J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2021, Vol. 63 ›› Issue (10): 1753-1774.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13154

Special Issue: Abiotic stress Plant-biotic interaction

• Plant-abiotic Interactions • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Drought stress and plant ecotype drive microbiome recruitment in switchgrass rhizosheath

Tie‐Yuan Liu1,5,6, Nenghui Ye4, Xinyu Wang1, Debatosh Das5,6, Yuxiang Tan3, Xiangkai You1, Mingxiu Long1, Tianming Hu1, Lei Dai3, Jianhua Zhang5,6* and Mo‐Xian Chen2,3*   

  1. 1 College of Grassland Agriculture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
    2 Co‐Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, College of Biology and the Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
    3 CAS Key Laboratory of Quantitative Engineering Biology, Shenzhen Institute of Synthetic Biology, Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518055, China
    4 Southern Regional Collaborative Innovation Center for Grain and Oil Crops in China, College of Agriculture, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128, China
    5 State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong 999077, China
    6 Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon, Hong Kong 999077, China

    *Correspondences: Jianhua Zhang (jzhang@hkbu.edu.hk, Professor Zhang is fully responsible for the distributions of all materials associated with this article); Mo‐Xian Chen (cmx2009920734@gmail.com)
  • Received:2021-01-30 Accepted:2021-07-18 Online:2021-07-20 Published:2021-10-01

Abstract: The rhizosheath, a layer of soil grains that adheres firmly to roots, is beneficial for plant growth and adaptation to drought environments. Switchgrass is a perennial C4 grass which can form contact rhizosheath under drought conditions. In this study, we characterized the microbiomes of four different rhizocompartments of two switchgrass ecotypes (Alamo and Kanlow) grown under drought or well-watered conditions via 16S ribosomal RNA amplicon sequencing. These four rhizocompartments, the bulk soil, rhizosheath soil, rhizoplane, and root endosphere, harbored both distinct and overlapping microbial communities. The root compartments (rhizoplane and root endosphere) displayed low-complexity communities dominated by Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. Compared to bulk soil, Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidetes were selectively enriched, while Proteobacteria and Firmicutes were selectively depleted, in rhizosheath soil. Taxa from Proteobacteria or Firmicutes were specifically selected in Alamo or Kanlow rhizosheath soil. Following drought stress, Citrobacter and Acinetobacter were further enriched in rhizosheath soil, suggesting that rhizosheath microbiome assembly is driven by drought stress. Additionally, the ecotype-specific recruitment of rhizosheath microbiome reveals their differences in drought stress responses. Collectively, these results shed light on rhizosheath microbiome recruitment in switchgrass and lay the foundation for the improvement of drought tolerance in switchgrass by regulating the rhizosheath microbiome.

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