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Creators/Authors contains: "Bueno de Mesquita, Clifton P."

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  1. Abstract

    Bacterial and fungal root endophytes can impact the fitness of their host plants, but the relative importance of drivers for root endophyte communities is not well known. Host plant species, the composition and density of the surrounding plants, space, and abiotic drivers could significantly affect bacterial and fungal root endophyte communities. We investigated their influence in endophyte communities of alpine plants across a harsh high mountain landscape using high-throughput sequencing. There was less compositional overlap between fungal than bacterial root endophyte communities, with four ‘cosmopolitan’ bacterial OTUs found in every root sampled, but no fungal OTUs found across all samples. We found that host plant species, which included nine species from three families, explained the greatest variation in root endophyte composition for both bacterial and fungal communities. We detected similar levels of variation explained by plant neighborhood, space, and abiotic drivers on both communities, but the plant neighborhood explained less variation in fungal endophytes than expected. Overall, these findings suggest a more cosmopolitan distribution of bacterial OTUs compared to fungal OTUs, a structuring role of the plant host species for both communities, and largely similar effects of the plant neighborhood, abiotic drivers, and space on both communities.

  2. Battipaglia, Giovanna (Ed.)