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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Frederick, Maryland » Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #403665

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: Enhancing invasive weed biocontrol research through microbial community and genome sequencing

item Fulcher, Michael

Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2023
Publication Date: 12/29/2023
Citation: Fulcher, M.R. 2023. Enhancing invasive weed biocontrol research through microbial community and genome sequencing. Meeting Abstract. 113(11S):S3.134.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Successful invasive weeds form novel associations with non-pathogenic fungi and bacteria as they colonize new locations, but the diversity of these microbes is rarely characterized. Understanding the composition of invasive weed-associated microbial communities may lead to the discovery of novel weed biological control methods or agents. Microbiome sequencing can be used to identify conserved weed-microbe associations and community structures to target for disruption, while genome sequencing of individual microbes can identify isolates with potential plant antagonistic activity. To explore these approaches to weed biological control discovery, microbial communities from two invasive plants in North America, garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and wavyleaf basketgrass (Oplismenus undulatifolius), were characterized with sequencing-based methods. High-throughput, low-depth genome sequencing identified microbial isolates with putative biological control potential, and metabarcode sequencing of bulk microbial communities identified conserved taxa and features that might be targeted to reduce plant health. The microbes and community structures identified with these methods are proposed for functional characterization and manipulative experiments.