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

Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02181

Conservation of the endophyte microbiome structure across two Panicum grass species

  • 1Joint Genome Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, United States
  • 2University of Texas at Austin, United States

Panicum represents a large genus of 100s of North American prairie grass species. These include switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), a biofuel crop candidate with wide geographic range, as well as Panicum hallii, a close relative to switchgrass, which serves as a model system for the study of Panicum genetics due to its diploid genome and short growth cycles. For the advancement of switchgrass as a biofuel crop, it is essential to understand host microbiome interactions, which can be impacted by plant genetics and environmental factors inducing ecotype-specific phenotypic traits. We here compared rhizosphere and root endosphere microbial communities of up- and lowland P. virgatum and P. hallii genotypes planted at two sites in Texas. Our analysis shows that sampling site contributed to most microbial community variability in the rhizosphere, however, impacted root endosphere microbial communities much less. Instead we observed a relatively large core endophytic microbiome dominated by universal root colonizing bacteria Streptomyces, Pseudomonas, and Bradyrhizobium. Endosphere communities displayed comparable diversity and conserved community structures across genotypes of both Panicum species. Functional insights into interactions between P. hallii and its root endophyte microbiome can hence inform testable hypotheses that are relevant for the improvement of switchgrass as a biofuel crop.

Keywords: plant microbiome, rhizosphere, root endosphere, Panicum, biofuel, Core microbiome

Received: 07 Jun 2019; Accepted: 05 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Singer, Bonnette, Woyke and Juenger. 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: Mx. Esther Singer, Joint Genome Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Walnut Creek, United States, esinger@lbl.gov