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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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

Author
item Manter, Daniel
item Broeckling, Corey
item Broz, Amanda
item Bergelson, Joy
item Vivanco, Jorge

Submitted to: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/14/2007
Publication Date: 12/14/2007
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: 8/24/2016
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