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Higher stochasticity of microbiota composition in seedlings of domesticated wheat compared to wild wheat

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Özkurt,  Ezgi
IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Fellow Group Environmental Genomics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Hassani,  M. Amine
Max Planck Fellow Group Environmental Genomics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Künzel,  Sven
Department Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Stukenbrock,  Eva H.
Max Planck Fellow Group Environmental Genomics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Özkurt, E., Hassani, M. A., Sesiz, U., Künzel, S., Dagan, T., Özkan, H., et al. (2019). Higher stochasticity of microbiota composition in seedlings of domesticated wheat compared to wild wheat. bioRxiv. doi:10.1101/685164.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-1D1B-E
Abstract
Plants constitute an ecological niche for microbial communities that colonize different plant tissues and explore the plant habitat for reproduction and dispersal. The association of microbiota and plant may be altered by ecological and evolutionary changes in the host population. Seedborne microbiota, expected to be largely vertically-transferred, have the potential to co-adapt with their host over generations. Reduced host diversity because of strong directional selection and polyploidization during plant domestication and cultivation may have impacted the assembly and transmission of seed-associated microbiota. Nonetheless, the effect of plant domestication on the diversity of their associated microbes is poorly understood. Here we show that microbial communities in domesticated wheat, Triticum aestivum, are less diverse but more inconsistent among individual plants compared to the wild wheat species, T. dicoccoides. We found that diversity of microbes in seeds overall is low, but comparable in different wheat species, independent of their genetic and geographic origin. However, the diversity of seedborne microbiota that colonize the roots and leaves of the young seedling is significantly reduced in domesticated wheat genotypes. Moreover, we observe a higher variability between replicates of T. aestivum suggesting a stronger effect of chance events in microbial colonization and assembly. We also propagated wild and domesticated wheat in two different soils and found that different factors govern the assembly of soil-derived and seedborne microbial communities. Overall, our results demonstrate that the role of stochastic processes in seedborne microbial community assembly is larger in domesticated wheat compared to the wild wheat. We suggest that the directional selection on the plant host and polyploidization events during domestication may have decreased the degree of wheat-microbiota interactions and consequently led to a decreased stable core microbiota.