Impacts of soil microbiome variations on root colonization by fungi and bacteria and on the metabolome of Populus tremula x alba
L. Mangeot-Peter, T. J. Tschaplinski, N. L. Engle, C. Veneault-Fourrey, F. Martin, and A. Deveu
28 April 2020, Phytobiomes Journal 4(2): 142-155; doi: 10.1094/PBIOMES-08-19-0042-R
Trees depend on beneficial interactions between roots and soil microbes for their nutrition and protection against stresses. The soil microbiome provides the main reservoir of microbes for root colonization and is subject to natural variations that can affect its composition. It is not clear whether the tree’s root system is able to buffer the natural variations occurring in the soil microbiome to capture a stable and effective microbiome or whether these variations affect its microbiome to impact its physiology. To address this question, we planted cuttings of Gray Poplar (Populus tremula × alba clone 717-1B4) in natural soil taken from a poplar stand under the same tree over two consecutive years and grew them in a greenhouse. We analyzed the soil and root microbiomes by high throughput Illumina MiSeq sequencing of fungal rDNA internal transcribed spacer and bacterial 16S rRNA amplicons and we characterized the root metabolome by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Soil and root microbial communities significantly shifted over the 2 years. A modification of the balance between endophytes, saprophytes, and mycorrhizal fungi occurred in the roots as well as a replacement of some dominant operational taxonomic units by others. These modifications were correlated with a significant alteration of the levels of about 10% of primary and secondary metabolites, suggesting that natural fluctuations in soil microbial communities can have a profound impact on tree root metabolism and physiology. Tree roots functioning may thus be indirectly strongly affected by the effects of future extreme climatic variations on the soil microbiome.