Understanding plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions is challening. Both kinds of interactions have significant impacts on plant health and nutritional uptake. Finkel et al. address how microbe-microbe interactions shape plant phenotypes by using the synthetic microbial community (SynCom) consisting of 185 bacterial members. Plants and SynCom were exposed to variable abiotic conditions such as salinity, temperature, pH and phosphate concentration. By analyzing the microbial community structure by 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, the authors found that members of the bacterial genus Variovorax have a strong capacity to suppress root growth inhibition (RGI) by other bacteria members. This suppression was found to be robust against wide variety of RGI inducers, and was achieved by interfering in auxin and/or ethylene signaling. (Summary by Mugdha Sabale) bioRxiv 10.1101/645655
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