Prairie plants harbor distinct and beneficial root-endophytic bacterial communities

Boahemaa Adu-Oppong, Scott A. Mangan, Claudia Stein, Christopher P. Catano, Jonathan A. Myers, Gautam Dantas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Plant-soil feedback studies attempt to understand the interplay between composition of plant and soil microbial communities. A growing body of literature suggests that plant species can coexist when they interact with a subset of the soil microbial community that impacts plant performance. Most studies focus on the microbial community in the soil rhizosphere; therefore, the degree to which the bacterial community within plant roots (root-endophytic compartment) influences plant-microbe interactions remains relatively unknown. To determine if there is an interaction between conspecific vs heterospecific soil microbes and plant performance, we sequenced root-endophytic bacterial communities of five tallgrass-prairie plant species, each reciprocally grown with soil microbes from each hosts' soil rhizosphere. We found evidence of plant-soil feedbacks for some pairs of plant hosts; however, the strength and direction of feedbacks varied substantially across plant species pairs-from positive to negative feedbacks. Additionally, each plant species harbored a unique subset of root-endophytic bacteria. Conspecifics that hosted similar bacterial communities were more similar in biomass than individuals that hosted different bacterial communities, suggesting an important functional link between root-endophytic bacterial community composition and plant fitness. Our findings suggest a connection between an understudied component of the root-endophytic microbiome and plant performance, which may have important implications in understanding plant community composition and coexistence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0234537
JournalPloS one
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Prairie plants harbor distinct and beneficial root-endophytic bacterial communities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this