Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Plant Gene Expression Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #358471

Research Project: Discovery of Plant Genetic Mechanisms Controlling Microbial Recruitment to the Root Microbiome

Location: Plant Gene Expression Center

Title: Succession in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities

Author
item Gao, Cheng - University Of California
item Montoya, Lilliam - University Of California
item Xu, Ling - University Of California
item Madera, Mary - University Of California
item Hollingsworth, Joy - Kearney Agricultural Center
item Sievert, Julie - Kearney Agricultural Center
item Purdom, Elizabeth - University Of California
item Dahlberg, Jeffrey - Kearney Agricultural Center
item Coleman-derr, Devin
item Lemaux, Peggy - University Of California
item Taylor, John - University Of California

Submitted to: The ISME Journal: Multidisciplinary Journal of Microbial Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/24/2018
Publication Date: 8/31/2018
Citation: Gao, C., Montoya, L., Xu, L., Madera, M., Hollingsworth, J., Sievert, J.A., Purdom, E., Dahlberg, J., Coleman-Derr, D.A., Lemaux, P.G., Taylor, J.W. 2018. Succession in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities. The ISME Journal: Multidisciplinary Journal of Microbial Ecology. doi: 10.1038/s41396-018-0264-0.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41396-018-0264-0

Interpretive Summary: The biology and ecology of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), the uncultivatable, symbionts of 70-90% of plants, are understudied and controversial due to overly-broad methods of species recognition. Here, we address the basic ecological process of succession, or seasonal, temporal change in community composition, using the fungal barcode to more narrowly recognize species found with intensive sampling of a simple, agricultural environment. Our data uncover far stronger signals than previously seen of seasonal temporal change in AMF communities in root, rhizosphere and soil that show the patterns of nestedness and turnover, and the processes of immigration and extinction. Our demonstration of succession suggest that AMF are typical of other eukaryotes in terms of ecology, a theme that is also emerging for their reproductive and cell biology.

Technical Abstract: Here we revisit the basic ecological process of succession using (i) a system with low environmental heterogeneity comprising one soil, one irrigation scheme, two cultivars of the agricultural host plant, Sorghum bicolor, and frequent sampling (17 weekly samples replicated in triplicate) of soil, rhizosphere and roots that cover the time from seedling emergence through fruit maturation, and using (ii) OTUs characterized using ITS2 by a recently published approach. Our data show a signal of succession in AMF communities that is more than an order of magnitude larger than previously reported. To understand the basis for this signal, we explore patterns of the nestedness and turnover, the processes of immigration and extinction, and ask if the processes are deterministic or stochastic, and positively or negatively dependent on initial population size.