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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00581

Rhizobacterial community assembly patterns vary between crop species.

  • 1University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  • 2Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  • 3University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • 4NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • 5Exeter College, Exeter, United Kingdom

Currently our limited understanding of crop rhizosphere community assembly hinders attempts to manipulate it beneficially. Variation in root communities has been attributed to plant host effects, soil type and plant condition, but it is hard to disentangle the relative importance of soil and host without experimental manipulation. To examine the effects of soil origin and host plant on root associated bacterial communities we experimentally manipulated four crop species in split-plot mesocosms and surveyed variation in bacterial diversity by Illumina amplicon sequencing. Overall, plant species had a greater impact than soil type on community composition. While plant species associated with different Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) in different soils, plants tended to recruit bacteria from similar, higher order, taxonomic groups in different soils. However, the effect of soil on root-associated communities varied between crop species: Onion had a relatively invariant bacterial community while other species (maize and pea) had a more variable community structure. Dynamic communities could result from environment specific recruitment, differential bacterial colonization or reflect broader symbiont host range; while invariant community assembly implies tighter evolutionary or ecological interactions between plants and root-associated bacteria. Irrespective of mechanism, it appears both communities and community assembly rules vary between crop species.

Keywords: rhizobacteria, 16s r RNA gene sequencing, commuity structure, Host colonisation, PGPR (Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria)

Received: 05 Dec 2018; Accepted: 06 Mar 2019.

Edited by:

Camille E. Granada, University of Taquari Valley, Brazil

Reviewed by:

Jose R. Valverde, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB), Spain
Ali K. Tan, Putra Malaysia University, Malaysia  

Copyright: © 2019 Matthews, Pierce, hipperson and Raymond. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Andrew Matthews, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom, a.matthews3@exeter.ac.uk