Title

Rhizosphere Plant-Microbe Interactions Under Water Stress

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2021

Department

Biological Sciences

School

Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences

Abstract

Climate change, with its extreme temperature, weather and precipitation patterns, is a major global concern of dryland farmers, who currently meet the challenges of climate change agronomically and with growth of drought-tolerant crops. Plants themselves compensate for water stress by modifying aerial surfaces to control transpiration and altering root hydraulic conductance to increase water uptake. These responses are complemented by metabolic changes involving phytohormone network-mediated activation of stress response pathways, resulting in decreased photosynthetic activity and the accumulation of metabolites to maintain osmotic and redox homeostasis. Phylogenetically diverse microbial communities sustained by plants contribute to host drought tolerance by modulating phytohormone levels in the rhizosphere and producing water-sequestering biofilms. Drylands of the Inland Pacific Northwest, USA, illustrate the interdependence of dryland crops and their associated microbiota. Indigenous Pseudomonas spp. selected there by long-term wheat monoculture suppress root diseases via the production of antibiotics, with soil moisture a critical determinant of the bacterial distribution, dynamics and activity. Those pseudomonads producing phenazine antibiotics on wheat had more abundant rhizosphere biofilms and provided improved tolerance to drought, suggesting a role of the antibiotic in alleviation of drought stress. The transcriptome and metabolome studies suggest the importance of wheat root exudate-derived osmoprotectants for the adaptation of these pseudomonads to the rhizosphere lifestyle and support the idea that the exchange of metabolites between plant roots and microorganisms profoundly affects and shapes the belowground plant microbiome under water stress.

Publication Title

Advances in Applied Microbiology

Volume

115

First Page

65

Last Page

113

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