Plant-soil-microorganism interactions: Heritable relationship between plant genotype and associated soil microorganisms

Jennifer A. Schweitzer, Joseph K. Bailey, Dylan G. Fischer, Carri J. LeRoy, Eric V. Lonsdorf, Thomas G Whitham, Stephen C. Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

181 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although soil microbial communities are known to play crucial roles in the cycling of nutrients in forest ecosystems and can vary by plant species, how microorganisms respond to the subtle gradients of plant genetic variation is just beginning to be appreciated. Using a model Populus system in a common garden with replicated clones of known genotypes, we evaluated microbial biomass and community composition as quantitative traits. Two main patterns emerged. (1) Plant genotype influenced microbial biomass nitrogen in soils under replicated genotypes of Populus angustifolia, F1, and backcross hybrids, but not P. fremontii. Genotype explained up to 78% of the variation in microbial biomass as indicated by broad-sense heritability estimates (i.e., clonal repeatability). A second estimate of microbial biomass (total phospholipid fatty acid) was more conservative and showed significant genotype effects in P. angustifolia and backcross hybrids. (2) Plant genotype significantly influenced microbial community composition, explaining up to 70% of the variation in community composition within P. angustifolia genotypes alone. These findings suggest that variation in above- and belowground traits of individual plant genotypes can alter soil microbial dynamics, and suggests that further investigations of the evolutionary implications of genetic feedbacks are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-781
Number of pages9
JournalEcology
Volume89
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008

Fingerprint

soil microorganism
soil microorganisms
genotype
Populus angustifolia
microbial biomass
community composition
microbial communities
biomass
microbial community
Populus fremontii
soil
plant genetics
Populus
heritability
phospholipid
quantitative traits
forest ecosystems
repeatability
forest ecosystem
gardens

Keywords

  • Community genetics
  • Community heritability
  • Phospholipid fatty acid analyses
  • Plant-soil microorganism interactions
  • Populus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Schweitzer, J. A., Bailey, J. K., Fischer, D. G., LeRoy, C. J., Lonsdorf, E. V., Whitham, T. G., & Hart, S. C. (2008). Plant-soil-microorganism interactions: Heritable relationship between plant genotype and associated soil microorganisms. Ecology, 89(3), 773-781. https://doi.org/10.1890/07-0337.1

Plant-soil-microorganism interactions : Heritable relationship between plant genotype and associated soil microorganisms. / Schweitzer, Jennifer A.; Bailey, Joseph K.; Fischer, Dylan G.; LeRoy, Carri J.; Lonsdorf, Eric V.; Whitham, Thomas G; Hart, Stephen C.

In: Ecology, Vol. 89, No. 3, 03.2008, p. 773-781.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Schweitzer, JA, Bailey, JK, Fischer, DG, LeRoy, CJ, Lonsdorf, EV, Whitham, TG & Hart, SC 2008, 'Plant-soil-microorganism interactions: Heritable relationship between plant genotype and associated soil microorganisms', Ecology, vol. 89, no. 3, pp. 773-781. https://doi.org/10.1890/07-0337.1
Schweitzer, Jennifer A. ; Bailey, Joseph K. ; Fischer, Dylan G. ; LeRoy, Carri J. ; Lonsdorf, Eric V. ; Whitham, Thomas G ; Hart, Stephen C. / Plant-soil-microorganism interactions : Heritable relationship between plant genotype and associated soil microorganisms. In: Ecology. 2008 ; Vol. 89, No. 3. pp. 773-781.
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