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Title: Water stress and disruption of mycorrhizas induce parallel shifts in phyllosphere microbiome composition

Water and nutrient acquisition are key drivers of plant health and ecosystem function. These factors impact plant physiology directly as well as indirectly through soil‐ and root‐associated microbial responses, but how they in turn affect aboveground plant–microbe interactions are not known.

Through experimental manipulations in the field and growth chamber, we examine the interacting effects of water stress, soil fertility, and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on bacterial and fungal communities of the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) phyllosphere.

Both water stress and mycorrhizal disruption reduced leaf bacterial richness, homogenized bacterial community composition among plants, and reduced the relative abundance of dominant fungal taxa. We observed striking parallelism in the individual microbial taxa in the phyllosphere affected by irrigation and mycorrhizal associations.

Our results show that soil conditions and belowground interactions can shape aboveground microbial communities, with important potential implications for plant health and sustainable agriculture.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Date Published:
Journal Name:
New Phytologist
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 2018-2031
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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