How wheat genotype drives rhizosphere microbiome assembly

Thornton, Owen (2020) How wheat genotype drives rhizosphere microbiome assembly. Masters thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Plant health and growth are profoundly affected by interactions with soil microorganisms in both ecological and agricultural contexts. The deposition of photosynthates into the soils surrounding plant roots characterises the rhizosphere environment and provides the basis for the establishment of a plethora of plant-microbe interactions with varying degrees of intimacy. The assembly of the ecological communities of microorganisms inhabiting these microhabitats - the rhizosphere microbiota - can represent the first stages of pathogenesis but may also foster myriad plant-growth-promoting functions. Whilst the microbial determinants of many of these microbiome-mediated functions are increasingly well-defined, the plant traits driving microbiome assembly towards these outcomes remain elusive. Here, in vivo detection of novel root exudation traits by luciferase-based biosensor bacteria identified significant sources of variation amongst historical and contemporary wheat germplasm. Whilst not directly attributable to these differences, conserved patterns of rhizobacterial enrichments observed for Pseudomonas spp. with particular functional traits reflected the distinct selective pressures imposed on individual soil-dwelling bacterial genomes by different wheat varieties. Subsequent investigation of the genetic basis for variation in the exudation of a group of organic acids from wheat roots thus served as a proof-of-concept for the dissection of traits that are responsible for these outcomes. The development of effective screening tools for belowground traits affecting crop microbiomes should enable future studies to decipher signals that might be used to modulate the microbiota for sustainable agriculture goals.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2021 13:06
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 13:06


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