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Microb Ecol. 2010 Jul;60(1):157-66. doi: 10.1007/s00248-010-9658-x. Epub 2010 Apr 23.

Pyrosequencing reveals a highly diverse and cultivar-specific bacterial endophyte community in potato roots.

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USDA-ARS, Soil-Plant-Nutrient Research Unit, Fort Collins, CO, USA.


In this study, we examined the bacterial endophyte community of potato (Solanum tuberosum) cultivar/clones using two different molecular-based techniques (bacterial automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (B-ARISA) and pyrosequencing). B-ARISA profiles revealed a significant difference in the endophytic community between cultivars (perMANOVA, p < 0.001), and canonical correspondence analysis showed a significant correlation between the community structure and plant biomass (p = 0.001). Pyrosequencing detected, on average, 477 +/- 71 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs, 97% genetic similarity) residing within the roots of each cultivar, with a Chao estimated total OTU richness of 1,265 +/- 313. Across all cultivars, a total of 238 known genera from 15 phyla were identified. Interestingly, five of the ten most common genera (Rheinheimera, Dyadobacter, Devosia, Pedobacter, and Pseudoxanthomonas) have not, to our knowledge, been previously reported as endophytes of potato. Like the B-ARISA analysis, the endophytic communities differed between cultivar/clones (integral-libshuff, p < 0.001) and exhibited low similarities on both a presence/absence (0.145 +/- 0.019) and abundance (0.420 +/- 0.081) basis. Seventeen OTUs showed a strong positive (r > 0.600) or negative (r < -0.600) correlation with plant biomass, suggesting a possible link between plant production and endophyte abundance. This study represents one of the most comprehensive assessments of the bacterial endophytic communities to date, and similar analyses in other plant species, cultivars, or tissues could be utilized to further elucidate the potential contribution(s) of endophytic communities to plant physiology and production.

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