White, R. A., A. Garoutte, E. E. McLachlan, L. K. Tiemann, S. Evans, and M. L. Friesen. 2023. Genome-resolved metagenomics of nitrogen transformations in the switchgrass rhizosphere microbiome on marginal lands. Agronomy 13:1294.

Citable PDF link: https://lter.kbs.msu.edu/pub/4104

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) remains the preeminent American perennial (C4) bioenergy crop for cellulosic ethanol, that could help displace over a quarter of the US current petroleum consumption. Intriguingly, there is often little response to nitrogen fertilizer once stands are established. The rhizosphere microbiome plays a critical role in nitrogen cycling and overall plant nutrient uptake. We used high-throughput metagenomic sequencing to characterize the switchgrass rhizosphere microbial community before and after a nitrogen fertilization event for established stands on marginal land. We examined community structure and bulk metabolic potential, and resolved 29 individual bacteria genomes via metagenomic de novo assembly. Community structure and diversity were not significantly different before and after fertilization; however, the bulk metabolic potential of carbohydrate-active enzymes was depleted after fertilization. We resolved 29 metagenomic assembled genomes, including some from the ‘most wanted’ soil taxa such as Verrucomicrobia, Candidate phyla UBA10199, Acidobacteria (rare subgroup 23), Dormibacterota, and the very rare Candidatus Eisenbacteria. The Dormibacterota (formally candidate division AD3) we identified have the potential for autotrophic CO utilization, which may impact carbon partitioning and storage. Our study also suggests that the rhizosphere microbiome may be involved in providing associative nitrogen fixation (ANF) via the novel diazotroph Janthinobacterium to switchgrass.

DOI: 10.3390/agronomy13051294

Associated Treatment Areas:

GLBRC Marginal Land Experiment

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