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Abstract Detail

Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Carper, Dana [1], Carrell, Alyssa A. [2], Kueppers, Lara M. [3], Frank, A. Carolin [4].

The effect of climate change and site on the above- and belowground bacterial endophytic communities of subalpine conifer seedlings.

Climate warming is expected to drive uphill shifts in the distribution of subalpine forests, with seedling establishment presenting a critical bottleneck for migration and persistence. The plant microbiome, all the microorganisms living on or inside plants, plays a role in plant response to biotic and abiotic stress, yet is rarely considered in studies that examine how plants respond to climate change. Seedling endophyte communities may dynamically respond to environmental conditions, potentially aiding seedling establishment under a range of conditions. Alternatively, endophyte communities may be strongly conserved across environmental conditions if the taxa perform critical metabolic or physiological functions required by establishing seedlings. To determine the effects of climate change on seedling microbiomes across and beyond the elevation range of subalpine forest, we used Illumina sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene to examine the shoot (stem and emerging needles) and root endophytic communities in 1-year old seedlings of Pinus flexilis (limber pine) establishing in common gardens subject to experimental climate manipulations (Control (C), Heated (H), Watered (W), Heated and Watered (HW)). We found that root and shoot communities were significantly different in their diversity and taxonomic composition, and were distinct from adult needle endophytic communities. This potentially reflects differences in adaptation and colonization routes between root and shoot endophytes. The most abundant members of both root- and shoot communities were identified as Betaproteobacteria and identical to strains with documented antifungal activity (e.g., Janthinobacterium and Massilia), perhaps suggesting a role in protecting seedlings against biotic stress. The watered treatment (W and HW) significantly altered the endophyte communities compared to un-watered treatments (C and H) with the shoot and root communities responding independently of each other. The watered shoot communities showed a decrease in the relative abundance of Betaproteobacteria with increases in Alphaproteobacteria and Sphingobacteriia. The watered root communities showed a drastic reduction in overall evenness compared to un-watered samples with an enlargement in the relative abundance of the Betaproteobacterial group, specifically strains potentially involved in antifungal production. The escalation in relative abundance in root antifungal groups could indicate a response to an increased susceptibility to fungal invasion due to the effect of the watered treatment. This study highlights the differences in bacterial community composition in shoot and root tissues of high elevation pine seedlings and demonstrates the potential for the endophytic communities to aide their host plants under changing climatic conditions.

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1 - University of California, Merced, Quantitative and Systems Biology, 5200 North Lake Rd, Merced, CA, 95343, USA
2 - Duke University, BIology, 2127 Campus Drive, Durham, NC, 27708, USA
3 - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division, 1 Cyclotron Rd, MS74R316C, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA
4 - University of California, Merced, Life and Environmental Sciences, 5200 North Lake Rd, Merced, CA, 95343, USA

next generation sequencing

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 24, Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions
Location: Fort Worth Ballroom 5/Omni Hotel
Date: Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM
Number: 24005
Abstract ID:264
Candidate for Awards:None

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