Project description:BACKGROUD:Foliicolous algae are a common occurrence in tropical forests. They are referable to a few simple morphotypes (unicellular, sarcinoid-like or filamentous), which makes their morphology of limited usefulness for taxonomic studies and species diversity assessments. The relationship between algal community and their host phyllosphere was not clear. In order to obtain a more accurate assessment, we used single molecule real-time sequencing of the 18S rDNA gene to characterize the eukaryotic algal community in an area of South-western China. RESULT:We annotated 2922 OTUs belonging to five classes, Ulvophyceae, Trebouxiophyceae, Chlorophyceae, Dinophyceae and Eustigmatophyceae. Novel clades formed by large numbers sequences of green algae were detected in the order Trentepohliales (Ulvophyceae) and the Watanabea clade (Trebouxiophyceae), suggesting that these foliicolous communities may be substantially more diverse than so far appreciated and require further research. Species in Trentepohliales, Watanabea clade and Apatococcus clade were detected as the core members in the phyllosphere community studied. Communities from different host trees and sampling sites were not significantly different in terms of OTUs composition. However, the communities of Musa and Ravenala differed from other host plants significantly at the genus level, since they were dominated by Trebouxiophycean epiphytes. CONCLUSION:The cryptic diversity of eukaryotic algae especially Chlorophytes in tropical phyllosphere is very high. The community structure at species-level has no significant relationship either with host phyllosphere or locations. The core algal community in tropical phyllopshere is consisted of members from Trentepohliales, Watanabea clade and Apatococcus clade. Our study provided a large amount of novel 18S rDNA sequences that will be useful to unravel the cryptic diversity of phyllosphere eukaryotic algae and for comparisons with similar future studies on this type of communities.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The phyllosphere is an important microbial habitat, but our understanding of how plant hosts drive the composition of their associated leaf microbial communities and whether taxonomic associations between plants and phyllosphere microbes represent adaptive matching remains limited. In this study, we quantify bacterial functional diversity in the phyllosphere of 17 tree species in a diverse neotropical forest using metagenomic shotgun sequencing. We ask how hosts drive the functional composition of phyllosphere communities and their turnover across tree species, using host functional traits and phylogeny. RESULTS:Neotropical tree phyllosphere communities are dominated by functions related to the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and energy acquisition, along with environmental signalling pathways involved in membrane transport. While most functional variation was observed within communities, there is non-random assembly of microbial functions across host species possessing different leaf traits. Metabolic functions related to biosynthesis and degradation of secondary compounds, along with signal transduction and cell-cell adhesion, were particularly important in driving the match between microbial functions and host traits. These microbial functions were also evolutionarily conserved across the host phylogeny. CONCLUSIONS:Functional profiling based on metagenomic shotgun sequencing offers evidence for the presence of a core functional microbiota across phyllosphere communities of neotropical trees. While functional turnover across phyllosphere communities is relatively small, the association between microbial functions and leaf trait gradients among host species supports a significant role for plant hosts as selective filters on phyllosphere community assembly. This interpretation is supported by the presence of phylogenetic signal for the microbial traits driving inter-community variation across the host phylogeny. Taken together, our results suggest that there is adaptive matching between phyllosphere microbes and their plant hosts. Video abstract.
Project description:The phyllosphere--the aerial surfaces of plants, including leaves--is a ubiquitous global habitat that harbors diverse bacterial communities. Phyllosphere bacterial communities have the potential to influence plant biogeography and ecosystem function through their influence on the fitness and function of their hosts, but the host attributes that drive community assembly in the phyllosphere are poorly understood. In this study we used high-throughput sequencing to quantify bacterial community structure on the leaves of 57 tree species in a neotropical forest in Panama. We tested for relationships between bacterial communities on tree leaves and the functional traits, taxonomy, and phylogeny of their plant hosts. Bacterial communities on tropical tree leaves were diverse; leaves from individual trees were host to more than 400 bacterial taxa. Bacterial communities in the phyllosphere were dominated by a core microbiome of taxa including Actinobacteria, Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammaproteobacteria, and Sphingobacteria. Host attributes including plant taxonomic identity, phylogeny, growth and mortality rates, wood density, leaf mass per area, and leaf nitrogen and phosphorous concentrations were correlated with bacterial community structure on leaves. The relative abundances of several bacterial taxa were correlated with suites of host plant traits related to major axes of plant trait variation, including the leaf economics spectrum and the wood density-growth/mortality tradeoff. These correlations between phyllosphere bacterial diversity and host growth, mortality, and function suggest that incorporating information on plant-microbe associations will improve our ability to understand plant functional biogeography and the drivers of variation in plant and ecosystem function.
Project description:Phyllosphere fungi harbor a tremendous species diversity and play important ecological roles. However, little is known about their distribution patterns within forest ecosystems. We examined how species diversity and community composition of phyllosphere fungi change along a vertical structure in a tropical forest in Thailand. Fungal communities in 144 leaf samples from 19 vertical layers (1.28-34.4 m above ground) of 73 plant individuals (27 species) were investigated by metabarcoding analysis using Ion Torrent sequencing. In total, 1,524 fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were detected among 890,710 reads obtained from the 144 leaf samples. Taxonomically diverse fungi belonging to as many as 24 orders of Ascomycota and 21 orders of Basidiomycota were detected, most of which inhabited limited parts of the lowest layers closest to the forest floor. Species diversity of phyllosphere fungi was the highest in the lowest layers closest to the forest floor, decreased with increasing height, and lowest in the canopy; 742 and 55 fungal OTUs were detected at the lowest and highest layer, respectively. On the layers close to the forest floor, phyllosphere fungal communities were mainly composed of low frequency OTUs and largely differentiated among plant individuals. Conversely, in the canopy, fungal communities consisted of similar OTUs across plant individuals, and as many as 86.1%-92.7% of the OTUs found in the canopy (?22 m above ground) were also distributed in the lower layers. Overall, our study showed the variability of phyllosphere fungal communities along the vertical gradient of plant vegetation and environmental conditions, suggesting the significance of biotic and abiotic variation for the species diversity of phyllosphere fungi.
Project description:Microbial symbionts account for survival, development, fitness and evolution of eukaryotic hosts. These microorganisms together with their host form a biological unit known as holobiont. Recent studies have revealed that the holobiont of agaves and cacti comprises a diverse and structured microbiome, which might be important for its adaptation to drylands. Here, we investigated the functional signatures of the prokaryotic communities of the soil and the episphere, that includes the rhizosphere and phyllosphere, associated with the cultivated Agave tequilana and the native and sympatric Agave salmiana, Opuntia robusta and Myrtillocactus geometrizans by mining shotgun metagenomic data. Consistent with previous phylogenetic profiling, we found that Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Firmicutes were the main represented phyla in the episphere of agaves and cacti, and that clustering of metagenomes correlated with the plant compartment. In native plants, genes related to aerobic anoxygenic phototrophy and photosynthesis were enriched in the phyllosphere and soil, while genes coding for biofilm formation and quorum sensing were enriched in both epiphytic communities. In the episphere of cultivated A. tequilana fewer genes were identified, but they belonged to similar pathways than those found in native plants. A. tequilana showed a depletion in several genes belonging to carbon metabolism, secondary metabolite biosynthesis and xenobiotic degradation suggesting that its lower microbial diversity might be linked to functional losses. However, this species also showed an enrichment in biofilm and quorum sensing in the epiphytic compartments, and evidence for nitrogen fixation in the rhizosphere. Aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic markers were represented by Rhizobiales (Methylobacterium) and Rhodospirillales (Belnapia) in the phyllosphere, while photosystem genes were widespread in Bacillales and Cyanobacteria. Nitrogen fixation and biofilm formation genes were mostly related to Proteobacteria. These analyses support the idea of niche differentiation in the rhizosphere and phyllosphere of agaves and cacti and shed light on the potential mechanisms by which epiphytic microbial communities survive and colonize plants of arid and semiarid ecosystems. This study establishes a guideline for testing the relevance of the identified functional traits on the microbial community and the plant fitness.
Project description:Plant roots influence the soil microbiota via physical interaction, secretion, and plant immunity. However, it is unclear whether the root fraction or soil is more important in determining the structure of the prokaryotic or eukaryotic community and whether this varies between plant species. Furthermore, the leaf (phyllosphere) and root microbiotas have a large overlap; however, it is unclear whether this results from colonization of the phyllosphere by the root microbiota. Soil, rhizosphere, rhizoplane, and root endosphere prokaryote-, eukaryote-, and fungus-specific microbiotas of four plant species were analyzed with high-throughput sequencing. The strengths of factors controlling microbiota structure were determined using permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) statistics. The origin of the phyllosphere microbiota was investigated using a soil swap experiment. Global microbial kingdom analysis conducted simultaneously on multiple plants shows that cereals, legumes, and Brassicaceae establish similar prokaryotic and similar eukaryotic communities inside and on the root surface. While the bacterial microbiota is recruited from the surrounding soil, its profile is influenced by the root itself more so than by soil or plant species. However, in contrast, the fungal microbiota is most strongly influenced by soil. This was observed in two different soils and for all plant species examined. Microbiota structure is established within 2 weeks of plant growth in soil and remains stable thereafter. A reciprocal soil swap experiment shows that the phyllosphere is colonized from the soil in which the plant is grown.IMPORTANCE Global microbial kingdom analysis conducted simultaneously on multiple plants shows that cereals, legumes, and Brassicaceae establish similar prokaryotic and similar eukaryotic communities inside and on the root surface. While the bacterial microbiota is recruited from the surrounding soil, its profile is influenced by the root fraction more so than by soil or plant species. However, in contrast, the fungal microbiota is most strongly influenced by soil. This was observed in two different soils and for all plant species examined, indicating conserved adaptation of microbial communities to plants. Microbiota structure is established within 2 weeks of plant growth in soil and remains stable thereafter. We observed a remarkable similarity in the structure of a plant's phyllosphere and root microbiotas and show by reciprocal soil swap experiments that both fractions are colonized from the soil in which the plant is grown. Thus, the phyllosphere is continuously colonized by the soil microbiota.
Project description:The phyllosphere of floating macrophytes in paddy soil ecosystems, a unique habitat, may support large microbial communities but remains largely unknown. We took Wolffia australiana as a representative floating plant and investigated its phyllosphere bacterial community and the underlying driving forces of community modulation in paddy soil ecosystems using Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform-based 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. The results showed that the phyllosphere of W. australiana harbored considerably rich communities of bacteria, with Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes as the predominant phyla. The core microbiome in the phyllosphere contained genera such as Acidovorax, Asticcacaulis, Methylibium, and Methylophilus. Complexity of the phyllosphere bacterial communities in terms of class number and ?-diversity was reduced compared to those in corresponding water and soil. Furthermore, the bacterial communities exhibited structures significantly different from those in water and soil. These findings and the following redundancy analysis (RDA) suggest that species sorting played an important role in the recruitment of bacterial species in the phyllosphere. The compositional structures of the phyllosphere bacterial communities were modulated predominantly by water physicochemical properties, while the initial soil bacterial communities had limited impact. Taken together, the findings from this study reveal the diversity and uniqueness of the phyllosphere bacterial communities associated with the floating macrophytes in paddy soil environments.
Project description:Phyllosphere microbial communities are highly diverse and have important ecological implications; in that context, bacterial identification based on 16S rRNA genes is an important research issue. In studies of phyllosphere microbial communities, microporous filtration and centrifugation are used to collect microorganism samples, but it is unclear which one has a better collection efficiency. In this study, we compared these two microorganism collection methods and investigated the effects of the DNA extraction process on the estimation of microbial community composition and organization. The following four treatments were examined: (A) filtration, resuspension, and direct PCR; (B) filtration, DNA isolation, and PCR; (C) centrifugation, resuspension, and direct PCR; (D) centrifugation, DNA isolation, and PCR. Our results showed that the percentage of chloroplast sequence contaminants was affected by the DNA extraction process. The bacterial compositions clearly differed between treatments A and C, suggesting that the collection method has an influence on the determination of community structure. Compared with treatments B and D, treatments A and C resulted in higher Shannon index values, indicating that the DNA extraction process might reduce the observed phyllosphere microbial alpha diversity. However, with respect to community structure, treatments B and D yielded very similar results, suggesting that the DNA extraction process erases the effect of the collection method. Our findings provide key information to ensure accurate estimates of diversity and community composition in studies of phyllosphere microorganisms.
Project description:The Arctic is highly sensitive to increasing global temperatures and is projected to experience dramatic ecological shifts in the next few decades. Oligosaline lakes are common in arctic regions where evaporation surpasses precipitation, however these extreme microbial communities are poorly characterized. Many oligosaline lakes, in contrast to freshwater ones, experience annual blooms of haptophyte algae that generate valuable alkenone biomarker records that can be used for paleoclimate reconstruction. These haptophyte algae are globally important, and globally distributed, aquatic phototrophs yet their presence in microbial molecular surveys is scarce. To target haptophytes in a molecular survey, we compared microbial community structure during two haptophyte bloom events in an arctic oligosaline lake, Lake BrayaSø in southwestern Greenland, using high-throughput pyrotag sequencing. Our comparison of two annual bloom events yielded surprisingly low taxon overlap, only 13% for bacterial and 26% for eukaryotic communities, which indicates significant annual variation in the underlying microbial populations. Both the bacterial and eukaryotic communities strongly resembled high-altitude and high latitude freshwater environments. In spite of high alkenone concentrations in the water column, and corresponding high haptophyte rRNA gene copy numbers, haptophyte pyrotag sequences were not the most abundant eukaryotic tag, suggesting that sequencing biases obscured relative abundance data. With over 170 haptophyte tag sequences, we observed only one haptophyte algal Operational Taxonomic Unit, a prerequisite for accurate paleoclimate reconstruction from the lake sediments. Our study is the first to examine microbial diversity in a Greenland lake using next generation sequencing and the first to target an extreme haptophyte bloom event. Our results provide a context for future explorations of aquatic ecology in the warming arctic.
Project description:<h4>Unlabelled</h4>Bacteria living on the aerial parts of plants (the phyllosphere) are globally abundant and ecologically significant communities and can have significant effects on their plant hosts. Despite their importance, little is known about the ecological processes that drive phyllosphere dynamics. Here, we describe the development of phyllosphere bacterial communities over time on the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana in a controlled greenhouse environment. We used a large number of replicate plants to identify repeatable dynamics in phyllosphere community assembly and reconstructed assembly history by measuring the composition of the airborne community immigrating to plant leaves. We used more than 260,000 sequences from the v5v6 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene to characterize bacterial community structure on 32 plant and 21 air samples over 73 days. We observed strong, reproducible successional dynamics: phyllosphere communities initially mirrored airborne communities and subsequently converged to a distinct community composition. While the presence or absence of particular taxa in the phyllosphere was conserved across replicates, suggesting strong selection for community composition, the relative abundance of these taxa was highly variable and related to the spatial association of individual plants. Our results suggest that stochastic events in early colonization, coupled with dispersal limitation, generated alternate trajectories of bacterial community assembly within the context of deterministic selection for community membership.<h4>Importance</h4>Commensal bacteria associated with plants help protect their hosts against infection and promote growth. Bacteria associated with plant leaves (the "phyllosphere") are highly abundant and diverse communities, but we have very limited information about their ecology. Here, we describe the formation of phyllosphere communities on the plant model organism Arabidopsis thaliana. We grew a large number of plants in a greenhouse and measured bacterial diversity in the phyllosphere throughout the Arabidopsis life cycle. We also measured the diversity of airborne microbes landing on leaves. Our findings show that plants develop distinctive phyllosphere bacterial communities drawn from low-abundance air populations, suggesting the plant environment is favorable for particular organisms and not others. However, we also found that the relative abundances of bacteria in the phyllosphere are determined primarily by the physical proximity of individual plants. This suggests that a mixture of selective and random forces shapes phyllosphere communities.