Yuan, Z. et al., 2016. Scientific Reports

Specialized Microbiome of a Halophyte and its Role in Helping Non-Host Plants to withstand Salinity

Zhilin Yuan, Irina S. Druzhinina, Jessy Labbé, Regina Redman, Yuan Qin, Russell Rodriguez, Chulong Zhang, Gerald A. Tuskan, and Fucheng Lin
30 August 2016,  Scientific Reports 6: 32467; doi: 10.1038/srep32467


Root microbiota is a crucial determinant of plant productivity and stress tolerance. Here, we hypothesize that the superior halo-tolerance of seepweed Suaeda salsa is tightly linked to a specialized belowground microbiome. To test this hypothesis, we performed a phylogenetic trait-based framework analysis based on bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal nuclear rRNA internal transcribed spacer profiling. Data showed that the dominant α-proteobacteria and γ-proteobacteria communities in bulk soil and root endosphere tend to be phylogenetically clustered and at the same time exhibit phylogenetic over-dispersion in rhizosphere. Likewise, the dominant fungal genera occurred at high phylogenetic redundancy. Interestingly, we found the genomes of rhizospheric and endophytic bacteria associated with S. salsa to be enriched in genes contributing to salt stress acclimatization, nutrient solubilization and competitive root colonization. A wide diversity of rhizobacteria with similarity to known halotolerant taxa further supported this interpretation. These findings suggest that an ecological patterned root-microbial interaction strategy has been adopted in S. salsa system to confront soil salinity. We also demonstrated that the potential core microbiome members improve non-host plants growth and salt tolerance. This work provides a platform to improve plant fitness with halophytes-microbial associates and novel insights into the functions of plant microbiome under salinity.


Yuan, Z., I. S. Druzhinina, J. Labbé, R. Redman, Y. Qin, R. Rodriguez, C. Zhang, G. A. Tuskan and F. Lin (2016). “Specialized Microbiome of a Halophyte and its Role in Helping Non-Host Plants to Withstand Salinity.” Scientific Reports 6: 32467 (2016) doi:10.1038/srep32467

Publication Highlight