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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Crop Germplasm Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #387046

Research Project: Pecan Breeding, Genomics, and Genetic Resource Management

Location: Crop Germplasm Research

Title: Insights into the impact of geography and genetics on the microbiome of Carya illinoinensis

item RANDALL, JENNIFER - New Mexico State University
item CERVANTES, K - New Mexico State University
item RAY, D - New Mexico State University
item SANCHEZ, A - New Mexico State University
item MASON, K - New Mexico State University
item FISK, J - New Mexico State University
item SONEJI, J - New Mexico State University
item SANCHEZ, L - New Mexico State University
item Grauke, Larry
item Wang, Xinwang

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/4/2021
Publication Date: 8/17/2021
Citation: Randall, J., Cervantes, K., Ray, D.K., Sanchez, A., Mason, K., Fisk, J.N., Soneji, J.R., Sanchez, L., Grauke, L.J., Wang, X. 2021. Insights into the impact of geography and genetics on the microbiome of Carya illinoinensis. Acta Horticulturae. 1318:235-240.

Interpretive Summary: The communities of microorganisms in the soil around pecan trees present complexity, not only because of tree longevity but also oversized tree form, and diverse geographical origins. In the long history of pecan plantations, pecan growers and researchers have not paid attention to the root growth environment, especially the microbiome composition and function. Past observations in pecan orchards showed pecan production has been impacted by soil environment but no further scientific research has been done. Modern technology provides an opportunity to explore the mystery of the microorganisms around the root system which influences pecan growth and production. This study used recent innovations in technology to assess the microbiome interactions in seedling trees in the greenhouse. The preliminary data provides a foundation for further understanding of how the microbial populations are influenced by geographical origins, diverse genotypes, and other factors.

Technical Abstract: Carya illinoinensis, commonly known as pecan, is native to many regions across North America and has a lifespan that can extend hundreds of years. There may be differences in the microbiome of pecan trees due to several factors including their geographical origin, their longevity, and cross-pollination. Recent innovations in technology used to assess microbiome interactions have made it possible to gain insight into the microbial communities associated with pecan. In a previous experiment, we explored the diversity of microbial communities in greenhouse pecan seedling trees through culturing and sequencing the microorganisms. Our findings led us to conduct further research on the microbiomes of pecan trees. In an attempt to identify microorganisms present in unique pecan genotypes, total DNA was isolated and enriched using the NEB Next Microbiome Enrichment kit. Our samples included replicates of two genotypes that had and had not undergone antibiotic treatments. This enriched DNA underwent next generation sequencing (on an illumina platform) to elucidate microbial populations present. Microbiome analysis revealed diverse communities of microorganisms in both genotypes, which were significantly impacted by antibiotic treatments. Due to these results, we are conducting further research in order to explore the microbes associated with specific pecan cultivars from two distinct geographical regions. Furthermore, we are also analyzing the microbiomes of distinct genotypes growing in the same location. In doing so, we will gain understanding of how microbial populations are influenced by geographical location and genetics.