiome remain poorly understood. We grew a worldwide panel of replicated Arabidopsis thaliana accessions outdoors and over winter to characterize their root-microbial communities. Although studies of the root microbiome tend to focus on bacteria, we found evidence that fungi have a strong influence on the structure of the root microbiome. Moreover, host effects appear to have a stronger influence on plant-fungal communities than plant-bacterial communities. Mapping the host genes that affect microbiome traits identified a priori candidate genes with roles in plant immunity; the root microbiome also appears to be strongly affected by genes that impact root and root hair development. Our results suggest that future analyses of the root microbiome should focus on multiple kingdoms, and that the root microbiome is shaped not only by genes involved in defense, but also by genes involved in plant form and physiology.