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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #404593

Research Project: Emerging Stress Challenges and Functional Genomics of Stress Responses in Alfalfa

Location: Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory

Title: Composition of the alfalfa pathobiome in commercial fields

item Nemchinov, Lev
item Irish, Brian
item USCHAPOVSKY, IGOR - Federal Research Center For Bast Fiber Crops
item Grinstead, Sam
item Shao, Jonathan
item Postnikova, Olga

Submitted to: Frontiers in Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/31/2023
Publication Date: 8/24/2023
Citation: Nemchinov, L.G., Irish, B.M., Uschapovsky, I.V., Grinstead, S.C., Shao, J.Y., Postnikova, O.A. 2023. Composition of the alfalfa pathobiome in commercial fields. Frontiers in Microbiology. 14: Article e1225781.

Interpretive Summary: This research highlights the importance of multiple confections for the disease outcome in alfalfa, the most extensively cultivated forage legume in the world. It is expected that the results of this study will be of interest to plant pathologists, extension specialists, and people working in the field of alfalfa improvement and production.

Technical Abstract: Through the recent advances of modern high-throughput sequencing technologies, the “one microbe - one disease” dogma is being gradually replaced with the principle of “pathobiome”. Pathobiome is a comprehensive biotic environment that not only includes a diverse community of all disease-causing organisms within the plant, but also defines their mutual interactions and resultant effect on plant health. To date, the concept of pathobiome as a major component in plant health and sustainable production of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), the most extensively cultivated forage legume in the world, is non-existent. Here we approached this subject by characterizing the biodiversity of alfalfa pathobiome using high throughput sequencing technology. Our metagenomic study revealed a remarkable abundance of different pathogenic communities associated with alfalfa in the natural ecosystem, including novel, potentially pathogenic agents. Profiling of the alfalfa pathobiome is a starting point to assess known and identify new and emerging stress challenges in the context of plant disease management. In addition, it allows us to address complexity of microbial interactions within the plant host and their impact on the development and evolution of pathogenesis.