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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: A Systems Approach to Understand the Interactions of Potatoes with Their Soil Microbial Environment

Location: Soil Plant Nutrient Research (SPNR)

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Conduct laboratory and field studies to analyze the potential interaction between soil microbes and plant physiology and gene expression.

Aim 1. Microbial characterization and root/tuber EST library development from field samples. Characterize rhizopshere soil and root-endophyte microbial communities (by 454 sequencing) from nine potato varieties grown simultaneously in potato-producing areas of Texas (hot, dry), Colorado (extreme diurnal temperature fluctuations, dry) and Oregon (warm, moist). These varieties are grown as part of the Western Regional Potato trials and have been selected based on successful agronomic characteristics.

Aim 2. Evaluate community-level plant-microbial interactions under controlled conditions. To better control the confounding environmental effects, the same nine potato varieties from Aim 1, but obtained from in-vitro collections, will be grown in a greenhouse in soils collected from six different geographic locations, some of which have grown potato and others that have never been exposed to potato. The varieties will be grown on each of the six soils under greenhouse conditions for two generations. We will conduct the following analyses: • Determine the composition of the rhizosphere and root- endophyte microbial communities (using 454 sequencing) at the end of each generation (harvest time). • Primary metabolite profiles of roots and root exudates (of in vitro grown plants) will be analyzed close to harvest time.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
A combination of field, green house, and laboratory studies to analyze the soil microbiome, as well as plant biochemistry including the root exudates.


3.Progress Report:

Project inactive in FY 2012.


Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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