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Title: Zea mays genotype influences microbial and viral rhizobiome community structure

Plant genotype is recognized to contribute to variations in microbial community structure in the rhizosphere, soil adherent to roots. However, the extent to which the viral community varies has remained poorly understood and has the potential to contribute to variation in soil microbial communities. Here we cultivated replicates of two Zea mays genotypes, parviglumis and B73, in a greenhouse and harvested the rhizobiome (rhizoplane and rhizosphere) to identify the abundance of cells and viruses as well as rhizobiome microbial and viral community using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and genome resolved metagenomics. Our results demonstrated that viruses exceeded microbial abundance in the rhizobiome of parviglumis and B73 with a significant variation in both the microbial and viral community between the two genotypes. Of the viral contigs identified only 4.5% (n = 7) of total viral contigs were shared between the two genotypes, demonstrating that plants even at the level of genotype can significantly alter the surrounding soil viral community. An auxiliary metabolic gene associated with glycoside hydrolase (GH5) degradation was identified in one viral metagenome-assembled genome (vOTU) identified in the B73 rhizobiome infecting Propionibacteriaceae (Actinobacteriota) further demonstrating the viral contribution in metabolic potential for carbohydrate degradation and carbon cycling in the rhizosphere. This variation demonstrates the potential of plant genotype to contribute to microbial and viral heterogeneity in soil systems and harbors genes capable of contributing to carbon cycling in the rhizosphere.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
ISME Communications
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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