Characterizing both bacteria and fungi improves understanding of the Arabidopsis root microbiome (Sci Reports)

Microbes that live in, on and near plants profoundly affect their growth and survival. Here, Bergelson et al. sequenced the bacterial and fungal microbiomes of Arabidopsis roots (previously they sequenced samples from leaves). The accessions are from all over the world but the sequenced samples are from a single field. Key take-aways are: don’t forget the fungi, they matter too and play an important role in determining the microbiome diversity; the root microbiome is shaped by the genetics of the host; and although many of the genes that underpin the composition of the fungal versus bacterial microbiome are different, a few affect both, including a gene encoding a protein-channel in root hairs and genes involved in cell wall integrity. These data and approaches will help inform efforts to improve plant health through modifying their microbiomes. (Summary by Mary Williams) Sci Reports 10.1038/s41598-018-37208-z