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Creators/Authors contains: "Yang, Yuguo"

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  1. Abstract

    Roots are essential to the diversity and functioning of plant communities, but trade‐offs in rooting strategies are still poorly understood.

    We evaluated existing frameworks of rooting strategy trade‐offs and tested their underlying assumptions, guided by the hypothesis that community‐level rooting strategies are best described by a combination of variation in organ‐level traits, plant‐level root:shoot allocation and symbiosis‐level mycorrhizal dependency. We tested this hypothesis using data on plant community structure, above‐ and below‐ground biomass, eight root traits including mycorrhizal colonisation and soil properties from an edaphic gradient driven by elevation and water availability in sandhills prairie, Nebraska, USA.

    We found multidimensional trade‐offs in rooting strategies represented by a two‐way productivity‐durability trade‐off axis (captured by root length density and root dry matter content) and a three‐way resource acquisition trade‐off between specific root length, root:shoot mass ratio and mycorrhizal dependence. Variation in rooting strategies was driven to similar extents by interspecific differences and intraspecific responses to soil properties.

    Organ‐level traits alone were insufficient to capture community‐level trade‐offs in rooting strategies across the edaphic gradient. Instead, trait variation encompassing organ, plant and symbiosis levels revealed that consideration of whole‐plant phenotypic integration is essential to defining multidimensional trade‐offs shaping the functional variation of root systems.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 2, 2025
  2. Abstract

    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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