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Research Project: Genetic Improvement and Cropping Systems of Alfalfa for Livestock Utilization, Environmental Protection and Soil Health

Location: Plant Science Research

Title: A metagenomics study unveils microbial species and diversity in Northern Wild Rice (Zizania palustris L.) leaves and the effect of associated factors

item CASTELL-MILLER, CLAUDIA - University Of Minnesota
item Schlatter, Daniel
item Samac, Deborah - Debby
item KIMBALL, J - University Of Minnesota

Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/29/2024
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Northern wild rice (NWR) is an aquatic grass that grows in shallow rivers and lakes in North America and it is also commercially cultivated in man-made paddies. Minnesota is one of the larger producers of NWR grain. A changing climate could affect the dynamics and interactions of microbial populations associated with crop species, facilitating the adaptation of new pathogenic organisms and increasing disease outbreak risks. Identification of pathogenic and beneficial organisms present in the NWR canopy, as well as the effect of currently used fungicides on microbial communities, could help to improve NWR disease management. NWR leaf samples were collected for two years in three main areas of cultivation in Minnesota. Sequencing of bacterial and fungal marker genes (16S rRNA V3-V4, ITS1, and ITS2) were used to characterize microbial community composition and diversity. We found that location and fungicides affected microbial alpha diversity within leaves in 2019. Fungal community composition differed significantly among locations and fungicide treatments. However, fungicides had a small effect, which did not differ by location, indicating that fungicides are effective in controlling some Bipolaris spp. over the areas of wild rice cultivation analyzed. Bacterial community composition was only influenced by location. Additionally, species of pathogenic and non-pathogenic fungi were uncovered. This study sheds light on the composition and diversity of NWR microbiomes including detection of previously uncharacterized taxa and their response to fungicide application.