Project description:Three plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB; Bacillus pumilus ES4, B. pumilus RIZO1, and Azospirillum brasilense Cd) were tested for their ability to enhance plant growth and development of the native Sonoran Desert shrub quailbush (Atriplex lentiformis) and for their effect on the native bacterial community in moderately acidic, high-metal content (AHMT) and in neutral, low metal content natural tailings (NLMT) in controlled greenhouse experiments. Inoculation of quailbush with all three PGPB significantly enhanced plant growth parameters, such as germination, root length, dry weight of shoots and roots, and root/shoot ratio in both types of tailings. The effect of inoculation on the indigenous bacterial community by the most successful PGPB Bacillus pumilus ES4 was evaluated by denaturating gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) fingerprinting and root colonization was followed by specific fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Inoculation with this strain significantly changed the bacterial community over a period of 60 days. FISH analysis showed that the preferred site of colonization was the root tips and root elongation area. This study shows that inoculation of native perennial plants with PGPB can be used for developing technologies for phytostabilizing mine tailings.
Project description:Halophytes classified under the common name of salicornia colonize salty and coastal environments across tidal inundation gradients. To unravel the role of tide-related regimes on the structure and functionality of root associated bacteria, the rhizospheric soil of Salicornia strobilacea (synonym of Halocnemum strobilaceum) plants was studied in a tidal zone of the coastline of Southern Tunisia. Although total counts of cultivable bacteria did not change in the rhizosphere of plants grown along a tidal gradient, significant differences were observed in the diversity of both the cultivable and uncultivable bacterial communities. This observation indicates that the tidal regime is contributing to the bacterial species selection in the rhizosphere. Despite the observed diversity in the bacterial community structure, the plant growth promoting (PGP) potential of cultivable rhizospheric bacteria, assessed through in vitro and in vivo tests, was equally distributed along the tidal gradient. Root colonization tests with selected strains proved that halophyte rhizospheric bacteria (i) stably colonize S. strobilacea rhizoplane and the plant shoot suggesting that they move from the root to the shoot and (ii) are capable of improving plant growth. The versatility in the root colonization, the overall PGP traits and the in vivo plant growth promotion under saline condition suggest that such beneficial activities likely take place naturally under a range of tidal regimes.
Project description:Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has enhanced soil carbon (C) stocks in temperate forests. Most research has posited that these soil C gains are driven primarily by shifts in fungal community composition with elevated N leading to declines in lignin degrading Basidiomycetes. Recent research, however, suggests that plants and soil microbes are dynamically intertwined, whereby plants send C subsidies to rhizosphere microbes to enhance enzyme production and the mobilization of N. Thus, under elevated N, trees may reduce belowground C allocation leading to cascading impacts on the ability of microbes to degrade soil organic matter through a shift in microbial species and/or a change in plant-microbe interactions. The objective of this study was to determine the extent to which couplings among plant, fungal, and bacterial responses to N fertilization alter the activity of enzymes that are the primary agents of soil decomposition. We measured fungal and bacterial community composition, root-microbial interactions, and extracellular enzyme activity in the rhizosphere, bulk, and organic horizon of soils sampled from a long-term (>25 years), whole-watershed, N fertilization experiment at the Fernow Experimental Forest in West Virginia, USA. We observed significant declines in plant C investment to fine root biomass (24.7%), root morphology, and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) colonization (55.9%). Moreover, we found that declines in extracellular enzyme activity were significantly correlated with a shift in bacterial community composition, but not fungal community composition. This bacterial community shift was also correlated with reduced AM fungal colonization indicating that declines in plant investment belowground drive the response of bacterial community structure and function to N fertilization. Collectively, we find that enzyme activity responses to N fertilization are not solely driven by fungi, but instead reflect a whole ecosystem response, whereby declines in the strength of belowground C investment to gain N cascade through the soil environment.
Project description:Plant roots play a dominant role in shaping the rhizosphere, the environment in which interaction with diverse microorganisms occurs. Tracking the dynamics of root-microbe interactions at high spatial resolution is currently limited because of methodological intricacy. Here, we describe a microfluidics-based approach enabling direct imaging of root-bacteria interactions in real time. The microfluidic device, which we termed tracking root interactions system (TRIS), consists of nine independent chambers that can be monitored in parallel. The principal assay reported here monitors behavior of fluorescently labeled Bacillus subtilis as it colonizes the root of Arabidopsis thaliana within the TRIS device. Our results show a distinct chemotactic behavior of B. subtilis toward a particular root segment, which we identify as the root elongation zone, followed by rapid colonization of that same segment over the first 6 h of root-bacteria interaction. Using dual inoculation experiments, we further show active exclusion of Escherichia coli cells from the root surface after B. subtilis colonization, suggesting a possible protection mechanism against root pathogens. Furthermore, we assembled a double-channel TRIS device that allows simultaneous tracking of two root systems in one chamber and performed real-time monitoring of bacterial preference between WT and mutant root genotypes. Thus, the TRIS microfluidics device provides unique insights into the microscale microbial ecology of the complex root microenvironment and is, therefore, likely to enhance the current rate of discoveries in this momentous field of research.
Project description:The wild legume Lotus japonicus engages in mutualistic symbiotic relationships with arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) fungi and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia. Using plants grown in natural soil and community profiling of bacterial 16S rRNA genes and fungal internal transcribed spacers (ITSs), we examined the role of the Lotus symbiosis genes RAM1, NFR5, SYMRK, and CCaMK in structuring bacterial and fungal root-associated communities. We found host genotype-dependent community shifts in the root and rhizosphere compartments that were mainly confined to bacteria in nfr5 or fungi in ram1 mutants, while symrk and ccamk plants displayed major changes across both microbial kingdoms. We observed in all AM mutant roots an almost complete depletion of a large number of Glomeromycota taxa that was accompanied by a concomitant enrichment of Helotiales and Nectriaceae fungi, suggesting compensatory niche replacement within the fungal community. A subset of Glomeromycota whose colonization is strictly dependent on the common symbiosis pathway was retained in ram1 mutants, indicating that RAM1 is dispensable for intraradical colonization by some Glomeromycota fungi. However, intraradical colonization by bacteria belonging to the Burkholderiaceae and Anaeroplasmataceae is dependent on AM root infection, revealing a microbial interkingdom interaction. Despite the overall robustness of the bacterial root microbiota against major changes in the composition of root-associated fungal assemblages, bacterial and fungal cooccurrence network analysis demonstrates that simultaneous disruption of AM and rhizobium symbiosis increases the connectivity among taxa of the bacterial root microbiota. Our findings imply a broad role for Lotus symbiosis genes in structuring the root microbiota and identify unexpected microbial interkingdom interactions between root symbionts and commensal communities.IMPORTANCE Studies on symbiosis genes in plants typically focus on binary interactions between roots and soilborne nitrogen-fixing rhizobia or mycorrhizal fungi in laboratory environments. We utilized wild type and symbiosis mutants of a model legume, grown in natural soil, in which bacterial, fungal, or both symbioses are impaired to examine potential interactions between the symbionts and commensal microorganisms of the root microbiota when grown in natural soil. This revealed microbial interkingdom interactions between the root symbionts and fungal as well as bacterial commensal communities. Nevertheless, the bacterial root microbiota remains largely robust when fungal symbiosis is impaired. Our work implies a broad role for host symbiosis genes in structuring the root microbiota of legumes.
Project description:The development of environmentally sustainable plant and fish production in aquaponic systems requires a complete understanding of the systems' biological components. In order to better understand the role of microorganisms in this association, we studied the bacterial communities in the dry, root, and mineralized zones of a flood-and-drain media bed aquaponic system. Bacterial communities were characterized using metabarcoding of the V3-V4 16S rRNA regions obtained from paired-end Illumina MiSeq reads. Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes accounted for more than 90% of the total community in the dry zone and the effluent water. These phyla also accounted for more than 68% of the total community in the root and mineralized zones. The genera Massilia, Mucilaginibacter, Mizugakiibacter, and Rhodoluna were most dominant in the dry, root, and mineralized zones and in the effluent water, respectively. The number of shared operational taxonomic units (OTUs) for the three zones was 241, representing 7.15% of the total observed OTUs. The number of unique OTUs in samples from dry zone, root zone, mineralized zone, and effluent water was 485, 638, 445, and 383, respectively. The samples from the root zone harbored more diverse communities than either the dry or mineralized zones. This study is the first to report on the bacterial community within the zones of a flood-and-drain media bed. Thus, this information will potentially accelerate studies on other microbial communities involved in the bioconversion of nitrogen compounds and mineralization within these types of aquaponic systems.
Project description:The mutualism pattern of the dark septate endophyte (DSE) Harpophora oryzae in rice roots and its biocontrol potential in rice blast disease caused by Magnaporthe oryzae were investigated. Fluorescent protein-expressing H. oryzae was used to monitor the colonization pattern. Hyphae invaded from the epidermis to the inner cortex, but not into the root stele. Fungal colonization increased with root tissue maturation, showing no colonization in the meristematic zone, slight colonization in the elongation zone, and heavy colonization in the differentiation zone. H. oryzae adopted a biotrophic lifestyle in roots accompanied by programmed cell death. Real-time PCR facilitated the accurate quantification of fungal growth and the respective plant response. The biocontrol potential of H. oryzae was visualized by inoculation with eGFP-tagged M. oryzae in rice. H. oryzae protected rice from M. oryzae root invasion by the accumulation of H2O2 and elevated antioxidative capacity. H. oryzae also induced systemic resistance against rice blast. This systemic resistance was mediated by the OsWRKY45-dependent salicylic acid (SA) signaling pathway, as indicated by the strongly upregulated expression of OsWRKY45. The colonization pattern of H. oryzae was consistent with the typical characteristics of DSEs. H. oryzae enhanced local resistance by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and high antioxidative level and induced OsWRKY45-dependent SA-mediated systemic resistance against rice blast.
Project description:Symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) of transgenic grain legumes might be influenced either by the site of transgene integration into the host genome or due to constitutive expression of transgenes and antibiotic-resistant marker genes. The present investigation confirmed proper nodulation of five tested Bt-chickpea events (IPCa2, IPCa4, IPCT3, IPCT10, and IPCT13) by native Mesorhizobium under field environment. Quantitative variations for nodulation traits among Bt-chickpea were determined and IPCT3 was found superior for nodule number and nodule biomass. Diversity, as well as richness indices, confirmed the changes in bacterial community structure of root and root-nodules from Bt-chickpea events IPCa2 and IPCT10. Especially, Gram-positive bacteria belonging to Firmicutes and Actinobacteria were selectively eliminated from root colonization of IPCa2. Richness indices (CHAO1 and ACE) of the root-associated bacterial community of IPCa2 was 13-14 times lesser than that of parent cv DCP92-3. Root nodule associated bacterial community of IPCT10 was unique with high diversity and richness, similar to the roots of non-Bt and Bt-chickpea. It indicated that the root nodules of IPCT10 might have lost their peculiar characteristics and recorded poor colonization of Mesorhizobium with a low relative abundance of 0.27. The impact of Bt-transgene on bacterial community structure and nodulation traits should be analyzed across the years and locations to understand and stabilize symbiotic efficiency for ecosystem sustainability.
Project description:This study assessed the influence of rhizocompartment types (i.e., root, rhizosphere soil, root-zone soil, and intershrub bulk soil) on the diversity of soil microbial communities under desert leguminous plant shrubs. Moreover, the influence and variations of soil physicochemical factors in interactions among leguminous plants, soil, and microbes were investigated. Both 16S rRNA high-throughput genome sequencing and conventional soil physicochemical index determination were used to characterize both the bacterial diversity and soil physicochemical properties in the rhizocompartments of two Hedysarum species (Hedysarum mongolicum and Hedysarum scoparium) in the Mu Us Desert of China. All nutrient indices (except total phosphorus and available phosphorus) in rhizosphere soil were uniformly higher than those in both root-zone soil and intershrub bulk soil (p < .05). The bacterial community diversity in the root, undershrub soil (i.e., rhizosphere and root zone), and intershrub bulk soil also showed significant differences (p < .05). The bacterial community in the root is mainly composed of Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Tenericutes, and Chloroflexi, among which bacteria of the Proteobacteria genus are dominant. Root endophyte and rhizosphere soil microbiomes were mainly influenced by soil nutrients, while bacterial communities in root-zone soil and intershrub bulk soil were mainly influenced by soil pH and NH4 +-N. The rhizocompartment types of desert leguminous plants impose a significant influence on the diversity of soil microbial communities. According to these findings, nitrogen-fixing rhizobia can co-exist with nonsymbiotic endophytes in the roots of desert leguminous plants. Moreover, plants have a hierarchical filtering and enriching effect on beneficial microbes in soil via rhizocompartments. Soil physicochemical factors have a significant influence on both the structure and composition of microbial communities in various rhizocompartments, which is derived from the interactions among leguminous plants, soil, and microbes.
Project description:Colonization of the root surface, or rhizoplane, is one of the first steps for soil-borne bacteria to become established in the plant microbiome. However, the relative contributions of processes, such as bacterial attachment and proliferation is not well characterized, and this limits our ability to comprehend the complex dynamics of microbial communities in the rhizosphere. The work presented here addresses this knowledge gap. A model system was developed to acquire quantitative data on the colonization process of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. cultivar. All Year Round) roots by Pseudomonas fluorescens isolate SBW25. A theoretical framework is proposed to calculate attachment rate and quantify the relative contribution of bacterial attachment to colonization. This allows the assessment of attachment rates on the root surface beyond the short time period during which it can be quantified experimentally. All techniques proposed are generic and similar analyses could be applied to study various combinations of plants and bacteria, or to assess competition between species. In the future this could allow for selection of microbial traits that improve early colonization and maintenance of targeted isolates in cropping systems, with potential applications for the development of biological fertilizers.