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Sharon Long (Stanford) Part 1: Cooperation between bacteria and plants for protein nutrition

www.ibioseminars.org Legume plants form specialized root nodules to host "rhizobia", nitrogen-fixing bacterial symbionts. Plants which can host symbiotic nitrogen fixing rhizobia are able to grow without exogenous nitrogen fertilizer.
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Plant-Microbe Symbioses
Symbiotic associations between plants and microbes
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Science needs Women

Under 30% of the physcists, engineers and computer scientists in the world's knowledge based economies are women. Only about 12% of science-decision-making p...
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Great video. There is still a lot of work to do to chance mentalities.

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High functional diversity within species of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi is associated with differences in phosphate and nitrogen uptake and fungal phosphate metabolism

High functional diversity within species of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi is associated with differences in phosphate and nitrogen uptake and fungal phosphate metabolism | Plant-Microbe Symbioses | Scoop.it
Plant growth responses following colonization with different isolates of a single species of an arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus can range from highly beneficial to detrimental, but the reasons for this high within-species diversity are currently unknown. To examine whether differences in growth and nutritional benefits are related to the phosphate (P) metabolism of the fungal symbiont, the effect of 31 different isolates from 10 AM fungal morphospecies on the P and nitrogen (N) nutrition of Medicago sativa and the P allocation among different P pools was examined. Based on differences in the mycorrhizal growth response, high, medium, and low performance isolates were distinguished. Plant growth benefit was positively correlated to the mycorrhizal effect on P and N nutrition. High performance isolates increased plant biomass by more than 170 % and contributed substantially to both P and N nutrition, whereas the effect of medium performance isolates particularly on the N nutrition of the host was significantly lower. Roots colonized by high performance isolates were characterized by relatively low tissue concentrations of inorganic P and short-chain polyphosphates and a high ratio between long- to short-chain polyphosphates. The high performance isolates belonged to different morphospecies and genera, indicating that the ability to contribute to P and N nutrition is widespread within the Glomeromycota and that differences in symbiotic performance and P metabolism are not specific for individual fungal morphospecies.
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Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity in the Tuber melanosporum brûlé

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity in the Tuber melanosporum brûlé | Plant-Microbe Symbioses | Scoop.it
The development of the fruiting body (truffle) of the ectomycorrhizal fungus Tuber melanosporum is associated with the production of an area (commonly referred to with the French word brûlé) around its symbiotic plant that has scanty vegetation. As truffles produce metabolites that can mediate fungal–plant interactions, the authors wondered whether the brûlé could affect the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) that colonize the patchy herbaceous plants inside the brûlé. A morphological evaluation of the roots of plants collected in 2009 from a T. melanosporum/Quercus pubescens brûlé in France has shown that the herbaceous plants are colonized by AMF to a great extent. An analysis of the 18S rRNA sequences obtained from roots and soil inside the brûlé has shown that the AMF community structure seemed to be affected in the soil inside the brûlé where less richness was observed compared to outside the brûlé.
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OMG... Why did they try to use this French word in English?

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Convergent losses of decay mechanisms and rapid turnover of symbiosis genes in mycorrhizal mutualists

Convergent losses of decay mechanisms and rapid turnover of symbiosis genes in mycorrhizal mutualists | Plant-Microbe Symbioses | Scoop.it
To elucidate the genetic bases of mycorrhizal lifestyle evolution, we sequenced new fungal genomes, including 13 ectomycorrhizal (ECM), orchid (ORM) and ericoid (ERM) species, and five saprotrophs, which we analyzed along with other fungal genomes. Ectomycorrhizal fungi have a reduced complement of genes encoding plant cell wall–degrading enzymes (PCWDEs), as compared to their ancestral wood decayers. Nevertheless, they have retained a unique array of PCWDEs, thus suggesting that they possess diverse abilities to decompose lignocellulose. Similar functional categories of nonorthologous genes are induced in symbiosis. Of induced genes, 7–38% are orphan genes, including genes that encode secreted effector-like proteins. Convergent evolution of the mycorrhizal habit in fungi occurred via the repeated evolution of a 'symbiosis toolkit', with reduced numbers of PCWDEs and lineage-specific suites of mycorrhiza-induced genes.
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I like the term "symbiosis toolkit" :-)

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The importance of "enthusiasm" (for teaching and communicating science)

The importance of "enthusiasm" (for teaching and communicating science) | Plant-Microbe Symbioses | Scoop.it

Next week we'll be talking about "enthusiasm" and how important it is when teaching and communicating science. Here are some quotations about enthusiasm - do you have any favorites?


Via Mary Williams
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So true... passionate and enthusiastic teachers or mentors can change students' lives. It all starts from the heart. 

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Phenotypic and genetic characterization of rhizobia isolated from Hedysarum flexuosum in Northwest region of Morocco.

Seventy bacterial strains were isolated from root nodules of the legume Hedysarum flexuosum grown wild in soils from Northwest Morocco. Repetitive extragenic palindromic (REP)-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) clustered the strains into 30 REP-PCR groups. The nearly complete sequence of the 16S rRNA gene from a representative strain of each REP-PCR pattern showed that 17 strains were closely related to members of the genus Rhizobium of the family Rhizobiaceae of the Alphaproteobacteria. Pairwise alignments between globally aligned sequences of the 16S rRNA gene indicated that the strains from H. flexuosum had 99.75-100% identity with Rhizobium sullae type strain IS123T . The phenotypic characteristics analyzed allowed description of a wide physiological diversity among the isolates, where the carbohydrate assimilation test was the most discriminating. Analysis of the 16S rRNA gene of a representative strains from the remaining 13 REP-PCR groups showed they belong to a wide variety of phylogenetic groups being closely related to species of genera Stenotrophomonas, Serratia, Massilia, Acinetobacter, Achromobacter, and Pseudomonas from the Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria. The R. sullae strains identified in this study produced effective symbiosis with their original host plant. None of the other bacterial strains could form nodules on H. flexuosum.
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Crows, Cars and Cover Crops

A video that touches on the basics of planting a Cover Crop. Please comment if you have a question or comment on cover crops. Especially if you have somethin...
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New light shed on the microbial battleground between soil and roots

New light shed on the microbial battleground between soil and roots | Plant-Microbe Symbioses | Scoop.it
The soil around roots of plants such as barley – one of our most important crops - is a battleground where only certain bacteria can survive, suggests evidence gathered by a Scottish and German research team.

Researchers from the University of Dundee, the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research and the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research used a massive sequencing approach called metagenomics to identify the major groups of bacteria that flourish in and around the roots of barley plants.
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Different Bacterial Populations Associated with the Roots and Rhizosphere of Rice Incorporate Plant-Derived Carbon

Microorganisms associated with the roots of plants have an important function in plant growth and in soil carbon sequestration. Rice cultivation is the second largest anthropogenic source of atmospheric CH4, which is a significant greenhouse gas. Up to 60% of fixed carbon formed by photosynthesis in plants is transported below ground, much of it as root exudates that are consumed by microorganisms. A stable isotope probing (SIP) approach was used to identify microorganisms using plant carbon in association with the roots and rhizosphere of rice plants. Rice plants grown in Italian paddy soil were labeled with 13CO2 for 10 days. RNA was extracted from root material and rhizosphere soil and subjected to cesium gradient centrifugation followed by 16S rRNA amplicon pyrosequencing to identify microorganisms enriched with 13C. Thirty operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were labeled and mostly corresponded to Proteobacteria (13 OTUs) and Verrucomicrobia (8 OTUs). These OTUs were affiliated with the Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, and Deltaproteobacteria classes of Proteobacteria and the “Spartobacteria” and Opitutae classes of Verrucomicrobia. In general, different bacterial groups were labeled in the root and rhizosphere, reflecting different physicochemical characteristics of these locations. The labeled OTUs in the root compartment corresponded to a greater proportion of the 16S rRNA sequences (∼20%) than did those in the rhizosphere (∼4%), indicating that a proportion of the active microbial community on the roots greater than that in the rhizosphere incorporated plant-derived carbon within the time frame of the experiment.
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Genetic study reveals how decay fungi became mycorrhiza

Mycorrhiza, the symbiosis between fungi and plants, has been central in the development of life on Earth.


Via Neelima Sinha
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Neelima Sinha's curator insight, February 27, 2:19 AM
When and how did mycorrhizal fungi evolve?
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Isolation and characterization of an early colonizing Rhizobium sp. R8 from a household toilet bowl

Isolation and characterization of an early colonizing Rhizobium sp. R8 from a household toilet bowl | Plant-Microbe Symbioses | Scoop.it
The bacterial community structure was compared between the third days’, one week’, and three weeks’ biofilm samples from the surface of a household toilet bowl. It was found that the PCR-DGGE band pattern of 16S rRNA gene was dramatically changed after the third day and was not further changed until three weeks. This result suggests that there are early and late colonizing bacterial groups. One of the early colonizers isolated from the third days’ sample was Rhizobium sp. R8, a closest relative to Rhizobium giardinii, which exhibited the highest biofilm formation activity in an artificial urine condition. R8 produced extracellular polysaccharides containing galactose, glucose, and mannose at the molar ratio of 8:1:1, which were probably responsible for the biofilm formation. Its excelled biofilm formation and urease activities together with the lack of nodulation and nitrogen fixing genes in R8 suggest that this strain has been specifically adapted to urine condition in a toilet bowl.

“Rhizobium latrinae” neither forms root nodules nor fixes atmospheric nitrogen, but instead exhibits high urease activity. This finding adds our knowledge about the ecological diversity of Rhizobia.
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Rhizobium latrinae... That's awesome :-)

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Volatile signalling by sesquiterpenes from ectomycorrhizal fungi reprogrammes root architecture

Volatile signalling by sesquiterpenes from ectomycorrhizal fungi reprogrammes root architecture | Plant-Microbe Symbioses | Scoop.it

The mutualistic association of roots with ectomycorrhizal fungi promotes plant health and is a hallmark of boreal and temperate forests worldwide. In the pre-colonization phase, before direct contact, lateral root (LR) production is massively stimulated, yet little is known about the signals exchanged during this step. Here, we identify sesquiterpenes (SQTs) as biologically active agents emitted by Laccaria bicolor while interacting with Populus or Arabidopsis. We show that inhibition of fungal SQT production by lovastatin strongly reduces LR proliferation and that (–)-thujopsene, a low-abundance SQT, is sufficient to stimulate LR formation in the absence of the fungus. Further, we show that the ectomycorrhizal ascomycote, Cenococcum geophilum, which cannot synthesize SQTs, does not promote LRs. We propose that the LR-promoting SQT signal creates a win-win situation by enhancing the root surface area for plant nutrient uptake and by improving fungal access to plant-derived carbon via root exudates.


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Activation of Symbiosis Signaling by Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Legumes and Rice

Establishment of arbuscular mycorrhizal interactions involves plant recognition of diffusible signals from the fungus, including lipochitooligosaccharides (LCOs) and chitooligosaccharides (COs). Nitrogen-fixing rhizobial bacteria that associate with leguminous plants also signal to their hosts via LCOs, the so-called Nod factors. Here, we have assessed the induction of symbiotic signaling by the arbuscular mycorrhizal (Myc) fungal-produced LCOs and COs in legumes and rice (Oryza sativa). We show that Myc-LCOs and tetra-acetyl chitotetraose (CO4) activate the common symbiosis signaling pathway, with resultant calcium oscillations in root epidermal cells of Medicago truncatula and Lotus japonicus. The nature of the calcium oscillations is similar for LCOs produced by rhizobial bacteria and by mycorrhizal fungi; however, Myc-LCOs activate distinct gene expression. Calcium oscillations were activated in rice atrichoblasts by CO4, but not the Myc-LCOs, whereas a mix of CO4 and Myc-LCOs activated calcium oscillations in rice trichoblasts. In contrast, stimulation of lateral root emergence occurred following treatment with Myc-LCOs, but not CO4, in M. truncatula, whereas both Myc-LCOs and CO4 were active in rice. Our work indicates that legumes and non-legumes differ in their perception of Myc-LCO and CO signals, suggesting that different plant species respond to different components in the mix of signals produced by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.
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It's finally published... I may not be totally objective but I think that this is a great paper.

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Peeking into the black box: a trait-based approach to predicting plant–soil feedback

Peeking into the black box: a trait-based approach to predicting plant–soil feedback | Plant-Microbe Symbioses | Scoop.it
Feedbacks between plants and soil communities may be elusive, yet they have far-reaching consequences for plant physiology, competition and community structure. Plant–soil feedbacks (PSFs) are plant-mediated changes to soil properties that ultimately influence the performance of the same or other plants (Van der Putten et al., 2013). These PSFs may be mediated by root-associated organisms (hereafter, root-mediated feedbacks) or saprotrophic organisms and associated litter characteristics (hereafter, litter-mediated feedbacks). However, we know little about the potential mechanistic linkages and relative strengths between these distinct, but connected, processes as root- and litter-mediated feedbacks have generally been studied independently from each other. This is despite the fact that root-associated organisms and saprotrophs can interact through various mechanisms, either directly or as mediated by the plant (e.g. Wardle, 2006). By using a trait-based approach, Ke et al. (in this issue of New Phytologist, pp. 329–341) make an important contribution by integrating root- and litter-mediated PSFs in a nitrogen (N)-based, stage-structured plant population and microbial community model. Their approach allows us to start peeking into the ‘black box’ thereby promoting a better understanding of how PSFs operate interactively. Ke et al. considered various plant traits (e.g. decomposability), but also incorporated trait variation in the physiology, demography and composition of the soil microbial community, and tested their separate and interactive effects on PSF strength in a comprehensive simulation framework. Finally, they used empirical evidence from the literature to support their model predictions.
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Genomic and phenotypic characterization of Rhizobium gallicum phage vB_RglS_P106B

The phage P106B (vB_RglS_P106B) is a Siphoviridae phage with a narrow spectrum of infectivity, which has been isolated from soils with a history of pea cultivation. The trapping host of P106B is an indigenous strain of Rhizobium gallicum (SO14B-4) isolated from soils associated with Vicia cracca. Phenotypic characterization of the phage revealed that P106B has an approximate burst size of 21 p.f.u. per infected cell with 60 min and 100 min eclipse and latent periods, respectively. Phage P106B was unable to transduce under the conditions tested. The genome of P106B is 56 024 bp in length with a mean DNA G+C content of 47.9 %. The complete genome sequence contains 95 putative ORFs and a single tRNA gene coding for leucine with the anticodon TTA. Putative functions could only be assigned to 22 of the predicted ORFs while a significant number of ORFs (47) shared no sequence similarities to previously characterized proteins. The remaining 26 putative protein-coding genes exhibited a sequence resemblance to other hypothetical proteins. No lysogeny-related genes were found in the P106B genome.
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SYMBIOTIC NODULE SENESCENCE IN LEGUMES: MOLECULAR-GENETIC AND CELLULAR ASPECTS (review)

SYMBIOTIC NODULE SENESCENCE IN LEGUMES: MOLECULAR-GENETIC AND CELLULAR ASPECTS (review) | Plant-Microbe Symbioses | Scoop.it
Senescence is the natural stage in development of symbiotic nodule. As a result of senescence, reutilization of different nutrients from nodule to the other plant organs occurs. Generally senescence in legumes is triggered after flowering finishing, although the first traits of senescence can be observed very early during nodule development. A delay of the triggering of senescence program will allow to prolong the active nitrogen-fixation period and therefore to increase the amount of symbiotrophic nitrogen in plants and, finally, to elevate legume productivity. That is why no wonder that in the recent years the senescence of nitrogen-fixing nodules is actively studied. In this review the main developmental stages of nitrogen-fixing symbiotic nodule of legumes, particularities of symbiotic nodule development of determinate and indeterminate types are considered. In legumes with indeterminate nodules, the symbiosomes are not long leaving as the infected tissues are permanently renewing due to apical meristem. There are two subsequent stages identified in an indeterminate nodule senescent. First a bacteroid degradation and the death of some infected cells occur, and then both symbiosomes and all infected cells are destroyed. In determinate nodules, the senescence initiated in the central part of a nodule, then extends to the peripheral zone. In this review morphological characters of nodule senescence at ulatrstructural level are analysed. The role of cysteine and threonine proteases is discussed. Reutilization of nitrogen and other products of protein degradation are probably the most important during senescence. There are the evidences that in the root nodules of legumes the cysteine proteases are involved into nodular functions, adaptation of the host plant cells to physiological stresses, and the nodule senescence control. By a large-scale analysis of nodule transcriptome of Medicago truncatula Gaertn. several gene groups expressed at successive stages of the senescence of indeterminate nodule are revealed. In this review the role of phytohormones, such as ethylene, abscisic acid, jasmonic acid, gibberellins and nitrogen monooxide in senescence of symbiotic nodule is considered. Nevertheless, until recent days our knowledge about hormonal control of a nodule senescence is still incomplete. The oxidative stress, accompanying the process of nodule senescence is discussed. On the nodules aging, the concentrations of peroxides, protein carbonils, modified DNA nucleotides and catalytic Fe increase. Iron activates lipids peroxidation in a peribacteroid space, resulting in degradation of the peribacteroid membrane in senescent nodules. The concentrations of oxidized glutathione and homoglutathion rise significantly during the nodule development, and the reduced forms decrease under senescence, indicating an oxidative stress in the senescing nodules. In this review the role of genes, encoding proteins involved in transport of wide-range of molecules, and genes, whose products are involved in regulatory and signal functions in cell; differences between stress-induced senescence and natural senescence are considered. Using model legumes, Lotus japonicus (Regel) K. Larsen and M. truncatula, several genes were cloned the mutations of which caused early senescence. It is emphasized that these genes encode different proteins involved into functions of a symbiotic nodule. Until now, two transcription factors in M. truncatula are described, which are involved into nodule senescence. An induced senescence is more rapid, comparing to natural senescence, and manifests the signs of an oxidative stress and programmed cell death.
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Evaluation of Methyl Bromide Alternatives Efficacy against Soil-Borne Pathogens, Nematodes and Soil Microbial Community

Evaluation of Methyl Bromide Alternatives Efficacy against Soil-Borne Pathogens, Nematodes and Soil Microbial Community | Plant-Microbe Symbioses | Scoop.it
Methyl bromide (MB) and other alternatives were evaluated for suppression of Fusarium spp., Phytophthora spp., and Meloidogyne spp. and their influence on soil microbial communities. Both Fusarium spp. and Phytophthora spp. were significantly reduced by the MB (30.74 mg kg-1), methyl iodide (MI: 45.58 mg kg-1), metham sodium (MS: 53.92 mg kg-1) treatments. MS exhibited comparable effectiveness to MB in controlling Meloidogyne spp. and total nematodes, followed by MI at the tested rate. By contrast, sulfuryl fluoride (SF: 33.04 mg kg-1) and chloroform (CF: 23.68 mg kg-1) showed low efficacy in controlling Fusarium spp., Phytophthora spp., and Meloidogyne spp. MB, MI and MS significantly lowered the abundance of different microbial populations and microbial biomass in soil, whereas SF and CF had limited influence on them compared with the control. Diversity indices in Biolog studies decreased in response to fumigation, but no significant difference was found among treatments in PLFA studies. Principal component and cluster analyses of Biolog and PLFA data sets revealed that MB and MI treatments greatly influenced the soil microbial community functional and structural diversity compared with SF treatment. These results suggest that fumigants with high effectiveness in suppressing soil-borne disease could significantly influence soil microbial community.
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Composition of fungal and bacterial communities in forest litter and soil is largely determined by dominant trees

Composition of fungal and bacterial communities in forest litter and soil is largely determined by dominant trees | Plant-Microbe Symbioses | Scoop.it

• Forest trees affect community composition of bacteria and fungi in soil and litter.
• More fungi than bacteria are tree-specific, especially in the litter.
• Effects of trees on bacteria are likely mediated by litter or soil pH.
• Both root-symbiotic and saprotrophic fungi are tree-specific.
• Litter and soils under different trees are dominated by different fungi.


Via Francis Martin
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The importance of arbuscular mycorrhiza for Cyclamen purpurascens subsp. immaculatum endemic in Slovakia.

At present, there is no relevant information on arbuscular mycorrhiza and the effect of the symbiosis on the growth of wild populations of cyclamens. To fill this gap, two populations of Cyclamen purpurascens subsp. immaculatum, endemic in Nízke Tatry (NT) mountains and Veľká Fatra (VF) mountains, Slovakia, were studied in situ as well as in a greenhouse pot experiment. For both populations, mycorrhizal root colonization of native plants was assessed, and mycorrhizal inoculation potential (MIP) of the soils at the two sites was determined in 3 consecutive years. In the greenhouse experiment, the growth response of cyclamens to cross-inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) was tested: plants from both sites were grown in their native soils and inoculated with a Septoglomus constrictum isolate originating either from the same or from the other plant locality. Although the MIP of soil at the NT site was significantly higher than at the VF site, the level of AMF root colonization of C. purpurascens subsp. immaculatum plants in the field did not significantly differ between the two localities. In the greenhouse experiment, inoculation with AMF generally accelerated cyclamen growth and significantly increased all growth parameters (shoot dry weight, leaf number and area, number of flowers, tuber, and root dry weight) and P uptake. The two populations of C. purpurascens subsp. immaculatum grown in their native soils, however, differed in their response to inoculation. The mycorrhizal growth response of NT plants was one-order higher compared to VF plants, and all their measured growth parameters were stimulated regardless of the fungal isolates' origin. In the VF plants, only the non-native (NT originating) isolate showed a significant positive effect on several growth traits. It can be concluded that mycorrhiza significantly increased fitness of C. purpurascens subsp. immaculatum, despite the differences between plant populations, implying that AMF symbionts should be taken into account in conservation programs of this endemic plant.
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Symphony of the Soil

Symphony of the Soil | Plant-Microbe Symbioses | Scoop.it
Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance soil. By understanding the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource. The film also examines our human relationship with soil, the use and misuse of soil in agriculture, deforestation and development, and the latest scientific research on soil’s key role in ameliorating the most challenging environmental issues of our time. Filmed on four continents, featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil is an intriguing presentation that highlights possibilities of healthy soil creating healthy plants creating healthy humans living on a healthy planet.
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Great movie. I highly recommend it.

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From environmental microbiology to ecogenomics: spotting the emerging field of fungal–bacterial interactions

From environmental microbiology to ecogenomics: spotting the emerging field of fungal–bacterial interactions | Plant-Microbe Symbioses | Scoop.it

Review from Paola Bonfante

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Rhizosphere Microbial Community Composition Affects Cadmium and Zinc Uptake by the Metal-Hyperaccumulating Plant Arabidopsis halleri

The remediation of metal-contaminated soils by phytoextraction depends on plant growth and plant metal accessibility. Soil microorganisms can affect the accumulation of metals by plants either by directly or indirectly stimulating plant growth and activity or by (im)mobilizing and/or complexing metals. Understanding the intricate interplay of metal-accumulating plants with their rhizosphere microbiome is an important step toward the application and optimization of phytoremediation. We compared the effects of a “native” and a strongly disturbed (gamma-irradiated) soil microbial communities on cadmium and zinc accumulation by the plant Arabidopsis halleri in soil microcosm experiments. A. halleri accumulated 100% more cadmium and 15% more zinc when grown on the untreated than on the gamma-irradiated soil. Gamma irradiation affected neither plant growth nor the 1 M HCl-extractable metal content of the soil. However, it strongly altered the soil microbial community composition and overall cell numbers. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons of DNA extracted from rhizosphere samples of A. halleri identified microbial taxa (Lysobacter, Streptomyces, Agromyces, Nitrospira, “Candidatus Chloracidobacterium”) of higher relative sequence abundance in the rhizospheres of A. halleri plants grown on untreated than on gamma-irradiated soil, leading to hypotheses on their potential effect on plant metal uptake. However, further experimental evidence is required, and wherefore we discuss different mechanisms of interaction of A. halleri with its rhizosphere microbiome that might have directly or indirectly affected plant metal accumulation. Deciphering the complex interactions between A. halleri and individual microbial taxa will help to further develop soil metal phytoextraction as an efficient and sustainable remediation strategy.
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Collaboration between grass seedlings and rhizobacteria to scavenge organic nitrogen in soils

Collaboration between grass seedlings and rhizobacteria to scavenge organic nitrogen in soils | Plant-Microbe Symbioses | Scoop.it
Plants require nitrogen (N) to make proteins, nucleic acids and other biological molecules. It is widely accepted that plants absorb inorganic forms of N to fill their needs. However, recently it has become clear that plants also have the capacity to absorb organic N from soils. In this paper we describe a new kind of symbiosis involving seed-vectored rhizobacteria and grasses that is targeted at enhancing acquisition of organic N from soils. Our proposal is based on results of experiments on seedlings of grass species Festuca arundinacea Schreb., Lolium perenne L. and Poa annua L. that suggest: (i) seed-vectored rhizobacteria colonize seedling roots and influence their development; (ii) reactive oxygen secretion by seedling roots plays a role in organic N procurement by denaturing microbial proteins in the vicinity of roots (daytime activity); and (iii) plant root and microbial proteases degrade denatured proteins prior to absorption by roots (night-time activity). This research involved the following types of studies: (i) seedling root development experiments with and without rhizobacteria on a variety of substrates in agarose media and (ii) isotopic N-tracking experiments to evaluate the absorption into seedlings of N obtained from degradation of proteins. We hypothesize that grasses, in particular, are adapted to scavenge organic N from soils through application of this ‘oxidative nitrogen scavenging’ symbiosis with rhizobacteria, and their soil-permeating root systems. This newly discovered symbiosis in grass species could lead to new ways to cultivate and manage grasses to enhance efficiency of N utilization and reduce applications of inorganic fertilizers.
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Rhizobacteria and grass collaboration

Rhizobacteria and grass collaboration | Plant-Microbe Symbioses | Scoop.it
Plants require nitrogen to make proteins, nucleic acids and other biological molecules. It is widely accepted that plants absorb inorganic forms of nitrogen to fill their needs. However, recently it has become clear that plants also have the capacity to absorb organic nitrogen from soils. In a new study published in AoB PLANTS, White et al. describe a new kind of symbiosis involving seed-vectored rhizobacteria and grasses that is targeted at enhancing acquisition of organic nitrogen from soils. The authors propose a diurnal process where during the day roots produce and release hydrogen peroxide that oxidizes microbial exoenzymes around roots; at night hydrogen peroxide production ceases, then roots and symbiotic rhizobacteria secrete proteases that degrade the oxidized proteins to form peptides that are absorbed by roots. The existence of a mechanism for organic nitrogen scavenging in grasses emphasizes the nutritional importance of non-pathogenic microbes that associate with roots. Future applications of this process could result in new methods for the cultivation of crop plants.
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Structure and Function of the Bacterial Root Microbiota in Wild and Domesticated Barley

Structure and Function of the Bacterial Root Microbiota in Wild and Domesticated Barley | Plant-Microbe Symbioses | Scoop.it

The microbial communities inhabiting the root interior of healthy plants, as well as the rhizosphere, which consists of soil particles firmly attached to roots, engage in symbiotic associations with their host. To investigate the structural and functional diversification among these communities, we employed a combination of 16S rRNA gene profiling and shotgun metagenome analysis of the microbiota associated with wild and domesticated accessions of barley (Hordeum vulgare). Bacterial families Comamonadaceae, Flavobacteriaceae, and Rhizobiaceae dominate the barley root-enriched microbiota. Host genotype has a small, but significant, effect on the diversity of root-associated bacterial communities, possibly representing a footprint of barley domestication. Traits related to pathogenesis, secretion, phage interactions, and nutrient mobilization are enriched in the barley root-associated microbiota. Strikingly, protein families assigned to these same traits showed evidence of positive selection. Our results indicate that the combined action of microbe-microbe and host-microbe interactions drives microbiota differentiation at the root-soil interface.


Via Stéphane Hacquard
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