Location: Range Management ResearchTitle: Can shrub microbiomes influence plant adaptation across ecological gradients? Author
Submitted to: Wildland Shrub Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2010
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Cryptic symbiotic microbes influence host adaptation by improving nutrient uptake or stress tolerance. Current technologies for increasing plant productivity, whether for food and fuel production or for restoration and remediation, often utilize approaches that bypass, rather than leverage, microbial influences. Such technologies are insufficient for reversing desertification and increasing vegetative production to meet the increased demands of expanding populations and changing climates. Improved understanding of host-microbe interactions across ecological gradients may facilitate technology development that harnesses microbial power to augment vegetative production. We have identified numerous seed borne bacterial and fungal taxa believed to be vertically transmitted in Atriplex species, and have demonstrated potential for these microbes to increase plant production. Plans are underway to explore these and other taxa across temporal (evolutionary) and spatial gradients to learn how these microbes influence host plant adaptation to extreme or changing habitats. Findings are expected to magnify existing understanding of microbial interactions in plant ecosystems, providing insights relevant to restoration, carbon sequestration, biofuel, and agricultural technology development.