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Community assembly and stability in the root microbiota during early plant development

Aleklett, K., Rosa, D., Pickles, B. J. ORCID: and Hart, M. M. (2022) Community assembly and stability in the root microbiota during early plant development. Frontiers in Microbiology, 13. ISSN 1664-302X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.826521


Little is known about how community composition in the plant microbiome is affected by events in the life of a plant. For example, when the plant is exposed to soil microbial communities may be an important factor in root community assembly. We conducted two experiments asking if the composition of the root microbiota in mature plants could be determined by either the timing of root exposure to microbial communities or priority effects by early colonizing microbes. Timing of microbial exposure was manipulated through an inoculation experiment where plants of different ages were exposed to a common soil inoculum. Priority effects were manipulated by challenging roots with established microbiota with an exogenous microbial community. Results show that even plants with existing microbial root communities were able to acquire new microbial associates, but that timing of soil exposure affected root microbiota composition for both bacterial and fungal communities in mature plants. Plants already colonized were only receptive to colonizers at one week post germination. Our study shows that timing of soil exposure in the early life stages of a plant is important for development of the root microbiota in mature plants.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:104655


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