The plant circadian clock influences rhizosphere community structure and function

Type Article
Date 2018-02
Language English
Author(s) Hubbard Charley J.1, 2, Brock Marcus T.1, Van Diepen Linda Ta2, 3, Maignien Lois4, 5, Ewers Brent E.1, 2, Weinig Cynthia1, 2, 6
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Wyoming, Dept Bot, 1000 Univ Ave,Aven Nelson Room 126, Laramie, WY 82071 USA.
2 : Univ Wyoming, Program Ecol, Laramie, WY 82071 USA.
3 : Univ Wyoming, Ecosyst Sci & Management, Laramie, WY 82071 USA.
4 : Marine Biol Lab, Josephine Bay Paul Ctr, Woods Hole, MA 02543 USA.
5 : Univ Bretagne Occidentale, Inst Europeen Mer, Lab Microbiol Extreme Environm, UMR 6197, Plouzane, France.
6 : Univ Wyoming, Dept Mol Biol, Laramie, WY 82071 USA.
Source Isme Journal (1751-7362) (Nature Publishing Group), 2018-02 , Vol. 12 , N. 2 , P. 400-410
DOI 10.1038/ismej.2017.172
WOS© Times Cited 78

Plants alter chemical and physical properties of soil, and thereby influence rhizosphere microbial community structure. The structure of microbial communities may in turn affect plant performance. Yet, outside of simple systems with pairwise interacting partners, the plant genetic pathways that influence microbial community structure remain largely unknown, as are the performance feedbacks of microbial communities selected by the host plant genotype. We investigated the role of the plant circadian clock in shaping rhizosphere community structure and function. We performed 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing to characterize rhizosphere bacterial communities of Arabidopsis thaliana between day and night time points, and tested for differences in community structure between wild-type (Ws) vs clock mutant (toc1-21, ztl-30) genotypes. We then characterized microbial community function, by growing wild-type plants in soils with an overstory history of Ws, toc1-21 or ztl-30 and measuring plant performance. We observed that rhizosphere community structure varied between day and night time points, and clock misfunction significantly altered rhizosphere communities. Finally, wild-type plants germinated earlier and were larger when inoculated with soils having an overstory history of wild-type in comparison with clock mutant genotypes. Our findings suggest the circadian clock of the plant host influences rhizosphere community structure and function.

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