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Community structure and diversity of endophytic bacteria in seeds of three consecutive generations of Crotalaria pumila growing on metal mine residues

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

We investigated the possible transgenerational transfer of bacterial seed endophytes across three consecutive seed generations of Crotalaria pumila growing on a metal mining site in Mexico. Seeds were collected during three successive years in the semi-arid region of Zimapan, Mexico. Total communities of seed endophytes were investigated using DNA extraction from surface sterilized seeds and 454 pyrosequencing of the V5-V7 hypervariable regions of the 16S rRNA gene. The communities consisted of an average of 75 operational taxonomic units (OTUs); richness and diversity did not change across years. Methylobacterium, Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium, Propionibacterium and eight other OTUs constituted > 60% of the community in each generation. The microbiome was dominated by Methylobacterium (present in > 80% of samples). Functions associated with the microbiome were C and N fixation, oxidative phosphorylation and photosynthesis activity. The bacterial endophytic communities were similar across three consecutive seed generations. Among the core microbiome Methylobacterium strains were the most abundant and they can contribute to nutrient acquisition, plant growth promotion and stress resilience to their host in metal contaminated mine residues. Identification of the seed microbiome of C. pumila may lead to novel and more efficient inoculants for microbe-assisted phytoremediation.
ISSN: 0032-079X
Issue: 1-2
Volume: 422
Pages: 51 - 66
Publication year:2018
Keywords:bacterial seed endophytes, trace metals, phytoremediation, pyrosequencing