To test direct and indirect effects of glomalin, mycorrhizal hyphae, and roots on aggregate stability, perspex pots separated by 37-[mgr]m nylon mesh in the middle were used to form root-free hyphae and root/hyphae chambers, where trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata) seedlings were colonized by Funneliformis mosseae or Paraglomus occultum in the root/hyphae chamber. Both fungal species induced significantly higher plant growth, root total length, easily-extractable glomalin-related soil protein (EE-GRSP) and total GRSP (T-GRSP), and mean weight diameter (an aggregate stability indicator). The Pearson correlation showed that root colonization or soil hyphal length significantly positively correlated with EE-GRSP, difficultly-extractable GRSP (DE-GRSP), T-GRSP, and water-stable aggregates in 2.00-4.00, 0.50-1.00, and 0.25-0.50[emsp14]mm size fractions. The path analysis indicated that in the root/hyphae chamber, aggregate stability derived from a direct effect of root colonization, EE-GRSP or DE-GRSP. Meanwhile, the direct effect was stronger by EE-GRSP or DE-GRSP than by mycorrhizal colonization. In the root-free hyphae chamber, mycorrhizal-mediated aggregate stability was due to total effect but not direct effect of soil hyphal length, EE-GRSP and T-GRSP. Our results suggest that GRSP among these tested factors may be the primary contributor to aggregate stability in the citrus rhizosphere.
Paradoxically, symbiotic dinitrogen (N2) fixers are abundant in nitrogen (N)-rich, phosphorus (P)-poor lowland tropical rain forests. One hypothesis to explain this pattern states that N2 fixers have an advantage in acquiring soil P by producing more N-rich enzymes (phosphatases) that mineralise organic P than non-N2 fixers. We assessed soil and root phosphatase activity between fixers and non-fixers in two lowland tropical rain forest sites, but also addressed the hypothesis that arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) colonisation (another P acquisition strategy) is greater on fixers than non-fixers. Root phosphatase activity and AM colonisation were higher for fixers than non-fixers, and strong correlations between AM colonisation and N2 fixation at both sites suggest that the N–P interactions mediated by fixers may generally apply across tropical forests. We suggest that phosphatase enzymes and AM fungi enhance the capacity of N2 fixers to acquire soil P, thus contributing to their high abundance in tropical forests.
ms: The present work is aimed to find out the enzymatic activities and phosphate solubilizing efficiency of indigenous rhizobia confined to rice fallows. Study Design: In this experiment we maintained random block design (RBD). Place and Duration of Study: This work was carried out in the Department of Botany and Microbiology, Acharya Nagarjuna University between October 2012 and December 2013. Methodology: In this study, we have isolated 19 Rhizobium strains collected from the healthy root nodules of Vigna mungo cultivated in rice fallows on yeast extract mannitol agar (YEMA) medium. The strains were confirmed as Rhizobia by using Gram staining, growth on YEMA with congo red, growth in Hofer's alkaline broth, growth on glucose peptone agar, acid production, ketolactose test and nodulating ability was tested on homologous hosts by plant infection tests. Phosphate solubilization ability of the isolated Rhizobium strains were carried out Pikovskaya's agar medium. Results: Eight out of 19 strains tested for phosphate solubilizing ability on Pikovskaya's agar medium containing tri calcium phosphate (TCP) as insoluble phosphate source showed zone of TCP solubilization. The strain VM-2 exhibited maximum solubilization after 48 h of incubation, while least activity was found with VM-11. Effect of different carbon and nitrogen sources on phosphate solubilizing ability of Rhizobial strains was tested and maximum phosphate solubilization (799 µg/ml) by VM-2 was observed when glucose and ammonium sulphate were used as carbon and nitrogen sources. Conclusion: In this study it is concluded that along with symbiotic nitrogen fixtation, some Rhizobium species were found to be involved in phosphate solubilization and this ability of phosphate solubilization by the Rhizobiumstrains can be exploited as PGPR.
Soil is a reservoir of an unseen world pulsating with life. Some of these soil organisms are beneficial while others may prove harmful. Microorganisms that adversely affect plant growth and health are pathogenic fungi, oomycetes, bacteria and nematodes. More than 800 million people do not have adequate food; 1.3 billion live on less than $1 a day and at least 10% of global food production is lost to plant disease. Soil-borne plant pathogens are also more recalcitrant to management and control compared to pathogens that attack the aerial portions of the plant. In the last century, the green revolution technologies such as pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and high yielding cultivars were used to overcome these constraints, which resulted in increased natural degradation, raising questions about the sustainability of current agricultural practices. The challenge for the next 50 years is to double food production in a way that does not compromise environmental integrity and public health. One of the answers is AMF: arbuscular mycorrhizae fungi. Various aspects of AMF and AMF associations are discussed in the chapter. The multitude of beneficial effects exhibited by AMF on the health of the plants makes them priceless and a valuable association. AMF associations are therefore an eco-friendly answer to the control of plant pathogens which would otherwise require the heavy use of chemicals, which pollute the environment.
During endosymbiotic interactions between legume plants and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia, successful root infection by bacteria and nodule organogenesis requires the perception and transduction of bacterial lipo-chitooligosaccharidic signal called Nod factor (NF). NF perception in legume roots leads to the activation of an early signaling pathway and of a set of symbiotic genes which is controlled by specific early transcription factors (TFs) including CYCLOPS/IPD3, NSP1, NSP2, ERN1 and NIN. In this study, we bring convincing evidence that the Medicago truncatula CCAAT-box-binding NF-YA1 TF, previously associated with later stages of rhizobial infection and nodule meristem formation is, together with its closest homolog NF-YA2, also an essential positive regulator of the NF-signaling pathway. Here we show that NF-YA1 and NF-YA2 are both expressed in epidermal cells responding to NFs and their knock-down by reverse genetic approaches severely affects the NF-induced expression of symbiotic genes and rhizobial infection. Further over-expression, transactivation and ChIP-PCR approaches indicate that NF-YA1 and NF-YA2 function, at least in part, via the direct activation of ERN1. We thus propose a model in which NF-YA1 and NF-YA2 appear as early symbiotic regulators acting downstream of DMI3 and NIN and possibly within the same regulatory complexes as NSP1/2 to directly activate the expression of ERN1.
Transposable elements (TEs) are ubiquitous inhabitants of eukaryotic genomes and their proliferation and dispersal shape genome architectures and diversity. Nevertheless, TE dynamics are often explored for one species at a time and are rarely considered in ecological contexts. Recent work with plant pathogens suggests a link between symbiosis and TE abundance. The genomes of pathogenic fungi appear to house an increased abundance of TEs, and TEs are frequently associated with the genes involved in symbiosis. To investigate whether this pattern is general, and relevant to mutualistic plant-fungal symbioses, we sequenced the genomes of related asymbiotic (AS) and ectomycorrhizal (ECM) Amanita fungi. Using methods developed to interrogate both assembled and unassembled sequences, we characterized and quantified TEs across three AS and three ECM species, including the AS outgroupVolvariella volvacea. The ECM genomes are characterized by abundant numbers of TEs, an especially prominent feature of unassembled sequencing libraries. Increased TE activity in ECM species is also supported by phylogenetic analysis of the three most abundant TE superfamilies; phylogenies revealed many radiations within contemporary ECM species. However, the AS species Amanita thiersii also houses extensive amplifications of elements, highlighting the influence of additional evolutionary parameters on TE abundance. Our analyses provide further evidence for a link between symbiotic associations among plants and fungi, and increased TE activity, while highlighting the importance individual species’ natural histories may have in shaping genome architecture.
The 17th Australian Nitrogen Fixation Conference will be held at the Waite Precinct, Urrbrae South Australia. The main conference venue will be the Plant Research Centre and the meeting will be co-hosted by the Australian Society for Nitrogen Fixation, the University of Adelaide and SARDI.
The Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is searching broadly at the assistant professor level for a researcher who studies the ecology or epidemiology of plant-associated microbes through the use of emerging and novel quantitative methods. Areas of focus could include, but are not limited to: role of plant pathogens in the ecology of agricultural or natural systems; ecology of plant-associated microbes; population genetics of plant pathogens; metapopulation and dispersal dynamics; or the influence of landscapes and the physical environment on host-pathogen dynamics. The position carries a 70% research / 30% teaching distribution of effort, and a 9-month appointment.
Research Responsibilities: We expect the incumbent to develop a research program with both empirical and theoretical components that form a bridge between basic and applied research. Further, we expect the incumbent to collaborate with colleagues in other programs such as plant biology, microbiology, ecology, modeling and related disciplines. In addition, the successful candidate will be expected to develop a vigorous extramurally funded research program.
Teaching Responsibilities: Teaching responsibilities include leading a graduate level course in ecology, epidemiology and control of plant diseases. The University of Wisconsin attracts excellent graduate students and offers high-quality research and teaching facilities. Many opportunities exist on the campus for collaboration across a broad array of disciplines. The successful candidate will also be expected to teach and mentor graduate and undergraduate students.
The impacts of salt stress (75 mM NaCl) on the ecological efficiency of the genetically polymorphicSinorhizobium meliloti-Medicago truncatula system were studied. Its impact on a symbiotic system results in an increase of the partners’ variability for symbiotic traits and of the symbiosis integrity as indicated by: (a) the specificity of the partners’ interactions-the nonadditive inputs of their genotypes into the variation of symbiotic parameters and (b) the correlative links between these parameters. The structure of the nodD1 locus and the plasmid content correlates to the efficiency of the symbiosis between S. meliloti and M. truncatula genotypes under stress conditions more sufficiently than in the absence of stress. Correlations between the symbiotic efficiency of rhizobia strains and their growth rate outside symbiosis are expressed under stress conditions, not in the absence of stress. Under salt stress symbiotic effectiveness was decreased for M. truncatula line F83005.5, which was salt sensitive for mineral nutrition. The inhibition of symbiotic activity for this line is linked with decreased nodule formation, whereas for Jemalong 6 and DZA315.16 lines it is associated with repressed N2-fixation. It was demonstrated for the first time that salt stress impairs the M. truncatulahabitus (the mass: height ratio increased 2- to 6-fold), which in the salt-resistant cultivar Jemalong 6 is normalized as the result of rhizobia inoculation.
RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 6 (RDR6) and suppressor of gene silencing 3 (SGS3) act together in post-transcriptional transgene silencing mediated by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and in biogenesis of various endogenous siRNAs including the tasiARFs, known regulators of auxin responses and plant development. Legumes, the third major crop family worldwide, has been widely improved through transgenic approaches. Here, we isolated rdr6 and sgs3 mutants in the model legume Medicago truncatula. Two sgs3 and one rdr6 alleles led to strong developmental defects and impaired biogenesis of tasiARFs. In contrast, the rdr6.1 homozygous plants produced sufficient amounts of tasiARFs to ensure proper development. High throughput sequencing of small RNAs from this specific mutant identified 354 potential MtRDR6 substrates, for which siRNA production was significantly reduced in the mutant. Among them, we found a large variety of novel phased loci corresponding to protein-encoding genes or transposable elements. Interestingly, measurement of GFP expression revealed that post-transcriptional transgene silencing was reduced in rdr6.1 roots. Hence, this novel mis-sense mutation, affecting a highly conserved amino acid residue in plant RDR6s, may be an interesting tool both to analyse endogenous pha-siRNA functions and to improve transgene expression, at least in legume species.
Jean-Michel Ané's insight:
Given the silencing problems that we have in Medicago... this could be useful indeed.
Wow lots of mushrooms ,fungi at work , the best fungi for plants is Mycorrhiza. In a mycorrhizal association, the fungus colonizes the host plant's roots, either intracellularly as in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF or AM), or extracellularly as in ectomycorrhizal fungi. They are an important component of soil life and soil chemistry. Read more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycorrhi... you for watching hope it helped in some way.
Jean-Michel Ané's insight:
These are obviously not arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi but... that's OK :-)
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi form a symbiotic association with several plant species. An arbuscule, a finely branched structure of AM fungi, is formed in root cells and plays essential roles in resource exchange. Because arbuscules are ephemeral, host cells containing collapsed arbuscules can be recolonized, and a wide region of roots can be continuously colonized by AM fungi, suggesting that repetitive recolonization in root cells is required for continuous mycorrhization. However, recolonization frequency has not been quantified because of the lack of appropriate markers for visualization of the cellular processes after arbuscule collapse; therefore, the nature of the colonization sequence remains uncertain. Here we observed that a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged secretory carrier membrane protein (SCAMP) of rice was expressed even in cells with collapsed arbuscules, allowing live imaging coupled with GFP–SCAMP to evaluate the colonization and recolonization sequences. The average lifetime of intact arbuscules was 1–2 d. Cells with collapsed arbuscules were rarely recolonized and formed a new arbuscule during the observation period of 5 d, whereas de novo colonization occurred even in close proximity to cells containing collapsed arbuscules and contributed to the expansion of the colonized region. Colonization spread into an uncolonized region of roots but sparsely into a previously colonized region having no metabolically active arbuscule but several intercellular hyphae. Therefore, we propose that a previously colonized region tends to be intolerant to new colonization in rice roots. Our observations highlight the overlooked negative impact of the degeneration stage of arbuscules in the colonization sequence.
Symbioses represent a frequent and successful lifestyle on earth and lichens are one of their classic examples. Recently, bacterial communities were identified as stable, specific and structurally integrated partners of the lichen symbiosis, but their role has remained largely elusive in comparison to the well-known functions of the fungal and algal partners. We have explored the metabolic potentials of the microbiome using the lung lichen Lobaria pulmonaria as the model. Metagenomic and proteomic data were comparatively assessed and visualized by Voronoi treemaps. The study was complemented with molecular, microscopic and physiological assays. We have found that more than 800 bacterial species have the ability to contribute multiple aspects to the symbiotic system, including essential functions such as (i) nutrient supply, especially nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur, (ii) resistance against biotic stress factors (that is, pathogen defense), (iii) resistance against abiotic factors, (iv) support of photosynthesis by provision of vitamin B12, (v) fungal and algal growth support by provision of hormones, (vi) detoxification of metabolites, and (vii) degradation of older parts of the lichen thallus. Our findings showed the potential of lichen-associated bacteria to interact with the fungal as well as algal partner to support health, growth and fitness of their hosts. We developed a model of the symbiosis depicting the functional multi-player network of the participants, and argue that the strategy of functional diversification in lichens supports the longevity and persistence of lichens under extreme and changing ecological conditions.
The mechanisms by which the expression of animal cell death suppressors in economically important plants conferred enhanced stress tolerance are not fully understood. In the present work, the effect of expression of animal antiapoptotic gene Ced-9 in soybean hairy roots was evaluated under root hairs and hairy roots death-inducing stress conditions given by i) Bradyrhizobium japonicum inoculation in presence of 50 mM NaCl, and ii) severe salt stress (150 mM NaCl), for 30 min and 3 h, respectively. We have determined that root hairs death induced by inoculation in presence of 50 mM NaCl showed characteristics of ordered process, with increased ROS generation, MDA and ATP levels, whereas the cell death induced by 150 mM NaCl treatment showed non-ordered or necrotic-like characteristics. The expression of Ced-9 inhibited or at least delayed root hairs death under these treatments. Hairy roots expressing Ced-9 had better homeostasis maintenance, preventing potassium release; increasing the ATP levels and controlling the oxidative damage avoiding the increase of reactive oxygen species production. Even when our results demonstrate a positive effect of animal cell death suppressors in plant cell ionic and redox homeostasis under cell death-inducing conditions, its expression, contrary to expectations, drastically inhibited nodule formation even under control conditions.
Nitrogen-fixing bacteria or diazotrophs have been isolated for many years using different formulations of N-free semi-solid media. However, the strategies used to isolate them, and the recipes of these media, are scattered through the published literature and in other sources that are more difficult to access and which are not always retrievable. Therefore, the aim of this work was to collate the various methods and recipes, and to provide a comprehensive methodological guide and their use by the scientific community working in the field of biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), particularly with non-leguminous plants.
Procedures used for bacterial counting and identification either from rhizosphere soil or on the surface of, or within, plant tissues (to access “endophytic” bacteria) are presented in detail, including colony and cell morphologies. More importantly, appropriate recipes available for each N-free semi-solid culture medium that are used to count and isolate various diazotrophs are presented.
It is recognized by those working in the field of BNF with non-legumes that the development of the N-free semi-solid medium has allowed a tremendous accumulation of knowledge on the ecology and physiology of their associated diazotrophs. At least 20 nitrogen-fixing species have been isolated and identified based on the enrichment method originally developed by Döbereiner, Day and collaborators in the 70’s. In spite of all the advances in molecular techniques used to detect bacteria, in most cases the initial isolation and identification of these diazotrophs still requires semi-solid media.
The introduction of the N-free semi-solid medium opened new opportunities for those working in the area of BNF with non-legumes not only for elucidating the important role played by their associated microorganisms, but also because some of these bacteria that were isolated using semi-solid media are now being recommended as plant growth-promoting inoculants for sugarcane (Saccharum sp.), maize (Zea mays) and wheat (Triticum aestivum) in Brazil and other countries. Further progress in the field could be made by using a combination of culture-independent molecular community analyses, in situ activity assessments with probe-directed enrichment, and isolation of target strains using modified or standard semi-solid media.
Jean-Michel Ané's insight:
These protocols are very useful if you don't want to reinvent the wheel...
Systemic signaling pathways enable multicellular organisms to prepare all of their tissues and cells to an upcoming challenge that may initially only be sensed by a few local cells. They are activated in plants in response to different stimuli including mechanical injury, pathogen infection, and abiotic stresses. Key to the mobilization of systemic signals in higher plants are cell-to-cell communication events that have thus far been mostly unstudied. The recent identification of systemically propagating calcium (Ca2+) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) waves in plants has unraveled a new and exciting cell-to-cell communication pathway that, together with electric signals, could provide a working model demonstrating how plant cells transmit long-distance signals via cell-to-cell communication mechanisms. Here, we summarize recent findings on the ROS and Ca2+ waves and outline a possible model for their integration.
Plants in terrestrial systems have evolved in direct association with microbes functioning as both agonists and antagonists of plant fitness and adaptability. As such, investigations that segregate plants and microbes provide only a limited scope of the biotic interactions that dictate plant community structure and composition in natural systems. Invasive plants provide an excellent working model to compare and contrast the effects of microbial communities associated with natural plant populations on plant fitness, adaptation, and fecundity. The last decade of DNA sequencing technology advancements opened the door to microbial community analysis, which has led to an increased awareness of the importance of an organism’s microbiome and the disease states associated with microbiome shifts. Employing microbiome analysis to study the symbiotic networks associated with invasive plants will help us to understand what microorganisms contribute to plant fitness in natural systems, how different soil microbial communities impact plant fitness and adaptability, specificity of host-microbe interactions in natural plant populations, and the selective pressures that dictate the structure of above-ground and below-ground biotic communities. This review discusses recent advances in invasive plant biology that have resulted from microbiome analyses as well as the microbial factors that direct plant fitness and adaptability in natural systems.
Drought negatively impacts symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) in Cicer arietinum L. (chickpea), thereby limiting yield potential. Understanding how drought affects chickpea nodulation will enable the development of strategies to biotechnologically engineer chickpea varieties with enhanced SNF under drought conditions. By analyzing carbon and nitrogen metabolism, we studied the mechanisms of physiological adjustment of nitrogen fixation in chickpea plants nodulated with Mesorhizobium ciceri during both drought stress and subsequent recovery. The nitrogenase activity, levels of several key carbon (in nodules) and nitrogen (in both nodules and leaves) metabolites and antioxidant compounds, as well as the activity of related nodule enzymes were examined in M. ciceri-inoculated chickpea plants under early drought stress and subsequent recovery. Results indicated that drought reduced nitrogenase activity, and that this was associated with a reduced expression of the nifK gene. Furthermore, drought stress promoted an accumulation of amino acids, mainly asparagine in nodules (but not in leaves), and caused a cell redox imbalance in nodules. An accumulation of organic acids, especially malate, in nodules, which coincided with the decline of nodulated root respiration, was also observed under drought stress. Taken together, our findings indicate that reduced nitrogenase activity occurring at early stages of drought stress involves, at least, the inhibition of respiration, nitrogen accumulation and an imbalance in cell redox status in nodules. The results of this study demonstrate the potential that the genetic engineering-based improvement of SNF efficiency could be applied to reduce the impact of drought on the productivity of chickpea, and perhaps other legume crops.
The Department of Bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (http://www.bact.wisc.edu/) invites applications for a faculty position in bacteriology/microbiology at the Assistant Professor level. The Department is seeking candidates whose research is at the forefront of any area of microbiology with an emphasis broadly on molecular mechanism in any domain of life. The University and Department provide an excellent environment for the development of an outstanding research program. The position carries a commitment to the three functions of resident instruction, research, and outreach/service, as appropriate to the position and rank. Thus, the successful candidate will be expected to develop a vigorous, extramurally-funded, independent research program and to participate in undergraduate and graduate teaching and university service.
The fungus Harpophora oryzae is a close relative of the pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae and a beneficial endosymbiont of wild rice. Here, we show that H. oryzae evolved from a pathogenic ancestor. The overall genomic structures of H. and M. oryzae were found to be similar. However, during interactions with rice, the expression of 11.7% of all genes showed opposing trends in the two fungi, suggesting differences in gene regulation. Moreover, infection patterns, triggering of host defense responses, signal transduction and nutritional preferences exhibited remarkable differentiation between the two fungi. In addition, the H. oryzae genome was found to contain thousands of loci of transposon-like elements, which led to the disruption of 929 genes. Our results indicate that the gain or loss of orphan genes, DNA duplications, gene family expansions and the frequent translocation of transposon-like elements have been important factors in the evolution of this endosymbiont from a pathogenic ancestor.
Plants interact with a large number of soil organisms. For a long time, these interactions have been the research area of soil ecologists and trophic relationships and physico-chemical modifications of the soil matrix were generally proposed as mechanisms underlying plant-soil organism interactions. However, some specific symbioses and diseases have been well characterized at the molecular level by plant biologists and microbiologists. These interactions involve a physical contact between soil organism and plant. They are mediated through signal molecules that play upon the different plant hormonal signalling pathways, leading to modifications in plant development and defence. Nowadays, the role of signal molecules emerges as an important feature of interactions between plants and free-living soil organisms. In this review we discuss genetic and physiological evidences of hormone signalling involvement in plant response to physically associated but also free-living soil organisms, for very different taxa ranging from the micrometer to the centimetre scales. The same hormone signalling pathways seems to be activated by very different kinds of soil organisms such as bacteria, nematodes, collembola and even earthworms, with common consequences on plant growth, development and defence. Plant hormonal homeostasis appears to be the corner stone to understand and predict the issue of the multiple interactions that plants entertain with the community of soil organisms.
AbstractAimsCulturing compost-derived microbial communities on biofuel feedstocks under industrial conditions is a technique to enrich for organisms and lignocellulolytic enzymes for bioenergy feedstock deconstruction.