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Both leaf properties and microbe-microbe interactions influence within-species variation in bacterial population diversity and structure in the lettuce (Lactuca species) phyllosphere

Twenty-six lettuce accessions were used to investigate factors controlling within-species variation in phyllosphere bacterial populations

Year of Publication2010

Morphological and chemical differences between plant genera influence phyllosphere microbial populations, but the factors driving within-species variation in phyllosphere populations are poorly understood. Twenty-six lettuce accessions were used to investigate factors controlling within-species variation in phyllosphere bacterial populations. Morphological and physiochemical characteristics of the plants were compared, and bacterial community structure and diversity were investigated using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) profiling and 16S rRNA gene clone libraries. Plant morphology and levels of soluble carbohydrates, calcium, and phenolic compounds (which have long been associated with plant responses to biotic stress) were found to significantly influence bacterial community structure. Clone libraries from three representative accessions were found to be significantly different in terms of both sequence differences and the bacterial genera represented. All three libraries were dominated by Pseudomonas species and the Enterobacteriaceae family. Significant differences in the relative proportions of genera in the Enterobacteriaceae were detected between lettuce accessions. Two such genera (Erwinia and Enterobacter) showed significant variation between the accessions and revealed microbe-microbe interactions. We conclude that both leaf surface properties and microbial interactions are important in determining the structure and diversity of the phyllosphere bacterial community.

Citation

Hunter, P. J.; Hand, P.; Pink, D. A. C.; Whipps, J. M.; Bending, G. D. (2010) "Both leaf properties and microbe-microbe interactions influence within-species variation in bacterial population diversity and structure in the lettuce (Lactuca species) phyllosphere"Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76 (24) pp 8117-8125

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Supporting the development of the national rural economy.

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