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Title: Plant genotype, immunity and soil composition control the rhizosphere microbiome
Author: Tkacz, Andrzej
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2013
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Three model plant and three crop plant species were grown for three generations in sand and compost. Pots were inoculated with 10 % soil initially, and with 10% of growth medium from the previous generation in generations 2 and 3, keeping replicates separate for all three generations. The microbiome community structure of the plant rhizosphere in each generation was characterised using ARISA DNA fingerprinting and 454 sequencing. Rhizosphere bacterial and fungal communities are different from those in bulk soil and there are also differences in the microbial community between different plant species. Plants both select and suppress specific bacteria and fungi in the rhizosphere microbiome, presumably via composition of their root exudates. Two out of three most abundant bacteria selected in the rhizosphere were isolated. These isolates proved to possess plant growth promotion properties. Plants are able to “farm” the soil in order to enrich it with plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) species. However, in some plant species rhizospheres, invasions of opportunists and pathogens take place, mimicking events in plant monocultures. Other experiments using this multi-replicate system allowed for statistical analysis of the influence of Arabidopsis and Medicago mutants on the rhizosphere microbiome. Three groups of Arabidopsis mutants were tested: plants unable to produce aliphatic glucosinolates, plants impaired in the PAMP-triggered immune response and plants unable and over-expressed in methyl halides production and one group of Medicago mutants which are impaired in the mycorrhization ability. All these plant genotypes, except those for methyl-halide production and one genotype involved in PAMP response, significantly altered the rhizosphere microbiome.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available