Gdanetz, K. and F. Trail. 2017. The wheat microbiome under four management strategies, and potential for endophytes in disease protection. Phytobiomes 1:158-168.
Manipulating plant-associated microbes to reduce disease or improve crop yields requires a thorough understanding of interactions within the phytobiome. Plants were sampled from a wheat/maize/soybean crop rotation site that implements four different crop management strategies. We analyzed the fungal and bacterial communities of leaves, stems, and roots of wheat throughout the growing season using 16S and fungal internal transcribed spacer 2 rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. The most prevalent operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were shared across all samples, although levels of the low-abundance OTUs varied. Endophytes were isolated from plants, and tested for antagonistic activity toward the wheat pathogen Fusarium graminearum. Antagonistic strains were assessed for plant protective activity in seedling assays. Our results suggest that microbial communities were strongly affected by plant organ and plant age, and may be influenced by management strategy.
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