The Plant Microbiome
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EM: Endophytic colonization and biocontrol performance of Pseudomonas fluorescens PICF7 in olive (Olea europaea L.) are determined neither by pyoverdine production nor swimming motility

EM: Endophytic colonization and biocontrol performance of Pseudomonas fluorescens PICF7 in olive (Olea europaea L.) are determined neither by pyoverdine production nor swimming motility | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
Pseudomonas fluorescens PICF7 is an indigenous inhabitant of olive (Olea europaea L.) rhizosphere, able to display endophytic lifestyle in roots, to induce a wide range of defense responses upon colonization of this organ, and to exert effective biological control against Verticillium wilt of olive (VWO) (Verticillium dahliae). We aimed to evaluate the involvement of specific PICF7 phenotypes in olive root colonization and VWO biocontrol effectiveness by generating mutants impaired in swimming motility (fliI) or siderophore pyoverdine production (pvdI). Besides, the performance of mutants with diminished in vitro growth in PDA medium (gltA) and cysteine (Cys) auxotrophy was also assessed. Results showed that olive root colonization and VWO biocontrol ability of the fliI, pvdI, and gltA mutants did not significantly differ to that displayed by the parental strain PICF7. Consequently, altered in vitro growth, swimming motility and pyoverdine production contribute neither to PICF7 VWO suppressive effect nor to its colonization ability. In contrast, the Cys auxotroph mutant showed reduced olive root colonization capacity and lost full biocontrol efficacy. Moreover, confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed that all mutants tested were able to endophytically colonize root tissue to the same extent as wild-type PICF7, discarding these traits as relevant for its endophytic lifestyle.
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Microbial interactions within the plant holobiont | Microbiome |

Microbial interactions within the plant holobiont | Microbiome | | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
Since the colonization of land by ancestral plant lineages 450 million years ago, plants and their associated microbes have been interacting with each other, forming an assemblage of species that is often referred to as a “holobiont.” Selective pressure acting on holobiont components has likely shaped plant-associated microbial communities and selected for host-adapted microorganisms that impact plant fitness. However, the high microbial densities detected on plant tissues, together with the fast generation time of microbes and their more ancient origin compared to their host, suggest that microbe-microbe interactions are also important selective forces sculpting complex microbial assemblages in the phyllosphere, rhizosphere, and plant endosphere compartments. Reductionist approaches conducted under laboratory conditions have been critical to decipher the strategies used by specific microbes to cooperate and compete within or outside plant tissues. Nonetheless, our understanding of these microbial interactions in shaping more complex plant-associated microbial communities, along with their relevance for host health in a more natural context, remains sparse. Using examples obtained from reductionist and community-level approaches, we discuss the fundamental role of microbe-microbe interactions (prokaryotes and micro-eukaryotes) for microbial community structure and plant health. We provide a conceptual framework illustrating that interactions among microbiota members are critical for the establishment and the maintenance of host-microbial homeostasis.
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Disease-induced assemblage of a plant-beneficial bacterial consortium

Disease-induced assemblage of a plant-beneficial bacterial consortium | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
Disease suppressive soils typically develop after a disease outbreak due to the subsequent assembly of protective microbiota in the rhizosphere. The role of the plant immune system in the assemblage of a protective rhizosphere microbiome is largely unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that Arabidopsis thaliana specifically promotes three bacterial species in the rhizosphere upon foliar defense activation by the downy mildew pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis. The promoted bacteria were isolated and found to interact synergistically in biofilm formation in vitro. Although separately these bacteria did not affect the plant significantly, together they induced systemic resistance against downy mildew and promoted growth of the plant. Moreover, we show that the soil-mediated legacy of a primary population of downy mildew infected plants confers enhanced protection against this pathogen in a second population of plants growing in the same soil. Together our results indicate that plants can adjust their root microbiome upon pathogen infection and specifically recruit a group of disease resistance-inducing and growth-promoting beneficial microbes, therewith potentially maximizing the chance of survival of their offspring that will grow in the same soil.

Via Matt Agler
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The Soil-Borne Legacy - Cell

The Soil-Borne Legacy - Cell | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
Plants greatly rely on their root microbiome for uptake of nutrients and protection against stresses. Recent studies have uncovered the involvement of plant stress responses in the assembly of plant-beneficial microbiomes. To facilitate durable crop production, deciphering the driving forces that shape the microbiome is crucial.

Via Ronny Kellner
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Root-Associated Bacterial and Fungal Community Profiles of Arabidopsis thaliana Are Robust Across Contrasting Soil P Levels

Root-Associated Bacterial and Fungal Community Profiles of Arabidopsis thaliana Are Robust Across Contrasting Soil P Levels | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
Plant survival depends on the ability of roots to sense and acquire nutrients in soils, which harbor a rich diversity of microbes. A subset of this microcosm interacts with plant roots and collectively forms root-associated microbial communities, termed the root microbiota. Under phosphorus-limiting conditions, some plants can engage in mutualistic interactions, for example with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Here, we describe how Arabidopsis thaliana, which lacks the genetic capacity for establishing the aforementioned symbiosis, interacts with soil-resident bacteria and fungi in soil from a long-term phosphorus fertilization trial. Long-term, contrasting fertilization regimes resulted in an ∼6-fold and ∼2.4-fold disparity in bioavailable and total phosphorous, respectively, which may explain differences in biomass of A. thaliana plants. Sequencing of marker genes enabled us to characterize bacterial and fungal communities present in the bulk soil, rhizosphere, and root compartments. Phosphorus had little effect on alpha- or beta-diversity indices, but more strongly influences bacterial and fungal community shifts in plant-associated compartments compared with bulk soil. The significant impact of soil P abundance could only be resolved at operational taxonomic unit level, and these subtle differences are more pronounced in the root compartment. We conclude that despite decades of different fertilization, both bacterial and fungal soil communities remained unexpectedly stable in soils tested, suggesting that the soil biota is resilient over time to nutrient supplementation. Conversely, low-abundance, root-associated microbes, which collectively represent 2 to 3% of the relative abundance of bacteria and fungi in the roots, exhibited a subtle
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The soil microbiome — from metagenomics to metaphenomics

The soil microbiome — from metagenomics to metaphenomics | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
Soil microorganisms carry out important processes, including support of plant growth and cycling of carbon and other nutrients. However, the majority of soil microbes have not yet been isolated and their functions are largely unknown. Although metagenomic sequencing reveals microbial identities and functional gene information, it includes DNA from microbes with vastly varying physiological states. Therefore, metagenomics is only predictive of community functional potential. We posit that the next frontier lies in understanding the metaphenome, the product of the combined genetic potential of the microbiome and available resources. Here we describe examples of opportunities towards gaining understanding of the soil metaphenome.
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The Populus holobiont: dissecting the effects of plant niches and genotype on the microbiome | Microbiome | Full Text

The Populus holobiont: dissecting the effects of plant niches and genotype on the microbiome | Microbiome | Full Text | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
Microorganisms serve important functions within numerous eukaryotic host organisms. An understanding of the variation in the plant niche-level microbiome, from rhizosphere soils to plant canopies, is imperative to gain a better understanding of how both the structural and functional processes of microbiomes impact the health of the overall plant holobiome. Using Populus trees as a model ecosystem, we characterized the archaeal/bacterial and fungal microbiome across 30 different tissue-level niches within replicated Populus deltoides and hybrid Populus trichocarpa × deltoides individuals using 16S and ITS2 rRNA gene analyses. Our analyses indicate that archaeal/bacterial and fungal microbiomes varied primarily across broader plant habitat classes (leaves, stems, roots, soils) regardless of plant genotype, except for fungal communities within leaf niches, which were greatly impacted by the host genotype. Differences between tree genotypes are evident in the elevated presence of two potential fungal pathogens, Marssonina brunnea and Septoria sp., on hybrid P. trichocarpa × deltoides trees which may in turn be contributing to divergence in overall microbiome composition. Archaeal/bacterial diversity increased from leaves, to stem, to root, and to soil habitats, whereas fungal diversity was the greatest in stems and soils. This study provides a holistic understanding of microbiome structure within a bioenergy relevant plant host, one of the most complete niche-level analyses of any plant. As such, it constitutes a detailed atlas or map for further hypothesis testing on the significance of individual microbial taxa within specific niches and habitats of Populus and a baseline for comparisons to other plant species.

Via Alejandro Rojas
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Native soils with their microbiotas elicit a state of alert in tomato plants

Native soils with their microbiotas elicit a state of alert in tomato plants | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it

Several studies have investigated soil microbial biodiversity, but understanding of the mechanisms underlying plant responses to soil microbiota remains in its infancy. Here, we focused on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), testing the hypothesis that plants grown on native soils display different responses to soil microbiotas. Using transcriptomics, proteomics, and biochemistry, we describe the responses of two tomato genotypes (susceptible or resistant to Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici) grown on an artificial growth substrate and two native soils (conducive and suppressive to Fusarium). Native soils affected tomato responses by modulating pathways involved in responses to oxidative stress, phenol biosynthesis, lignin deposition, and innate immunity, particularly in the suppressive soil. In tomato plants grown on steam-disinfected soils, total phenols and lignin decreased significantly. The inoculation of a mycorrhizal fungus partly rescued this response locally and systemically. Plants inoculated with the fungal pathogen showed reduced disease symptoms in the resistant genotype in both soils, but the susceptible genotype was partially protected from the pathogen only when grown on the suppressive soil. The ‘state of alert’ detected in tomatoes reveals novel mechanisms operating in plants in native soils and the soil microbiota appears to be one of the drivers of these plant responses.

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Rhizobia: from saprophytes to endosymbionts

Rhizobia: from saprophytes to endosymbionts | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
Rhizobia are some of the best-studied plant microbiota. These oligotrophic Alphaproteobacteria or Betaproteobacteria form symbioses with their legume hosts. Rhizobia must exist in soil and compete with other members of the microbiota before infecting legumes and forming N2-fixing bacteroids. These dramatic lifestyle and developmental changes are underpinned by large genomes and even more complex pan-genomes, which encompass the whole population and are subject to rapid genetic exchange. The ability to respond to plant signals and chemoattractants and to colonize nutrient-rich roots are crucial for the competitive success of these bacteria. The availability of a large body of genomic, physiological, biochemical and ecological studies makes rhizobia unique models for investigating community interactions and plant colonization.


Via Jean-Michel Ané
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Assembly and ecological function of the root microbiome across angiosperm plant species

Assembly and ecological function of the root microbiome across angiosperm plant species | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it

Across plants and animals, host-associated microbial communities play fundamental roles in host nutrition, development, and immunity. The factors that shape host–microbiome interactions are poorly understood, yet essential for understanding the evolution and ecology of these symbioses. Plant roots assemble two distinct microbial compartments from surrounding soil: the rhizosphere (microbes surrounding roots) and the endosphere (microbes within roots). Root-associated microbes were key for the evolution of land plants and underlie fundamental ecosystem processes. However, it is largely unknown how plant evolution has shaped root microbial communities, and in turn, how these microbes affect plant ecology, such as the ability to mitigate biotic and abiotic stressors. Here we show that variation among 30 angiosperm species, which have diverged for up to 140 million years, affects root bacterial diversity and composition. Greater similarity in root microbiomes between hosts leads to negative effects on plant performance through soil feedback, with specific microbial taxa in the endosphere and rhizosphere potentially affecting competitive interactions among plant species. Drought also shifts the composition of root microbiomes, most notably by increasing the relative abundance of the Actinobacteria. However, this drought response varies across host plant species, and host-specific changes in the relative abundance of endosphere Streptomyces are associated with host drought tolerance. Our results emphasize the causes of variation in root microbiomes and their ecological importance for plant performance in response to biotic and abiotic stressors.

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The genome and microbiome of a dikaryotic fungus (Inocybe terrigena, Inocybaceae) revealed by metagenomics

The genome and microbiome of a dikaryotic fungus (Inocybe terrigena, Inocybaceae) revealed by metagenomics | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
Recent advances in molecular methods have increased our understanding of various fungal symbioses. However, little is known about genomic and microbiome features of most uncultured symbiotic fungal clades. Here, we analysed the genome and microbiome of Inocybaceae (Agaricales, Basidiomycota), a largely uncultured ectomycorrhizal clade known to form symbiotic associations with a wide variety of plant species. We used metagenomic sequencing and assembly of dikaryotic fruiting-body tissues from Inocybe terrigena (Fr.) Kuyper, to classify fungal and bacterial genomic sequences, and obtained a nearly complete fungal genome containing 93% of core eukaryotic genes. Comparative genomics reveals that I. terrigena is more similar to previously published ectomycorrhizal and brown rot fungi than white rot fungi. The reduction in lignin degradation capacity has been independent from and significantly faster than in closely related ectomycorrhizal clades supporting that ectomycorrhizal symbiosis evolved independently in Inocybe. The microbiome of I. terrigena fruiting-bodies includes bacteria with known symbiotic functions in other fungal and non-fungal host environments, suggesting potential symbiotic functions of these bacteria in fungal tissues regardless of habitat conditions. Our study demonstrates the usefulness of direct metagenomics analysis of fruiting-body tissues for characterizing fungal genomes and microbiome.

Via Francis Martin, Steve Marek
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Symbiont switching and alternative resource acquisition strategies drive mutualism breakdown

Symbiont switching and alternative resource acquisition strategies drive mutualism breakdown | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it

Cooperative interactions among species, termed mutualisms, have played a crucial role in the evolution of life on Earth. However, despite key potential benefits to partners, there are many examples in which mutualisms break down, and two species cease to cooperate. What factors drive these breakdowns? We examined the pathways towards the evolutionary breakdown of the mutualism between plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Using a comparative approach, we identify ~25 independent cases of mutualism breakdown across global seed plants. We found that breakdown of cooperation was only stable when host plants either: (i) partner with other root symbionts or (ii) evolve alternative resource acquisition strategies. Our results suggest that key mutualistic services are only permanently lost if hosts evolve alternative symbioses or adaptations.


Via Steve Marek
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Precision medicine using microbiota

Precision medicine using microbiota | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
Accumulating evidence indicates that dysregulation of microbiota-host interactions associates with various diseases, including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), colorectal cancer, diabetes, and liver cirrhosis (1). Recently, research has generated paradigm shifts in concepts about the interactions between bacteria and cancer therapeutic drugs. For example, bacteria modulate the antitumor efficacy in preclinical models of various chemotherapies (2–4) and immunotherapeutic agents (5, 6). Conceptually, these findings suggest that bacteria-mediated interactions with the immune system are essential for optimal drug efficacy. However, there is limited information regarding the functional impact of the composition of the human microbiome and therapeutic outcomes in cancer patients. On pages 91, 97, and 104 of this issue, Routy et al. (7), Gopalakrishnan et al. (8), and Matson et al. (9), respectively, address this important issue and demonstrate that patients can be stratified into responders and nonresponders to immunotherapy on the basis of the composition of their intestinal microbiomes, suggesting that microbiota should be considered when assessing therapeutic intervention.

Via Ryohei Thomas Nakano
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Genomic features of bacterial adaptation to plants

Genomic features of bacterial adaptation to plants | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
Plants intimately associate with diverse bacteria. Plant-associated bacteria have ostensibly evolved genes that enable them to adapt to plant environments. However, the identities of such genes are mostly unknown, and their functions are poorly characterized. We sequenced 484 genomes of bacterial isolates from roots of Brassicaceae, poplar, and maize. We then compared 3,837 bacterial genomes to identify thousands of plant-associated gene clusters. Genomes of plant-associated bacteria encode more carbohydrate metabolism functions and fewer mobile elements than related non-plant-associated genomes do. We experimentally validated candidates from two sets of plant-associated genes: one involved in plant colonization, and the other serving in microbe–microbe competition between plant-associated bacteria. We also identified 64 plant-associated protein domains that potentially mimic plant domains; some are shared with plant-associated fungi and oomycetes. This work expands the genome-based understanding of plant–microbe interactions and provides potential leads for efficient and sustainable agriculture through microbiome engineering.

Via Matt Agler
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Steve Marek's curator insight, December 19, 2017 10:30 AM
"identified 64 plant-associated protein domains that potentially mimic plant domains; some are shared with plant-associated fungi and oomycetes"
WillistonPlantPath's curator insight, December 20, 2017 2:43 PM
484 bacterial genomes. wow.
Rescooped by Stéphane Hacquard from Plant pathogenic fungi
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Transcriptome landscape of a bacterial pathogen under plant immunity

Transcriptome landscape of a bacterial pathogen under plant immunity | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
Plants have evolved a powerful innate immune system to defend against microbial pathogens. Despite extensive studies, how plant immunity ultimately inhibits bacterial pathogen growth is largely unknown, due to difficulties in profiling bacterial responses in planta . In this study, we established two methods for in planta bacterial transcriptome analysis using RNA sequencing. By analyzing 27 combinations of plant immunity mutants and Pseudomonas syringae strains, we succeeded in the identification of specific bacterial transcriptomic signatures that are influenced by plant immune activation. In addition, we found that overexpression of an immune-responsive P. syringae sigma factor gene involved in iron regulation could partially counter bacterial growth restriction during plant immunity. This study illuminates the enigmatic mechanisms of bacterial growth inhibition by plant immunity.

Plant pathogens can cause serious diseases that impact global agriculture. The plant innate immunity, when fully activated, can halt pathogen growth in plants. Despite extensive studies into the molecular and genetic bases of plant immunity against pathogens, the influence of plant immunity in global pathogen metabolism to restrict pathogen growth is poorly understood. Here, we developed RNA sequencing pipelines for analyzing bacterial transcriptomes in planta and determined high-resolution transcriptome patterns of the foliar bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae in Arabidopsis thaliana with a total of 27 combinations of plant immunity mutants and bacterial strains. Bacterial transcriptomes were analyzed at 6 h post infection to capture early effects of plant immunity on bacterial processes and to avoid secondary effects caused by different bacterial population densities in planta . We identified specific “immune-responsive” bacterial genes and processes, including those that are activated in susceptible plants and suppressed by plant immune activation. Expression patterns of immune-responsive bacterial genes at the early time point were tightly linked to later bacterial growth levels in different host genotypes. Moreover, we found that a bacterial iron acquisition pathway is commonly suppressed by multiple plant immune-signaling pathways. Overexpression of a P. syringae sigma factor gene involved in iron regulation and other processes partially countered bacterial growth restriction during the plant immune response triggered by AvrRpt2. Collectively, this study defines the effects of plant immunity on the transcriptome of a bacterial pathogen and sheds light on the enigmatic mechanisms of bacterial growth inhibition during the plant immune response.

Via Giannis Stringlis, Steve Marek
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Influence of resistance breeding in common bean on rhizosphere microbiome composition and function - ISME

Influence of resistance breeding in common bean on rhizosphere microbiome composition and function - ISME | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
The rhizosphere microbiome has a key role in plant growth and health, providing a first line of defense against root infections by soil-borne pathogens. Here, we investigated the composition and metabolic potential of the rhizobacterial community of different common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) cultivars with variable levels of resistance to the fungal root pathogen Fusarium oxysporum (Fox). For the different bean cultivars grown in two soils with contrasting physicochemical properties and microbial diversity, rhizobacterial abundance was positively correlated with Fox resistance. Pseudomonadaceae, bacillaceae, solibacteraceae and cytophagaceae were more abundant in the rhizosphere of the Fox-resistant cultivar. Network analyses showed a modular topology of the rhizosphere microbiome of the Fox-resistant cultivar, suggesting a more complex and highly connected bacterial community than in the rhizosphere of the Fox-susceptible cultivar. Metagenome analyses further revealed that specific functional traits such as protein secretion systems and biosynthesis genes of antifungal phenazines and rhamnolipids were more abundant in the rhizobacterial community of the Fox-resistant cultivar. Our findings suggest that breeding for Fox resistance in common bean may have co-selected for other unknown plant traits that support a higher abundance of specific beneficial bacterial families in the rhizosphere with functional traits that reinforce the first line of defense.

Via Ronny Kellner
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Compositional shifts in root-associated bacterial and archaeal microbiota track the plant life cycle in field-grown rice

Compositional shifts in root-associated bacterial and archaeal microbiota track the plant life cycle in field-grown rice | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it

Plant roots are colonized by complex communities of bacterial and archaeal microbiota from the soil, with the potential to affect plant nutrition and fitness. Although root-associated microbes are known to have the potential to be utilized to promote crop productivity, their exploitation has been hindered by a lack of understanding of the compositional dynamics of these communities. Here we investigate temporal changes in the root-associated bacterial and archaeal communities throughout the plant life cycle in field-grown rice over multiple seasons and locations. Our results indicate that root microbiota composition varies with both chronological age and the developmental stage of the plants. We find that a major compositional shift correlates with the transition to reproductive growth, suggestive of distinct root microbiota associations for the juvenile and adult plant phases. The results from this study highlight dynamic relationships between plant growth and associated microbiota that should be considered in strategies for the successful manipulation of microbial communities to enhance crop performance.

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Rescooped by Stéphane Hacquard from Host-Microbe Interactions. Plant Biology.
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Design of synthetic bacterial communities for predictable plant phenotypes

Design of synthetic bacterial communities for predictable plant phenotypes | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
Author summary Symbiotic microbes influence host development and health, but predicting which microbes or groups of microbes will have a helpful or harmful effect is a major challenge in microbiome research. In this article, we describe a new method to design and predict bacterial communities that alter the plant host response to phosphate starvation. The method uses plant–bacterium binary-association assays to define groups of bacteria that elicit similar effects on the host plant. By constructing partially overlapping bacterial communities, we demonstrated that it is possible to modify phosphate accumulation in the plant shoot and the induction of plant phosphate starvation genes in a controlled manner. We found that bacterial colonization of the plant root does not predict the capacity to produce this phenotype. We evaluated the predictive performance of different statistical models and identified one best able to predict the behavior of untested communities. Our work demonstrates that studying a subset of all possible bacterial communities is sufficient to anticipate the outcome of novel bacterial combinations, and we establish that it is possible to deduce causality between microbiome composition and host phenotypes in complex systems.

Via Tatsuya Nobori
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The impact of bacteriophages on phyllosphere bacterial abundance and composition

The impact of bacteriophages on phyllosphere bacterial abundance and composition | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it

Interactions between bacteria and bacteriophage viruses (phages) are known to influence pathogen growth and virulence, microbial diversity, and even biogeochemical cycling. Lytic phages in particular infect and lyse their host cells, and can therefore have significant effects on cell densities as well as competitive dynamics within microbial communities. Despite the known impacts of lytic phages on the ecology and evolution of bacteria in free-living communities, little is known about the role of lytic phages in host-associated microbiomes. We set out to characterize the impact of phages in the tomato phyllosphere, i.e., the bacteria associated with above-ground plant tissues, by transferring microbial communities from field-grown tomato plants to juvenile plants grown under mostly sterile conditions in either the presence or absence of their associated phage community. In three separate experiments, we found that the presence of phages affects overall bacterial abundance during colonization of new host plants. Furthermore, bacterial community analysis using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing shows that phages significantly alter the relative abundance of dominant community members and can influence both within- and among-host diversity. These results underscore the importance of lytic phages in host-associated microbiomes and are relevant to microbiome transplantation approaches, as they suggest transferring non-bacterial components of the microbiome among hosts is likely to have a strong impact on growth of both the resident and donor microbiota.

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Suppression of the activity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi by the soil microbiota

Suppression of the activity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi by the soil microbiota | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) colonise roots of most plants; their extra-radical mycelium (ERM) extends into the soil and acquires nutrients for the plant. The ERM coexists with soil microbial communities and it is unresolved whether these communities stimulate or suppress the ERM activity. This work studied the prevalence of suppressed ERM activity and identified main components behind the suppression. ERM activity was determined by quantifying ERM-mediated P uptake from radioisotope-labelled unsterile soil into plants, and compared to soil physicochemical characteristics and soil microbiome composition. ERM activity varied considerably and was greatly suppressed in 4 of 21 soils. Suppression was mitigated by soil pasteurisation and had a dominating biotic component. AMF-suppressive soils had high abundances of Acidobacteria, and other bacterial taxa being putative fungal antagonists. Suppression was also associated with low soil pH, but this effect was likely indirect, as the relative abundance of, e.g., Acidobacteria decreased after liming. Suppression could not be transferred by adding small amounts of suppressive soil to conducive soil, and thus appeared to involve the common action of several taxa. The presence of AMF antagonists resembles the phenomenon of disease-suppressive soils and implies that ecosystem services of AMF will depend strongly on the specific soil microbiome.

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Frontiers | Drought Stress and Root-Associated Bacterial Communities | Plant Science

Frontiers | Drought Stress and Root-Associated Bacterial Communities | Plant Science | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
Root-associated bacterial communities play a vital role in maintaining health of the plant host. These communities exist in complex relationships, where composition and abundance of community members is dependent on a number of factors such as local soil chemistry, plant genotype and phenotype, and perturbations in the surrounding abiotic environment. One common perturbation, drought, has been shown to have drastic effects on bacterial communities, yet little is understood about the underlying causes behind observed shifts in microbial abundance. As drought may affect root bacterial communities both directly by modulating moisture availability, as well as indirectly by altering soil chemistry and plant phenotypes, we provide a synthesis of observed trends in recent studies and discuss possible directions for future research that we hope will provide for more knowledgeable predictions about community responses to future drought events.
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Abiotic Stresses Shift Belowground Populus-Associated Bacteria Toward a Core Stress Microbiome

Abiotic Stresses Shift Belowground Populus-Associated Bacteria Toward a Core Stress Microbiome | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it

Adverse growth conditions can lead to decreased plant growth, productivity, and survival, resulting in poor yields or failure of crops and biofeedstocks. In some cases, the microbial community associated with plants has been shown to alleviate plant stress and increase plant growth under suboptimal growing conditions. A systematic understanding of how the microbial community changes under these conditions is required to understand the contribution of the microbiome to water utilization, nutrient uptake, and ultimately yield. Using a microbiome inoculation strategy, we studied how the belowground microbiome of Populus deltoides changes in response to diverse environmental conditions, including water limitation, light limitation (shading), and metal toxicity. While plant responses to treatments in terms of growth, photosynthesis, gene expression and metabolite profiles were varied, we identified a core set of bacterial genera that change in abundance in response to host stress. The results of this study indicate substantial structure in the plant microbiome community and identify potential drivers of the phytobiome response to stress.

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Fungal networks shape dynamics of bacterial dispersal and community assembly in cheese rind microbiomes

Fungal networks shape dynamics of bacterial dispersal and community assembly in cheese rind microbiomes | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it

Most studies of bacterial motility have examined small-scale (micrometer–centimeter) cell dispersal in monocultures. However, bacteria live in multispecies communities, where interactions with other microbes may inhibit or facilitate dispersal. Here, we demonstrate that motile bacteria in cheese rind microbiomes use physical networks created by filamentous fungi for dispersal, and that these interactions can shape microbial community structure. Serratia proteamaculans and other motile cheese rind bacteria disperse on fungal networks by swimming in the liquid layers formed on fungal hyphae. RNA-sequencing, transposon mutagenesis, and comparative genomics identify potential genetic mechanisms, including flagella-mediated motility, that control bacterial dispersal on hyphae. By manipulating fungal networks in experimental communities, we demonstrate that fungal-mediated bacterial dispersal can shift cheese rind microbiome composition by promoting the growth of motile over non-motile community members. Our single-cell to whole-community systems approach highlights the interactive dynamics of bacterial motility in multispecies microbiomes.

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Cropping practices manipulate abundance patterns of root and soil microbiome members paving the way to smart farming

Cropping practices manipulate abundance patterns of root and soil microbiome members paving the way to smart farming | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
Harnessing beneficial microbes presents a promising strategy to optimize plant growth and agricultural sustainability. Little is known to which extent and how specifically soil and plant microbiomes can be manipulated through different cropping practices. Here, we investigated soil and wheat root microbial communities in a cropping system experiment consisting of conventional and organic managements, both with different tillage intensities. While microbial richness was marginally affected, we found pronounced cropping effects on community composition, which were specific for the respective microbiomes. Soil bacterial communities were primarily structured by tillage, whereas soil fungal communities responded mainly to management type with additional effects by tillage. In roots, management type was also the driving factor for bacteria but not for fungi, which were generally determined by changes in tillage intensity. To quantify an “effect size” for microbiota manipulation, we found that about 10% of variation in microbial communities was explained by the tested cropping practices. Cropping sensitive microbes were taxonomically diverse, and they responded in guilds of taxa to the specific practices. These microbes also included frequent community members or members co-occurring with many other microbes in the community, suggesting that cropping practices may allow manipulation of influential community members. Understanding the abundance patterns of cropping sensitive microbes presents the basis towards developing microbiota management strategies for smart farming. For future targeted microbiota management—e.g., to foster certain microbes with specific agricultural practices—a next step will be to identify the functional traits of the cropping sensitive microbes.
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Jonathan Lapleau's curator insight, January 20, 5:50 AM
Combining cropping practices and soil microbes management = smart farming. We are at the beginning of big changes in agriculture.
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Frontiers | A Community-Based Culture Collection for Targeting Novel Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria from the Sugarcane Microbiome | Plant Science

Frontiers | A Community-Based Culture Collection for Targeting Novel Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria from the Sugarcane Microbiome | Plant Science | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
The soil-plant ecosystem harbors an immense microbial diversity that challenges investigative approaches to study traits underlying plant-microbe association. Studies solely based on culture-dependent techniques have overlooked most microbial diversity. Here we describe the concomitant use of culture-dependent and -independent techniques to target plant-beneficial microbial groups from the sugarcane microbiome. The community-based culture collection (CBC) approach was used to access microbes from roots and stalks. The CBC recovered 399 unique bacteria representing 15.9% of the rhizosphere core microbiome and 61.6–65.3% of the endophytic core microbiomes of stalks. By cross-referencing the CBC (culture-dependent) with the sugarcane microbiome profile (culture-independent), we designed a synthetic community comprised of naturally occurring highly abundant bacterial groups from roots and stalks, most of which has been poorly explored so far. We then used maize as a model to probe the abundance-based synthetic inoculant. We show that when inoculated in maize plants, members of the synthetic community efficiently colonize plant organs, displace the natural microbiota and dominate at 53.9% of the rhizosphere microbial abundance. As a result, inoculated plants increased biomass by 3.4-fold as compared to uninoculated plants. The results demonstrate that abundance-based synthetic inoculants can be successfully applied to recover beneficial plant microbes from plant microbiota.
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Rescooped by Stéphane Hacquard from MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions
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Comparative genomics and transcriptomics depict ericoid mycorrhizal fungi as versatile saprotrophs and plant mutualists 

Comparative genomics and transcriptomics depict ericoid mycorrhizal fungi as versatile saprotrophs and plant mutualists  | The Plant Microbiome | Scoop.it
Some soil fungi in the Leotiomycetes form ericoid mycorrhizal (ERM) symbioses with Ericaceae. In the harsh habitats in which they occur, ERM plant survival relies on nutrient mobilization from soil organic matter (SOM) by their fungal partners. The characterization of the fungal genetic machinery underpinning both the symbiotic lifestyle and SOM degradation is needed to understand ERM symbiosis functioning and evolution, and its impact on soil carbon (C) turnover.
We sequenced the genomes of the ERM fungi Meliniomyces bicolor, M. variabilis, Oidiodendron maius and Rhizoscyphus ericae, and compared their gene repertoires with those of fungi with different lifestyles (ecto- and orchid mycorrhiza, endophytes, saprotrophs, pathogens). We also identified fungal transcripts induced in symbiosis.
The ERM fungal gene contents for polysaccharide-degrading enzymes, lipases, proteases and enzymes involved in secondary metabolism are closer to those of saprotrophs and pathogens than to those of ectomycorrhizal symbionts. The fungal genes most highly upregulated in symbiosis are those coding for fungal and plant cell wall-degrading enzymes (CWDEs), lipases, proteases, transporters and mycorrhiza-induced small secreted proteins (MiSSPs).
The ERM fungal gene repertoire reveals a capacity for a dual saprotrophic and biotrophic lifestyle. This may reflect an incomplete transition from saprotrophy to the mycorrhizal habit, or a versatile life strategy similar to fungal endophytes.

Via Francis Martin
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