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Title: The rhizosphere microbiome and host plant glucosinolates exhibit feedback cycles in Brassica rapa

The rhizosphere microbiome influences many aspects of plant fitness, including production of secondary compounds and defence against insect herbivores. Plants also modulate the composition of the microbial community in the rhizosphere via secretion of root exudates. We tested both the effect of the rhizosphere microbiome on plant traits, and host plant effects on rhizosphere microbes using recombinant inbred lines (RILs) ofBrassica rapathat differ in production of glucosinolates (GLS), secondary metabolites that contribute to defence against insect herbivores. First, we investigated the effect of genetic variation in GLS production on the composition of the rhizosphere microbiome. Using a Bayesian Dirichlet‐multinomial regression model (DMBVS), we identified both negative and positive associations between bacteria from six genera and the concentration of five GLS compounds produced in plant roots. Additionally, we tested the effects of microbial inoculation (an intact vs. disrupted soil microbiome) on GLS production and insect damage in these RILs. We found a significant microbial treatment × genotype interaction, in which total GLS was higher in the intact relative to the disrupted microbiome treatment in some RILs. However, despite differences in GLS production between microbial treatments, we observed no difference in insect damage between treatments. Together, these results provide evidence for a full feedback cycle of plant–microbe interactions mediated by GLS; that is, GLS compounds produced by the host plant “feed‐down” to influence rhizosphere microbial community and rhizosphere microbes “feed‐up” to influence GLS production.

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Journal Name:
Molecular Ecology
Page Range / eLocation ID:
741 to 751
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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