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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Crop Bioprotection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #361940

Research Project: Development of New Production Methodologies for Biocontrol Agents and Fastidious Microbes to Improve Plant Disease Management

Location: Crop Bioprotection Research

Title: Decoding wheat endosphere-rhizosphere microbiomes in Rhizoctonia solani infested soils challenged by Streptomyces biocontrol agents

item ARAUJO, RICARDO - Flinders University
item Dunlap, Christopher
item BARNETT, STEVE - Flinders University
item FRANCO, CHRISTOPHER - Flinders University

Submitted to: Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/24/2019
Publication Date: 8/26/2019
Citation: Araujo, R., Dunlap, C.A., Barnett, S., Franco, C. 2019. Decoding wheat endosphere-rhizosphere microbiomes in Rhizoctonia solani-infested soils challenged by Streptomyces biocontrol agents. Environmental Microbiology. 10:1038. https://doi:10.3389/fpls.2019.01038.

Interpretive Summary: ARS researchers from Peoria, IL collaborated with scientists from Flinders University in Australia to understand how treating wheat with microbial biocontrol agents alter the microbes inside the roots. Two of the three biocontrol agents tested had a significant impact on the microbes inside the roots of wheat during the first few weeks of growth. The biocontrol agents were also determined to persist in the root environment for approximately 8 weeks after inoculation. The research shows wheat seedlings undergo a dramatic shift in root microbes during the first few months of growth. This study will allow us to better understand the mode of action of these beneficial microbes. This research benefits U.S. farmers and consumers that rely on wheat.

Technical Abstract: The endosphere and the rhizosphere are pertinent milieus with microbial communities that perturb the agronomic traits of crop plants through beneficial or detrimental interactions. In this study we challenged these communities by adding Streptomyces biocontrol strains to wheat seeds in soils with severe Rhizoctonia solani disease. Wheat plants were grown in a glasshouse standardized system and the bacterial and fungal microbiome of 233 samples of wheat roots and rhizosphere soils were monitored for 20 weeks, from seed to mature plant stage. The results showed highly dynamic and diverse microbial communities over the weeks, with crop age being the main differentiator followed by the presence of biocontrol agents. Two out of three Streptomyces biocontrol strains promoted plant growth and maturation and the root microbiome stressed such differences at OTU level. The soils with the highest levels of R. solani and reads of Thanatephorus (Rhizoctonia anamorph) were also associated with increased root disease levels. Disease-responsive OTUs were revealed among Balneimonas, Massilia, Pseudomonas and unclassified Micrococcaceae. As we enter the era of biologically sustainable agriculture it may be possible to reduce and limit the effects of serious fungal diseases by promoting, monitoring and controlling the biocontrol agents present at different periods of plant development.