The effects of host species and sexual dimorphism differ among root, leaf and flower microbiomes of wild strawberries in situ

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Na Wei, Tia-Lynn Ashman


Plant-associated microbiomes profoundly influence host interactions with below- and aboveground environments. Characterizing plant-associated microbiomes in experimental settings have revealed important drivers of microbiota assemblies within host species. However, it remains unclear how important these individual drivers (e.g., organ type, host species, host sexual phenotype) are in structuring the patterns of plant-microbiota association in the wild. Using 16s rRNA sequencing, we characterized root, leaf and flower microbiomes in three closely related, sexually polymorphic Fragaria species, in the broadly sympatric portion of their native ranges in Oregon, USA. Taking into account the potential influence of broad-scale abiotic environments, we quantified the relative effects of organ type, host species and sex on the α- and β-diversity of bacterial communities in these wild populations. Our statistical models showed that organ type explained the largest variation of compositional and phylogenetic α- and β-diversity of plant microbiomes, and its overall effect exceeded that of host plant species. Yet, the influence of host species increased from root to leaf to flower microbiomes. We found strong sexual dimorphism in flower an...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Plant Leaves
Plant Roots
Wild bird
Sexual Dimorphism
Gene Polymorphism
Research Study

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