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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Management Practices to Mitigate Global Climate Change, Enhance Bio-Energy Production, Increase Soil-C Stocks & Sustain Soil Productivity...

Location: Soil Plant Nutrient Research (SPNR)

Title: Soil microbiomass vary in their ability to confer drought tolerance to Arabidopsis

Authors
item Zolla, G -
item Badri, Dayakar -
item Manter, Daniel
item Vivanco, Jorge -

Submitted to: Applied Soil Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 14, 2013
Publication Date: April 22, 2013
Citation: Zolla, G., Badri, D., Manter, D.K., Vivanco, J. 2013. Soil microbiomass vary in their ability to confer drought tolerance to Arabidopsis. Applied Soil Ecology. 68:1-9.

Interpretive Summary: Helping plants cope with drought is a major agricultural issue that has been addressed by genetic improvement of crops and recently by using specific soil micro-organisms that confer drought tolerance. Here, we analyzed the effect of using co-adapted and non-co-adapted whole soil microbiomes to help Arabidopsis thaliana plants overcome drought stress. We found that biological and non-biological properties of the soils help the plants deal with drought stress in different degrees. In general, we determined that the Arabidopsis soil microbiome (co-adapted) significantly increased plant biomass at the early stages of development under drought conditions; but ultimately those plants died earlier as a consequence of drought. We hypothesized that the co-adapted soil microbiome made the plant insensitive to sense drought. Accordingly, the expression of several marker genes associated with drought response in Arabidopsis {ATDI21, DREB1A, DREB2A, and NCED3) was reduced on the plants treated with co-adapted soil micorbiomes and kept under drought stress compared to the appropriate controls. Pyrosequencing analysis of the soil microbiomes was conducted in an effort to determine potential groups of microbes present in the co-adapted soils that could be contributing to the reported drought stress response.

Technical Abstract: Helping plants cope with drought is a major agricultural issue that has been addressed by genetic improvement of crops and recently by using specific soil micro-organisms that confer drought tolerance. Here, we analyzed the effect of using co-adapted and non-co-adapted whole soil microbiomes to help Arabidopsis thaliana plants overcome drought stress. We found that biological and non-biological properties of the soils help the plants deal with drought stress in different degrees. In general, we determined that the Arabidopsis soil microbiome (co-adapted) significantly increased plant biomass at the early stages of development under drought conditions; but ultimately those plants died earlier as a consequence of drought. We hypothesized that the co-adapted soil microbiome made the plant insensitive to sense drought. Accordingly, the expression of several marker genes associated with drought response in Arabidopsis {ATDI21, DREB1A, DREB2A, and NCED3) was reduced on the plants treated with co-adapted soil micorbiomes and kept under drought stress compared to the appropriate controls. Pyrosequencing analysis of the soil microbiomes was conducted in an effort to determine potential groups of microbes present in the co-adapted soils that could be contributing to the reported drought stress response.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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