Location: Foreign Disease-Weed Science ResearchTitle: Microbial genome and community sequencing identifies new potential agents and targets for invasive weed biological control
Submitted to: International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/3/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Introduced weeds encounter diverse resident microbes during invasion, and successful invasive weeds are expected to form microbial communities through novel association with beneficial and commensal fungi and bacteria. Manipulating these communities or their individual members may improve microbial-based biocontrol practices. Microbial community sequencing can be used to identify conserved associations and structures to target for disruption, while genome sequencing can identify individual bacterial and fungal isolates with potential plant antagonistic activity. Fungal and bacterial communities from two invasive weeds in North America, garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and wavyleaf basketgrass (Oplismenus undulatifolius), were characterized with these sequencing-based methods. High-throughput, low-depth genome sequencing identified microbial isolates with putative biocontrol applications, and metabarcode sequencing of bulk microbial communities identified conserved taxa and features that could be leveraged for weed management. The microbes and community structures identified with these methods are proposed for functional characterization and studies involving the manipulation of microbial gene expression to antagonize hosts or induce dysbiosis that prevents beneficial community formation.