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Seed-derived microbial colonization of Wild Emmer and domesticated bread wheat (Triticum dicoccoides and T. aestivum) seedlings shows pronounced differences in overall diversity and composition

MPS-Authors
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Özkurt,  Ezgi
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. (2020). Seed-derived microbial colonization of Wild Emmer and domesticated bread wheat (Triticum dicoccoides and T. aestivum) seedlings shows pronounced differences in overall diversity and composition. mBio, 11(6): e02637-20. doi:10.1128/mBio.02637-20.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-8339-5
Abstract
The composition of the plant microbiota may be altered by ecological and evolutionary changes in the host population. Seed-associated microbiota, expected to be largely vertically transferred, have the potential to coadapt with their host over generations. Strong directional selection and changes in the genetic composition of plants during domestication and cultivation may have impacted the assembly and transmission of seed-associated microbiota. Nonetheless, the effect of plant speciation and domestication on the composition of these microbes is poorly understood. Here, we have investigated the composition of bacteria and fungi associated with the wild emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccoides) and domesticated bread wheat (Triticum aestivum). We show that vertically transmitted bacteria, but not fungi, of domesticated bread wheat species T. aestivum are less diverse and more inconsistent among individual plants compared to those of the wild emmer wheat species T. dicoccoides. We propagated wheat seeds under sterile conditions to characterize the colonization of seedlings by seed-associated microbes. Hereby, we show markedly different community compositions and diversities of leaf and root colonizers of the domesticated bread wheat compared to the wild emmer wheat. By propagating the wild emmer wheat and domesticated bread wheat in two different soils, we furthermore reveal a small effect of plant genotype on microbiota assembly. Our results suggest that domestication and prolonged breeding have impacted the vertically transferred bacteria, but only to a lesser extent have affected the soil-derived microbiota of bread wheat.IMPORTANCE Genetic and physiological changes associated with plant domestication have been studied for many crop species. Still little is known about the impact of domestication on the plant-associated microbiota. In this study, we analyze the seed-associated and soil-derived bacterial and fungal microbiota of domesticated bread wheat and wild emmer wheat. We show a significant difference in the seed-associated, but not soil-derived, bacterial communities of the wheat species. Interestingly, we find less pronounced effects on the fungal communities. Overall, this study provides novel insight into the diversity of vertically transmitted microbiota of wheat and thereby contributes to our understanding of wheat as a “}metaorganism.{” Insight into the wheat microbiota is of fundamental importance for the development of improved crops.