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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING SOIL AND NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS FOR SUSTAINED PRODUCTIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Location: Soil Plant Nutrient Research (SPNR)

Title: Root exudate diversity regulates soil fungal community composition and diversity

Authors
item MANTER, DANIEL
item Broeckling, Corey - CO ST U, FT. COLINS, CO
item Broz, Amanda - CO ST U, FT. COLLINS, CO
item Bergelson, Joy - U OF CHICAGO
item Vivanco, Jorge - CO ST U, FT. COLLINS, CO

Submitted to: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 14, 2007
Publication Date: December 14, 2007
Citation: Manter, D.K., Broeckling, C., Broz, A., Bergelson, J., Vivanco, J. 2007. Root exudate diversity regulates soil fungal community composition and diversity. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 74:738-744.

Interpretive Summary: Plant diversity is thought to influence diversity of the soil microbial community, though how this occurs is poorly understood. We report that under greenhouse conditions, two model plant species (Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago truncatula) show an inability to support the native soil fungal community biodiversity and biomass in novel soils, but maintain the established fungal community when grown in their natural resident soils. We show that this is mediated largely through root exudates, as the effects of in-vitro generated root exudates were qualitatively and quantitatively similar to the results observed for whole plants. This effect is observed for total fungal biomass, phylotype diversity, and overall compositional similarity to the starting community. Non-resident plants and root exudates influenced the fungal community by both positively and negatively influencing growth of individual phylotypes. A net increase in diversity was observed when non-resident root exudates were added to resident plant treatments, indicating that the exudate composition can directly affect soil fungal diversity, presumably through increases in specific carbon substrates and/or signaling compounds. This report establishes root exudates as a mechanism through which a plant is able to regulate the soil fungal community.

Technical Abstract: Plant diversity is thought to influence diversity of the soil microbial community, though how this occurs is poorly understood. We report that under greenhouse conditions, two model plant species (Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago truncatula) show an inability to support the native soil fungal community biodiversity and biomass in novel soils, but maintain the established fungal community when grown in their natural resident soils. We show that this is mediated largely through root exudates, as the effects of in-vitro generated root exudates were qualitatively and quantitatively similar to the results observed for whole plants. This effect is observed for total fungal biomass, phylotype diversity, and overall compositional similarity to the starting community. Non-resident plants and root exudates influenced the fungal community by both positively and negatively influencing growth of individual phylotypes. A net increase in diversity was observed when non-resident root exudates were added to resident plant treatments, indicating that the exudate composition can directly affect soil fungal diversity, presumably through increases in specific carbon substrates and/or signaling compounds. This report establishes root exudates as a mechanism through which a plant is able to regulate the soil fungal community.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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