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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Plant Gene Expression Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #386774

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

Location: Plant Gene Expression Center

Title: Successional adaptive strategies revealed by correlating arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal abundance with host plant gene expression

item GAO, CHENG - University Of California
item COURTY, P - University Of California
item VAROQUAUX, NELLE - University Of California
item COLE, BENJAMIN - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
item MONTOYA, LILLIAM - University Of California
item XU, L - University Of California
item PURDOM, ELIZABETH - University Of California
item VOGEL, J - Department Of Energy Joint Genome
item HUTMACHER, R - University Of California, Davis
item DAHLBERG, J - University Of California
item Coleman-Derr, Devin
item LEMAUX, PEGGY - University Of California
item TAYLOR, JOHN - University Of California

Submitted to: Molecular Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/23/2021
Publication Date: 1/9/2022
Citation: Gao, C., Courty, P., Varoquaux, N., Cole, B., Montoya, L., Xu, L., Purdom, E., Vogel, J., Hutmacher, R., Dahlberg, J., Coleman-Derr, D.A., Lemaux, P., Taylor, J. 2022. Successional adaptive strategies revealed by correlating arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal abundance with host plant gene expression. Molecular Ecology.

Interpretive Summary: The changes in adaptive strategies that accompany microbial succession and the mechanisms behind the changes are fundamental aspects of microbial ecology that are now being studied owing to advances in environmental molecular biology. Exceptionally strong succession has been reported for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in fields of the crop plant, sorghum, providing a tractable system to investigate the strategies and mechanisms of succession. AMF also provide a socially relevant system important for ecosystem productivity, diversity and stability, as evidenced by the facts that this most prevalent type of mycorrhiza forms mutualisms with 85% of vascular plant species and appeared in the geologic record before and then in association with the oldest fossil land plants at 400-460 million years ago. The system that we use to address hypotheses about the occurrence of stress tolerant AMF (and host selection of AMF partners through signaling and resource exchange consists of an open, agricultural field with one host species, Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench, and three irrigation regimes, continual irrigation, pre-flowering drought and post-flowering drought.

Technical Abstract: The shifts in adaptive strategies revealed by ecological succession and the mechanisms that facilitate these shifts are fundamental aspects of ecology. We sought to explore these areas in communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) mutualistic with sorghum where strong succession replaces initially ruderal species with competitive ones. We aimed to add AMF with stress-tolerant strategies to the ruderal and competitive types by imposing drought on the sorghum, and to use sorghum transcriptomics to expand our study of mechanisms. Despite imposing drought stress, we could find no stress tolerant AMF. By focusing our transcriptome analysis on plant genes known to be involved in communication and resource exchange with AMF, we did find strong and differential correlation between the abundance of ruderal and competitive AMF and sorghum genes coding for producing and releasing strigolactone signals, for perceiving mycorrhizal-lipochitinoligosaccharide signals, and for providing plant lipid and sugar to AMF.