Maize synthesized benzoxazinoids affect the host associated microbiome.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Plants actively shape their associated microbial communities by synthesizing bio-active substances. Plant secondary metabolites are known for their signaling and plant defense functions, yet little is known about their overall effect on the plant microbiome. In this work, we studied the effects of benzoxazinoids (BXs), a group of secondary metabolites present in maize, on the host-associated microbial structure. Using BX knock-out mutants and their W22 parental lines, we employed 16S and ITS2 rRNA gene amplicon analysis to characterize the maize microbiome at early growth stages. RESULTS:Rhizo-box experiment showed that BXs affected microbial communities not only in roots and shoots, but also in the rhizosphere. Fungal richness in roots was more affected by BXs than root bacterial richness. Maize genotype (BX mutants and their parental lines) as well as plant age explained both fungal and bacterial community structure. Genotypic effect on microbial communities was stronger in roots than in rhizosphere. Diverse, but specific, microbial taxa were affected by BX in both roots and shoots, for instance, many plant pathogens were negatively correlated to BX content. In addition, a co-occurrence analysis of the root microbiome revealed that BXs affected specific groups of the microbiome. CONCLUSIONS:This study provides insights into the role of BXs for microbial community assembly in the rhizosphere and in roots and shoots. Coupling the quantification of BX metabolites with bacterial and fungal communities, we were able to suggest a gatekeeper role of BX by showing its correlation with specific microbial taxa and thus providing insights into effects on specific fungal and bacterial taxa in maize roots and shoots. Root microbial co-occurrence networks revealed that BXs affect specific microbial clusters.
Project description:The rhizobiome is an important regulator of plant growth and health. Plants shape their rhizobiome communities through production and release of primary and secondary root metabolites. Benzoxazinoids (BXs) are common tryptophan-derived secondary metabolites in grasses that regulate belowground and aboveground biotic interactions. In addition to their biocidal activity, BXs can regulate plant-biotic interactions as semiochemicals or within-plant defence signals. However, the full extent and mechanisms by which BXs shape the root-associated microbiome has remained largely unexplored. Here, we have taken a global approach to examine the regulatory activity of BXs on the maize root metabolome and associated bacterial and fungal communities. Using untargeted mass spectrometry analysis in combination with prokaryotic and fungal amplicon sequencing, we compared the impacts of three genetic mutations in different steps in the BX pathway. We show that BXs regulate global root metabolism and concurrently influence the rhizobiome in a root type-dependent manner. Correlation analysis between BX-controlled root metabolites and bacterial taxa suggested a dominant role for BX-dependent metabolites, particularly flavonoids, in constraining a range of soil microbial taxa, while stimulating methylophilic bacteria. Our study supports a multilateral model by which BXs control root-microbe interactions via a global regulatory function in root secondary metabolism.
Project description:Plant disease can be effectively suppressed in intercropping systems. Our previous study demonstrated that neighboring maize plants can restrict the spread of soil-borne pathogens of pepper plants by secreting defense compounds into the soil. However, whether maize plant can receive benefits from its neighboring pepper plants in an intercropping system is little attention. We examined the effects of maize roots treated with elicitors from the pepper pathogen Phytophthora capsici and pepper root exudates on the synthesis of 1,4-benzoxazine-3-ones (BXs), the expression of defense-related genes in maize, and their ability to alleviate the severity of southern corn leaf blight (SCLB) caused by Bipolaris maydis. We found that SCLB was significantly reduced after the above treatments. The contents of 1,4-benzoxazine-3-ones (BXs: DIBOA, DIMBOA, and MBOA) and the expression levels of BX synthesis and defense genes in maize roots and shoots were up-regulated. DIMBOA and MBOA effectively inhibited the mycelium growth of Bipolaris maydis at physiological concentrations in maize shoots. Further studies suggested that the defense related pathways or genes in maize roots and shoots were activated by elicitors from the P. capsici or pepper root exudates. In conclusion, maize increased the levels of BXs and defense gene expression both in roots and shoots after being triggered by root exudates and pathogen from neighboring pepper plants, eventually enhancing its resistance.
Project description:Benzoxazinoids, such as 2,4-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-2H-1,4-benzoxazin-3(4H)-one (DIMBOA), are secondary metabolites in grasses. In addition to their function in plant defence against pests and diseases above-ground, benzoxazinoids (BXs) have also been implicated in defence below-ground, where they can exert allelochemical or antimicrobial activities. We have studied the impact of BXs on the interaction between maize and Pseudomonas putida KT2440, a competitive coloniser of the maize rhizosphere with plant-beneficial traits. Chromatographic analyses revealed that DIMBOA is the main BX compound in root exudates of maize. In vitro analysis of DIMBOA stability indicated that KT2440 tolerance of DIMBOA is based on metabolism-dependent breakdown of this BX compound. Transcriptome analysis of DIMBOA-exposed P. putida identified increased transcription of genes controlling benzoate catabolism and chemotaxis. Chemotaxis assays confirmed motility of P. putida towards DIMBOA. Moreover, colonisation essays in soil with Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP)-expressing P. putida showed that DIMBOA-producing roots of wild-type maize attract significantly higher numbers of P. putida cells than roots of the DIMBOA-deficient bx1 mutant. Our results demonstrate a central role for DIMBOA as a below-ground semiochemical for recruitment of plant-beneficial rhizobacteria during the relatively young and vulnerable growth stages of maize.
Project description:Plant-parasitic nematodes cause considerable damage to crop plants. The rhizosphere microbiome can affect invasion and reproductive success of plant-parasitic nematodes, thus affecting plant damage. In this study, we investigated how the transplanted rhizosphere microbiome from different crops affect plant-parasitic nematodes on soybean or tomato, and whether the plant's own microbiome from the rhizosphere protects it better than the microbiome from fallow soil. Soybean plants growing in sterilized substrate were inoculated with the microbiome extracted from the rhizosphere of soybean, maize, or tomato. Controls were inoculated with extracts from bulk soil, or not inoculated. After the microbiome was established, the root lesion nematode Pratylenchus penetrans was added. Root invasion of P. penetrans was significantly reduced on soybean plants inoculated with the microbiome from maize or soybean compared to tomato or bulk soil, or the uninoculated control. In the analogous experiment with tomato plants inoculated with either P. penetrans or the root knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita, the rhizosphere microbiomes of maize and tomato reduced root invasion by P. penetrans and M. incognita compared to microbiomes from soybean or bulk soil. Reproduction of M. incognita on tomato followed the same trend, and it was best suppressed by the tomato rhizosphere microbiome. In split-root experiments with soybean and tomato plants, a systemic effect of the inoculated rhizosphere microbiomes on root invasion of P. penetrans was shown. Furthermore, some transplanted microbiomes slightly enhanced plant growth compared to uninoculated plants. The microbiomes from maize rhizosphere and bulk soil increased the fresh weights of roots and shoots of soybean plants, and microbiomes from soybean rhizosphere and bulk soil increased the fresh weights of roots and shoots of tomato plants. Nematode invasion did not affect plant growth in these short-term experiments. In conclusion, this study highlights the importance of the rhizosphere microbiome in protecting crops against plant-parasitic nematodes. An effect of pre-crops on the rhizosphere microbiome might be harnessed to enhance the resistance of crops towards plant-parasitic nematodes. However, nematode-suppressive effects of a particular microbiome may not necessarily coincide with improvement of plant growth in the absence of plant-parasitic nematodes.
Project description:The soil-plant ecosystem harbors an immense microbial diversity that challenges investigative approaches to study traits underlying plant-microbe association. Studies solely based on culture-dependent techniques have overlooked most microbial diversity. Here we describe the concomitant use of culture-dependent and -independent techniques to target plant-beneficial microbial groups from the sugarcane microbiome. The community-based culture collection (CBC) approach was used to access microbes from roots and stalks. The CBC recovered 399 unique bacteria representing 15.9% of the rhizosphere core microbiome and 61.6-65.3% of the endophytic core microbiomes of stalks. By cross-referencing the CBC (culture-dependent) with the sugarcane microbiome profile (culture-independent), we designed a synthetic community comprised of naturally occurring highly abundant bacterial groups from roots and stalks, most of which has been poorly explored so far. We then used maize as a model to probe the abundance-based synthetic inoculant. We show that when inoculated in maize plants, members of the synthetic community efficiently colonize plant organs, displace the natural microbiota and dominate at 53.9% of the rhizosphere microbial abundance. As a result, inoculated plants increased biomass by 3.4-fold as compared to uninoculated plants. The results demonstrate that abundance-based synthetic inoculants can be successfully applied to recover beneficial plant microbes from plant microbiota.
Project description:The Inland Pacific Northwest is one of the most productive dryland wheat production areas in the United States. We explored the bacterial and fungal communities associated with wheat in a controlled greenhouse experiment using soils from multiple locations to identify core taxa consistently associated with wheat roots and how land use history influences wheat-associated communities. Further, we examined microbial co-occurrence networks from wheat rhizospheres to identify candidate hub taxa. Location of origin and land use history (long-term no-till versus noncropped Conservation Reserve Program [CRP]) of soils were the strongest drivers of bacterial and fungal communities. Wheat rhizospheres were especially enriched in many bacterial families, while only a few fungal taxa were enriched in the rhizosphere. There was a core set of bacteria and fungi that was found in >95% of rhizosphere or bulk soil samples, including members of Bradyrhizobium, Sphingomonadaceae, Massilia, Variovorax, Oxalobacteraceae, and Caulobacteraceae Core fungal taxa in the rhizosphere included Nectriaceae, Ulocladium, Alternaria, Mortierella, and Microdochium Overall, there were fewer core fungal taxa, and the rhizosphere effect was not as pronounced as with bacteria. Cross-domain co-occurrence networks were used to identify hub taxa in the wheat rhizosphere, which included bacterial and fungal taxa (e.g., Sphingomonas, Massilia, Knufia, and Microdochium). Our results suggest that there is a relatively small group of core rhizosphere bacteria that were highly abundant on wheat roots regardless of soil origin and land use history. These core communities may play important roles in nutrient uptake, suppressing fungal pathogens, and other plant health functions.IMPORTANCE Plant-associated microbiomes are critical for plant health and other important agroecosystem processes. We assessed the bacterial and fungal microbiomes of wheat grown in soils from across a dryland wheat cropping systems in eastern Washington to identify the core microbiome on wheat roots that is consistent across soils from different locations and land use histories. Moreover, cross-domain co-occurrence network analysis identified core and hub taxa that may play important roles in microbial community assembly. Candidate core and hub taxa provide a starting point for targeting microbiome components likely to be critical to plant health and for constructing synthetic microbial communities for further experimentation. This work is one of the first examples of identifying a core microbiome on a major field crop grown across hundreds of square kilometers over a wide range of biogeographical zones.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Rhizosphere microbial communities are key regulators of plant performance, yet few studies have assessed the impact of different management approaches on the rhizosphere microbiomes of major crops. Rhizosphere microbial communities are shaped by interactions between agricultural management and host selection processes, but studies often consider these factors individually rather than in combination. We tested the impacts of management (M) and rhizosphere effects (R) on microbial community structure and co-occurrence networks of maize roots collected from long-term conventionally and organically managed maize-tomato agroecosystems. We also explored the interaction between these factors (M?×?R) and how it impacts rhizosphere microbial diversity and composition, differential abundance, indicator taxa, co-occurrence network structure, and microbial nitrogen-cycling processes. RESULTS:Host selection processes moderate the influence of agricultural management on rhizosphere microbial communities, although bacteria and fungi respond differently to plant selection and agricultural management. We found that plants recruit management-system-specific taxa and shift N-cycling pathways in the rhizosphere, distinguishing this soil compartment from bulk soil. Rhizosphere microbiomes from conventional and organic systems were more similar in diversity and network structure than communities from their respective bulk soils, and community composition was affected by both M and R effects. In contrast, fungal community composition was affected only by management, and network structure only by plant selection. Quantification of six nitrogen-cycling genes (nifH, amoA [bacterial and archaeal], nirK, nrfA, and nosZ) revealed that only nosZ abundance was affected by management and was higher in the organic system. CONCLUSIONS:Plant selection interacts with conventional and organic management practices to shape rhizosphere microbial community composition, co-occurrence patterns, and at least one nitrogen-cycling process. Reframing research priorities to better understand adaptive plant-microbe feedbacks and include roots as a significant moderating influence of management outcomes could help guide plant-oriented strategies to improve productivity and agroecosystem sustainability.
Project description:Hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum) accumulates benzoxazinones (Bxs) as defensive compounds. Previously, we found that five Bx biosynthetic genes, TaBx1-TaBx5, are located on each of the three genomes (A, B, and D) of hexaploid wheat. In this study, we isolated three homoeologous cDNAs of each TaBx gene to estimate the contribution of individual homoeologous TaBx genes to the biosynthesis of Bxs in hexaploid wheat. We analyzed their transcript levels by homoeolog- or genome-specific quantitative RT-PCR and the catalytic properties of their translation products by kinetic analyses using recombinant TaBX enzymes. The three homoeologs were transcribed differentially, and the ratio of the individual homoeologous transcripts to total homoeologous transcripts also varied with the tissue, i.e., shoots or roots, as well as with the developmental stage. Moreover, the translation products of the three homoeologs had different catalytic properties. Some TaBx homoeologs were efficiently transcribed, but the translation products showed only weak enzymatic activities, which inferred their weak contribution to Bx biosynthesis. Considering the transcript levels and the catalytic properties collectively, we concluded that the homoeologs on the B genome generally contributed the most to the Bx biosynthesis in hexaploid wheat, especially in shoots. In tetraploid wheat and the three diploid progenitors of hexaploid wheat, the respective transcript levels of the TaBx homoeologs were similar in ratio to those observed in hexaploid wheat. This result indicates that the genomic bias in the transcription of the TaBx genes in hexaploid wheat originated in the diploid progenitors and has been retained through the polyploidization.
Project description:Sustainable management of crop productivity and health necessitates improved understanding of the ways in which rhizosphere microbial populations interact with each other, with plant roots and their abiotic environment. In this study we examined the effects of different soils and cultivars, and the presence of a soil-borne fungal pathogen, Verticillium dahliae, on the fungal microbiome of the rhizosphere soil and roots of strawberry plants, using high-throughput pyrosequencing. Fungal communities of the roots of two cultivars, Honeoye and Florence, were statistically distinct from those in the rhizosphere soil of the same plants, with little overlap. Roots of plants growing in two contrasting field soils had high relative abundance of Leptodontidium sp. C2 BESC 319 g whereas rhizosphere soil was characterised by high relative abundance of Trichosporon dulcitum or Cryptococcus terreus, depending upon the soil type. Differences between different cultivars were not as clear. Inoculation with the pathogen V. dahliae had a significant influence on community structure, generally decreasing the number of rhizosphere soil- and root-inhabiting fungi. Leptodontidium sp. C2 BESC 319 g was the dominant fungus responding positively to inoculation with V. dahliae. The results suggest that 1) plant roots select microorganisms from the wider rhizosphere pool, 2) that both rhizosphere soil and root inhabiting fungal communities are influenced by V. dahliae and 3) that soil type has a stronger influence on both of these communities than cultivar.
Project description:There is well-documented evidence that shows phytoremediation and restoration methods affect physical and chemical properties, enzyme activities, and microbial communities of soil. In this study, we investigated the response of soil microbial communities to restoration time. We found that arsenic content decreased gradually as restoration progressed. Total carbon (C) in shoots and total nitrogen (N) in roots of B. ischaemum both exhibited increasing trends with an increase in restoration time. The transfer factor of chromium was negatively correlated to C in shoots and positively correlated to sulfur in roots. Additionally, the transfer factor of lead had a remarkably positive correlation to the C/N ratio of roots. For soil enzymes, total N in soil was positively correlated to catalase and urease but negatively correlated to sucrose. Moreover, bulk soil bacterial composition was positively correlated to catalase, sucrase and phosphatase while fungal diversity was positively correlated to sucrose. This study found that restoration time plays the most significant role in bacterial and fungal composition and bacterial diversity, but it has no effect on fungal diversity in rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere soil. In addition, the driving factors of microbial composition and diversity varied in rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere soil among the different restoration time treatments.