Rhizobacterial Community Assembly Patterns Vary Between Crop Species.
ABSTRACT: Currently our limited understanding of crop rhizosphere community assembly hinders attempts to manipulate it beneficially. Variation in root communities has been attributed to plant host effects, soil type, and plant condition, but it is hard to disentangle the relative importance of soil and host without experimental manipulation. To examine the effects of soil origin and host plant on root associated bacterial communities we experimentally manipulated four crop species in split-plot mesocosms and surveyed variation in bacterial diversity by Illumina amplicon sequencing. Overall, plant species had a greater impact than soil type on community composition. While plant species associated with different Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) in different soils, plants tended to recruit bacteria from similar, higher order, taxonomic groups in different soils. However, the effect of soil on root-associated communities varied between crop species: Onion had a relatively invariant bacterial community while other species (maize and pea) had a more variable community structure. Dynamic communities could result from environment specific recruitment, differential bacterial colonization or reflect broader symbiont host range; while invariant community assembly implies tighter evolutionary or ecological interactions between plants and root-associated bacteria. Irrespective of mechanism, it appears both communities and community assembly rules vary between crop species.
Project description:Plant-soil feedback studies attempt to understand the interplay between composition of plant and soil microbial communities. A growing body of literature suggests that plant species can coexist when they interact with a subset of the soil microbial community that impacts plant performance. Most studies focus on the microbial community in the soil rhizosphere; therefore, the degree to which the bacterial community within plant roots (root-endophytic compartment) influences plant-microbe interactions remains relatively unknown. To determine if there is an interaction between conspecific vs heterospecific soil microbes and plant performance, we sequenced root-endophytic bacterial communities of five tallgrass-prairie plant species, each reciprocally grown with soil microbes from each hosts' soil rhizosphere. We found evidence of plant-soil feedbacks for some pairs of plant hosts; however, the strength and direction of feedbacks varied substantially across plant species pairs-from positive to negative feedbacks. Additionally, each plant species harbored a unique subset of root-endophytic bacteria. Conspecifics that hosted similar bacterial communities were more similar in biomass than individuals that hosted different bacterial communities, suggesting an important functional link between root-endophytic bacterial community composition and plant fitness. Our findings suggest a connection between an understudied component of the root-endophytic microbiome and plant performance, which may have important implications in understanding plant community composition and coexistence.
Project description:Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a promising biofuel crop native to the United States with genotypes that are adapted to a wide range of distinct ecosystems. Various plants have been shown to undergo symbioses with plant growth-promoting bacteria and fungi, however, plant-associated microbial communities of switchgrass have not been extensively studied to date. We present 16S ribosomal RNA gene and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) data of rhizosphere and root endosphere compartments of four switchgrass genotypes to test the hypothesis that host selection of its root microbiota prevails after transfer to non-native soil. We show that differences in bacterial, archaeal and fungal community composition and diversity are strongly driven by plant compartment and switchgrass genotypes and ecotypes. Plant-associated microbiota show an enrichment in Alphaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria as well as Sordariales and Pleosporales compared with the surrounding soil. Root associated compartments display low-complexity communities dominated and enriched in Actinobacteria, in particular Streptomyces, in the lowland genotypes, and in Alphaproteobacteria, specifically Sphingobium, in the upland genotypes. Our comprehensive root analysis serves as a snapshot of host-specific bacterial and fungal associations of switchgrass in the field and confirms that host-selected microbiomes persist after transfer to non-native soil.
Project description:Highly productive conventional agroecosystems are spatially embedded in resource-homogeneous systems and count on generally nutrient-rich soils. On the contrary, desert oases are isolated, the soil is relatively poor, but yet productivity is similar to conventional agroecosystems. Soil dominates over plant as the main factor shaping root-associated microbiomes in conventional agroecosystems. We hypothesize that in desert oasis, the environmental discontinuity, the resource paucity and limited microbial diversity of the soil make the plant a prevailing factor. We have examined the bacterial communities in the root system of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), the iconic keystone species of the oases, grown in heterogeneous soils across a broad geographic range (22,200 km2 surface area) of the Sahara Desert in Tunisia. We showed that, regardless of the edaphic conditions and geographic location, the plant invariably selects similar Gammaproteobacteria- and Alphaproteobacteria-dominated bacterial communities. The phylogeny, networking properties and predicted functionalities of the bacterial communities indicate that these two phyla are performing the ecological services of biopromotion and biofertilization. We conclude that in a desert agroecosystem, regardless of the soil microbial diversity baseline, the plant, rather than soil type, is responsible of the bacterial community assembly in its root systems, reversing the pattern observed in conventional agroecosystem.
Project description:Soil ecologists have debated the relative importance of dispersal limitation and ecological factors in determining the structure of soil microbial communities. Recent evidence suggests that 'everything is not everywhere', and that microbial communities are influenced by both dispersal limitation and ecological factors. However, we still do not understand the relative explanatory power of spatial and ecological factors, including plant species identity and even plant relatedness, for different fractions of the soil microbial community (i.e. bacterial and fungal communities). To ask whether factors such as plant species, soil chemistry, spatial location and plant relatedness influence rhizosphere community composition, we examined field-collected rhizosphere soil of seven congener pairs that occur at Bodega Bay Marine Reserve, CA, USA. We characterized differences in bacterial and fungal communities using terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Plant species identity was the single best statistical predictor of both bacterial and fungal community composition in the root zone. Soil microbial community structure was also correlated with soil chemistry. The third best predictor of bacterial and fungal communities was spatial location, confirming that everything is not everywhere. Variation in microbial community composition was also related to combinations of spatial location, soil chemistry and plant relatedness, suggesting that these factors do not act independently. Plant relatedness explained less of the variation than plant species, soil chemistry, or spatial location. Despite some congeners occupying different habitats and being spatially distant, rhizosphere fungal communities of plant congeners were more similar than expected by chance. Bacterial communities from the same samples were only weakly similar between plant congeners. Thus, plant relatedness might influence soil fungal, more than soil bacterial, community composition.
Project description:The rhizosphere encompasses the soil surrounding the surface of plants' fine roots. Accordingly, the microbiome present is influenced by both soil type and plant species. Furthermore, soil microbial communities respond to land-use intensity due to the effects on soil conditions and plant performance. However, there is limited knowledge about the impact of grassland management practices under field conditions on the composition of both bacteria and fungi in the rhizosphere of different plant functional groups. In spring 2014 we planted four phytometer species, two forbs (Plantago lanceolata, Achillea millefolium) and two grasses (Dactylis glomerata, Arrhenatherum elatius) into 13 permanent experimental grassland plots, differing in management. After 6 months, rhizosphere and bulk soil associated with the phytometer plants were sampled, microbial genomic DNA was extracted and bacterial 16S and fungal ITS rDNA were sequenced using Illumina MiSeq. Our study revealed that the rhizosphere microbial community was more diverse than the bulk soil community. There were no differences in microbial community composition between the two plant functional groups, but a clear impact of root traits and edaphic conditions. Land-use intensity strongly affected plant productivity, neighboring plant richness and edaphic conditions, especially soil C/N ratio, which in turn had a strong influence on root traits and thereby explained to large extent microbial community composition. Rhizosphere microbes were mainly affected by abiotic factors, in particular by land-use intensity, while plant functional type had only subordinate effects. Our study provides novel insights into the assembly of rhizosphere bacterial and fungal communities in response to land-use intensity and plant functional groups in managed grassland ecosystems.
Project description:Gaining a greater understanding of the plant microbiota and its interactions with its host plant heralds a new era of scientific discovery in agriculture. Different agricultural management practices influence soil microbial populations by changing a soil's physical, chemical and biological properties. However, the impact of these practices on the microbiota associated with economically important crops such as oilseed rape, are still understudied. In this work we investigated the impact of two contrasting crop establishment practices, conventional (plow based) and conservation (strip-tillage) systems, on the microbiota inhabiting different plant microhabitats, namely rhizosphere, root and shoot, of winter oilseed rape under Irish agronomic conditions. Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequence profiling showed that the plant associated microhabitats (root and shoot), are dominated by members of the bacterial phyla Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes. The root and shoot associated bacterial communities displayed markedly distinct profiles as a result of tillage practices. We observed a very limited 'rhizosphere effect' in the root zone of WOSR, i.e., there was little or no increase in bacterial community richness and abundance in the WOSR rhizosphere compared to the bulk soil. The two tillage systems investigated did not appear to lead to any major long term differences on the bulk soil or rhizosphere bacterial communities. Our data suggests that the WOSR root and shoot microbiota can be impacted by management practices and is an important mechanism that could allow us to understand how plants respond to different management practices and environments.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The rhizosheath-root system is an adaptive trait of sandy-desert speargrasses in response to unfavourable moisture and nutritional conditions. Under the deserts' polyextreme conditions, plants interact with edaphic microorganisms that positively affect their fitness and resistance. However, the trophic simplicity and environmental harshness of desert ecosystems have previously been shown to strongly influence soil microbial community assembly. We hypothesize that sand-driven ecological filtering constrains the microbial recruitment processes in the speargrass rhizosheath-root niche, prevailing over the plant-induced selection. METHODS:Bacterial and fungal communities from the rhizosheath-root compartments (endosphere root tissues, rhizosheath and rhizosphere) of three Namib Desert speargrass species (Stipagrostis sabulicola, S. seelyae and Cladoraphis spinosa) along with bulk sand have been studied to test our hypothesis. To minimize the variability determined by edaphic and climatic factors, plants living in a single dune were studied. We assessed the role of plant species vs the sandy substrate on the recruitment and selection, phylogenetic diversity and co-occurrence microbial networks of the rhizosheath-root system microbial communities. RESULTS:Microorganisms associated with the speargrass rhizosheath-root system were recruited from the surrounding bulk sand population and were significantly enriched in the rhizosheath compartments (105 and 104 of bacterial 16S rRNA and fungal ITS copies per gram of sand to up to 108 and 107 copies per gram, respectively). Furthermore, each rhizosheath-root system compartment hosted a specific microbial community demonstrating strong niche-partitioning. The rhizosheath-root systems of the three speargrass species studied were dominated by desert-adapted Actinobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria (e.g. Lechevalieria, Streptomyces and Microvirga) as well as saprophytic Ascomycota fungi (e.g. Curvularia, Aspergillus and Thielavia). Our results clearly showed a random phylogenetic turnover of rhizosheath-root system associated microbial communities, independent of the plant species, where stochastic factors drive neutral assembly. Co-occurrence network analyses also indicated that the bacterial and fungal community members of the rhizosheath-root systems established a higher number of interactions than those in the barren bulk sand, suggesting that the former are more stable and functional than the latter. CONCLUSION:Our study demonstrates that the rhizosheath-root system microbial communities of desert dune speargrasses are stochastically assembled and host-independent. This finding supports the concept that the selection determined by the desert sand prevails over that imposed by the genotype of the different plant species.
Project description:Soil salinization is one of the major land degradation processes that decreases soil fertility and crop production worldwide. In this study, a long-term coastal saline soil remediation experiment was conducted with three salt-tolerant plant species: Lycium chinense Mill. (LCM), Tamarix chinensis Lour. (TCL), and Gossypium hirsutum Linn. (GHL). The three plant species successfully remediated the saline soil but showed different efficacies. The archaeal, bacterial, and fungal communities in barren soil and in four rhizocompartments (distal-rhizosphere soil, proximal-rhizosphere soil, rhizoplane, and endosphere) of the three plant species were assessed. All three plant species significantly decreased the richness of the archaeal communities but increased that of the bacterial and fungal communities in both the rhizosphere and rhizoplane compared with those in the barren soil. The archaeal and bacterial community structures were strongly influenced by the rhizocompartment, while specific fungal communities were recruited by different plant species. The microbial taxa whose abundance either increased or decreased significantly during remediation were identified. Soil electrical conductivity (EC) was identified as the main factor driving the variation in microbial community composition between the remediated and barren soil, and total nitrogen (TN), total carbon (TC), and available potassium (AK) were the main factors driving the differences among plant species. This report provides new insights into the responses of the root zone microbial communities of different salt-tolerant plant species during phytoremediation.IMPORTANCE Despite knowing that phytoremediation by salt-tolerant plants is an effective technology for ameliorating saline soils and that microorganisms contribute significantly to plant stress tolerance and soil fertility, we still lack a comprehensive understanding of how microbes respond to the growth of salt-tolerant plants and the subsequent decline in soil salinity. The results of this study revealed different response patterns among bacterial, archaeal, and fungal communities and indicated that the decline in archaeal abundance might be a sign of successful remediation of coastal saline soils. The recruitment of specific fungal communities by different plant species indicated the importance of fungi in plant species-specific remediation functions. We also identified the taxa that may play key roles during remediation, and these taxa could potentially be used as indicators of phytoremediation. Overall, these findings highlight the importance of microbes in the phytoremediation of saline soil and suggest that the mechanisms involved are plant species specific.
Project description:Panicum represents a large genus of many North American prairie grass species. These include switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), a biofuel crop candidate with wide geographic range, as well as Panicum hallii, a close relative to switchgrass, which serves as a model system for the study of Panicum genetics due to its diploid genome and short growth cycles. For the advancement of switchgrass as a biofuel crop, it is essential to understand host microbiome interactions, which can be impacted by plant genetics and environmental factors inducing ecotype-specific phenotypic traits. We here compared rhizosphere and root endosphere bacterial communities of upland and lowland P. virgatum and P. hallii genotypes planted at two sites in Texas. Our analysis shows that sampling site predominantly contributed to bacterial community variance in the rhizosphere, however, impacted root endosphere bacterial communities much less. Instead we observed a relatively large core endophytic microbiome dominated by ubiquitously root-colonizing bacterial genera Streptomyces, Pseudomonas, and Bradyrhizobium. Endosphere communities displayed comparable diversity and conserved community structures across genotypes of both Panicum species. Functional insights into interactions between P. hallii and its root endophyte microbiome could hence inform testable hypotheses that are relevant for the improvement of switchgrass as a biofuel crop.
Project description:Rhizosphere microbial communities are critically important for soil nitrogen cycling and plant productivity. There is evidence that plant species and genotypes select distinct rhizosphere communities, however, knowledge of the drivers and extent of this variation remains limited. We grew 11 annual species and 11 maize (Zea mays subsp. mays) inbred lines in a common garden experiment to assess the influence of host phylogeny, growth, and nitrogen metabolism on rhizosphere communities. Growth characteristics, bacterial community composition and potential activity of extracellular enzymes were assayed at time of flowering, when plant nitrogen demand is maximal. Bacterial community composition varied significantly between different plant species and genotypes. Rhizosphere beta-diversity was positively correlated with phylogenetic distance between plant species, but not genetic distance within a plant species. In particular, life history traits associated with plant resource acquisition (e.g., longer lifespan, high nitrogen use efficiency, and larger seed size) were correlated with variation in bacterial community composition and enzyme activity. These results indicate that plant evolutionary history and life history strategy influence rhizosphere bacterial community composition and activity. Thus, incorporating phylogenetic or functional diversity into crop rotations may be a tool to manipulate plant-microbe interactions in agricultural systems.