New publication: Disentangling the genetic basis of rhizosphere microbiome assembly in tomato


Disentangling the genetic basis of rhizosphere microbiome assembly in tomato

Ben O. Oyserman, Stalin Sarango Flores, Thom Griffioen, Xinya Pan1, Elmar van der Wijk, Lotte Pronk, Wouter Lokhorst, Azkia Nurfikari, Joseph N. Paulson, Mercedeh Movassagh, Nejc Stopnisek, Anne Kupczok, Viviane Cordovez, Víctor J. Carrión, Wilco Ligterink, Basten L. Snoek, Marnix H. Medema & Jos M. Raaijmakers

Nature Communications 13, 3228 (2022)


Microbiomes play a pivotal role in plant growth and health, but the genetic factors involved in microbiome assembly remain largely elusive. Here, we map the molecular features of the rhizosphere microbiome as quantitative traits of a diverse hybrid population of wild and domesticated tomato. Gene content analysis of prioritized tomato quantitative trait loci suggests a genetic basis for differential recruitment of various rhizobacterial lineages, including a Streptomyces-associated 6.31 Mbp region harboring tomato domestication sweeps and encoding, among others, the iron regulator FIT and the water channel aquaporin SlTIP2.3. Within metagenome-assembled genomes of root-associated Streptomyces and Cellvibrio, we identify bacterial genes involved in metabolism of plant polysaccharides, iron, sulfur, trehalose, and vitamins, whose genetic variation associates with specific tomato QTLs. By integrating ‘microbiomics’ and quantitative plant genetics, we pinpoint putative plant and reciprocal rhizobacterial traits underlying microbiome assembly, thereby providing a first step towards plant-microbiome breeding programs.

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