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Abstract Detail

Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Ravelo, Andrea V [1], Buback, Steven [2], Conant, Gavin [3], Pires, Joseph Chris [4].

A metagenomics approach to characterizing the soil microbiome of two endangered orchids.

Orchids are obligate dependents on mycorrhizal fungi for the successful germination of their seeds, resulting in a relationship with a significant impact on the orchid life cycle. However, mycorrhizae are just one component of the orchid microbial community. Other members such as bacteria, archaea and non-mycorrhizal fungi also interact and affect the plant’s growth and development. This underground network might influence the abundance and distribution of orchids, which is of particular importance in species of conservation concern. Furthermore, understanding the characteristics of the soil microbiota of endangered species could provide key insights when evaluating potential habitat for species reintroduction and management. The western and eastern prairie fringed orchids (Platanthera praeclara and P. leucophaea, respectively) had historic ranges throughout most of North America but, with the cultivation of the prairie, suffered great habitat loss and fragmentation. Consequently, their populations were adversely affected and they are now federally listed as threatened. In Missouri, the only known populations of these orchids have been closely monitored for over twenty years by the Department of Conservation but there are still many unknowns regarding the biotic and abiotic factors that affect them. This study aimed to characterize the microbial communities associated with the orchids by analyzing soil samples obtained from each of the orchid sites as well as from sites of high-quality prairie but without known populations. Samples were collected at varying distances from the plants, allowing comparisons of microbial community profiles. To obtain a more complete picture of the communities, a two-pronged approach was used for DNA sequencing. To inform on the microbial diversity across the different samples, we used amplicon sequencing, targeting the 16S rRNA gene (bacteria & archaea) as well as ITS (fungi). A shotgun metagenomics approach was used to gain insights on the functional characteristics of the microbiome. Preliminary results indicate that the taxonomic composition of the bacterial communities differs significantly between some sites but not within a same site at varying distances from the orchids. This would indicate certain plasticity and tolerance for distinctly diverse microbiomes.

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1 - University of Missouri-Columbia, Division of Biological Sciences, 311 Bond Life Sciences Center, 1201 E. Rollins, Columbia, Mo, 65251, USA
2 - Missouri Department of Conservation, 701 James Mccarthy Dr., St. Joseph, Mo, 64507, USA
3 - University of Missouri-Columbia, Division of Animal Sciences, 920 East Campus Drive, Columbia, Mo, 65211, USA
4 - University Of Missouri, 371 Bond Life Sciences Center, 1201 Rollins Street, Columbia, MO, 65211-7310, USA

Next generation sequencing

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 35, Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions
Location: 202/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016
Time: 8:45 AM
Number: 35004
Abstract ID:674
Candidate for Awards:None

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