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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01682

Metagenomic functional shifts to plant induced environmental changes

  • 1Department of Plant, Food and Environmental Sciences, Dalhousie University, Canada
  • 2Dalhousie University, Canada
  • 3Dalhousie University, Canada
  • 4CGEB-Integrated Microbiome Resource (IMR) and Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, Canada

The Vaccinium angustifolium (wild blueberry) agricultural system involves transformation of the environment surrounding the plant to intensify plant propagation and to improve fruit yield, and therefore is an advantageous model to study the interaction between soil microorganisms and plant-host interactions. We studied this system to address the question of a trade-off between microbial adaptation to a plant-influenced environment and its general metabolic capabilities. We found that many basic metabolic functions were similarly represented in bulk soil and rhizosphere microbiomes overall. However, we identified a niche-specific difference in functions potentially beneficial for microbial survival in the rhizosphere but that might also reduce the ability of microbes to withstand stresses in bulk soils. These functions could provide the microbiome with additional capabilities to respond to environmental fluctuations in the rhizosphere triggered by changes in the composition of root exudates. Based on our analysis we hypothesize that the rhizosphere-specific pathways involved in xenobiotics biodegradation could provide the microbiome with functional flexibility to respond to plant stress status.

Keywords: Metagenome, Functions, rhizosphere, tradeoff, Network interaction

Received: 24 Mar 2019; Accepted: 08 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Giorgio Gambino, Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection, Italian National Research Council (IPSP-CNR), Italy

Reviewed by:

Yuan Wang, Noble Research Institute, LLC, United States
Dana L. Carper, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (DOE), United States
Marnix H. Medema, Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands  

Copyright: © 2019 Yurgel, Nearing, Douglas and Langille. 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. Svetlana N. Yurgel, Dalhousie University, Department of Plant, Food and Environmental Sciences, Halifax, Canada, syurgel@dal.ca