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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Frederick, Maryland » Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #403142

Research Project: Discovery and Development of Microbial-Based Biological Control Agents for Use Against Invasive Weeds in the United States

Location: Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research

Title: Temporal variability in nutrient use among Streptomyces suggests dynamic niche partitioning

item LANE, BRETT - University Of Minnesota
item ANDERSON, HANNAH - University Of Minnesota
item DICKO, AMADOU - University Of Minnesota
item Fulcher, Michael
item KINKEL, LINDA - University Of Minnesota

Submitted to: Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/2/2023
Publication Date: 9/5/2023
Citation: Lane, B.R., Anderson, H.M., Dicko, A.H., Fulcher, M.R., Kinkel, L.L. 2023. Temporal variability in nutrient use among Streptomyces suggests dynamic niche partitioning. Environmental Microbiology.

Interpretive Summary: Soilborne plant diseases reduce agricultural crop yields, cause economic harm, and are difficult to manage effectively. One approach to controlling these diseases involves manipulating interactions between harmful and beneficial soil microbes. Competition between microbes for access to nutrients is thought to play an important role in this method of disease control. In this study, patterns of nutrient use observed in bacteria from an agricultural field suggest that microbes may avoid competition by evolving variation in both the timing and speed of their growth on different nutrients. Understanding how microbial competition varies across time will help scientists study the ecology of soilborne plant diseases and the processes that contribute to the maintenance of healthy soils, ultimately leading to improved disease management practices.

Technical Abstract: Soil bacteria spend significant periods of time in dormant or semi-dormant states that are interrupted by resource pulses, which lead to periods of rapid growth and intense nutrient competition. Microbial populations have evolved diverse strategies to circumvent competitive interactions and facilitate coexistence. Here, we show that nutrient use of soil-borne Streptomyces is temporally partitioned during experimental resource pulses, leading to reduced niche overlap and potential coexistence. Streptomyces grew rapidly on the majority of the 95 carbon sources but varied in which individual resources were utilized in the first twenty-four hours. Only a handful of carbon sources (19 of 95) were consistently utilized most rapidly in the first twenty-four hours. These consistently utilized carbon sources also comprised the majority of the biomass accumulated by isolates. Our results shed new light on a mechanism microbes may employ to alleviate competitive interactions by temporally partitioning consumption of carbon resources. As competitive interactions have been proposed to drive the suppression of disease causing microbes in agronomic soils, our findings may hold widespread implications for soil management for plant health.