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Niche-adaptation in plant-associated Bacteroidetes favours specialisation in organic phosphorus mineralisation

Lidbury, I. D. E. A. ORCID:, Borsetto, C. ORCID:, Murphy, A. R. J., Bottrill, A. ORCID:, Jones, A. M. E., Bending, G. D., Hammond, J. P. ORCID:, Chen, Y. ORCID:, Wellington, E. M. H. and Scanlan, D. J. ORCID: (2020) Niche-adaptation in plant-associated Bacteroidetes favours specialisation in organic phosphorus mineralisation. ISME Journal. ISSN 1751-7370

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/s41396-020-00829-2


Bacteroidetes are abundant pathogen-suppressing members of the plant microbiome that contribute prominently to rhizosphere phosphorus mobilisation, a frequent growth-limiting nutrient in this niche. However, the genetic traits underpinning their success in this niche remain largely unknown, particularly regarding their phosphorus acquisition strategies. By combining cultivation, multi-layered omics and biochemical analyses we first discovered that all plant-associated Bacteroidetes express constitutive phosphatase activity, linked to the ubiquitous possession of a unique phosphatase, PafA. For the first time, we also reveal a subset of Bacteroidetes outer membrane SusCD-like complexes, typically associated with carbon acquisition, and several TonB-dependent transporters, are induced during Pi-depletion. Furthermore, in response to phosphate depletion, the plant-associated Flavobacterium used in this study expressed many previously characterised and novel proteins targeting organic phosphorus. Collectively, these enzymes exhibited superior phosphatase activity compared to plant-associated Pseudomonas spp. Importantly, several of the novel low-Pi-inducible phosphatases and transporters, belong to the Bacteroidetes auxiliary genome and are an adaptive genomic signature of plant-associated strains. In conclusion, niche adaptation to the plant microbiome thus appears to have resulted in the acquisition of unique phosphorus scavenging loci in Bacteroidetes, enhancing their phosphorus acquisition capabilities. These traits may enable their success in the rhizosphere and also present exciting avenues to develop sustainable agriculture.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Crop Science
ID Code:94936
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group


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