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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #373348

Research Project: Develop Water Management Strategies to Sustain Water Productivity and Protect Water Quality in Irrigated Agriculture

Location: Water Management Research

Title: Root exudates drive soil-microbe-nutrient feedbacks in response to plant growth

item YUAN, JUN - Nanjing Agricultural University
item ZHAO, MENGLI - Nanjing Agricultural University
item ZHAO, JUN - Nanjing University
item Hale, Lauren
item WEN, TAO - Nanjing Agricultural University
item HUANG, QIWEI - Nanjing Agricultural University
item VIVANCO, JORGE - Colorado State University
item ZHOU, JIZHONG - University Of Oklahoma
item KOWALCHUK, GEORGE - Utrecht University
item SHEN, QIRONG - Nanjing Agricultural University

Submitted to: Plant Cell and Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/2020
Publication Date: 10/26/2020
Citation: Yuan, J., Zhao, M., Zhao, J., Hale, L.E., Wen, T., Huang, Q., Vivanco, J.M., Zhou, J., Kowalchuk, G.A., Shen, Q. 2020. Root exudates drive soil-microbe-nutrient feedbacks in response to plant growth. Plant Cell and Environment. 44:613–628.

Interpretive Summary: Plants have been shown to recruit beneficial soil microorganisms to facilitate their own growth and development. This study explored how root exudates shape microbial community taxonomic composition and functional gene potential to enhance nutrient availability during stages of peak plant growth. A root exudate treatment promoted a microbial community with higher relative abundances of genes involved in nitrogen and phosphorus transformations and correspondingly had higher available soil nutrients.

Technical Abstract: Interactions between plant microbiomes and soils, as related to plant nutrient acquisition, have been studied for many years, but our knowledge on how root exudates contribute to microbe-plant-soil nutrient exchanges during plant development is limited. We collected root exudates from Arabidopsis thaliana at slow-growing and fast-growing stages of plant development, chemically profiled the exudates, and used them to condition soils to evaluate their effects on soil microbial composition, soil nutrients (NH4+, NO3-, available phosphorus and available potassium), and the resulting feedback on plant growth. Root exudates collected from both slow-growing and fast-growing plants stages shaped soil bacterial phylogenetic structure via high throughput sequencing. The relative abundance and diversity of soil microbial genes involved in nitrogen and phosphorus transformations were similar in the two exudate treatments and higher than the water-only controls as evaluated by GeoChip microarray technology, indicated that plant exudates from both slow-growing and fast-growing plant stages increased the functional potential of their corresponding soil microbiomes. The fast-growing stage root exudates induced higher nutrients mineralization resulted in better plant growth as compared to treatments with slow-growing stage exudates and the controls. Plants appear to recruit specific beneficial microbiomes throughout their different growth phases, thereby tailoring microbial activities to meet increased nutrient demands during fast-growing stages.