Variation in the leaf and root microbiome of sugar maple (Acer saccharum) at an elevational range limit

Global Change
Partie de:
11:50, jeudi 19 déc. 2019 (15 minutes)
Salle EFG

Bacteria and fungi live in various plant compartments including leaves and roots. Plant-associated microbiota have many effects on host fitness and function. Global change is impacting plant species distributions, a phenomenon that will affect plant-microbe interactions both directly and indirectly. In order to predict plant responses to global change, it is crucial to improve our understanding of plant-microbe interactions within and at the edge of plant species natural ranges. While microbes affect their hosts, in turn the plant’s attributes and the surrounding environment drive microbial community assembly. However, the dynamics of these interactions and their causes are poorly understood. In this study, we quantified the microbial communities of the leaves and roots of seedlings of the deciduous tree species sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marshall) within its natural range and at the species’ elevational range limit at Mont-Mégantic, Quebec. Using high-throughput DNA sequencing, we characterized the bacterial community structure in four compartments: the epiphytes and endophytes of leaves and roots. We also characterized the endophytic fungal communities in roots. Our results show that microbial communities associated with sugar maple seedlings at the edge of the species’ elevational range differ from those within the natural range. Variation in bacterial communities varied among plant compartments, suggesting the importance of each compartment’s exposure to changes in biotic and abiotic conditions in determining variability in community structure. These findings suggest the potential for biotic interactions between plants and their associated microbiota to influence the dynamics of plant range edge boundaries and responses to global change.

Université de Sherbrooke
Assistant Professor

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