Functional relationships between aboveground and belowground spinach (Spinacia oleracea L., cv. Racoon) microbiomes impacted by salinity and drought.Sci Total Environ. 2020 May 15; 717:137207.ST
Salinity is a major problem facing agriculture in arid and semiarid regions of the world. This problem may vary among seasons affecting both above- and belowground plant microbiomes. However, very few studies have been conducted to examine the influence of salinity and drought on microbiomes and on their functional relationships. The objective for the study was to examine the effects of salinity and drought on above- and belowground spinach microbiomes and evaluate seasonal changes in their bacterial community composition and diversity. Furthermore, potential consequences for community functioning were assessed based on 16S V4 rRNA gene profiles by indirectly inferring the abundance of functional genes based on results obtained with Piphillin. The experiment was repeated three times from early fall to late spring in sand tanks planted with spinach (Spinacia oleracea L., cv. Racoon) grown with saline water of different concentrations and provided at different amounts. Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, and Bacteroidetes accounted for 77.1% of taxa detected in the rhizosphere; Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria accounted for 55.1% of taxa detected in soil, while Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria accounted for 55.35% of taxa detected in the phyllosphere. Salinity significantly affected root microbiome beta-diversity according to weighted abundances (p = 0.032) but had no significant effect on the relative abundances of microbial taxa (p = 0.568). Pathways and functional genes analysis of soil, rhizosphere, and phyllosphere showed that the most abundant functional genes were mapped to membrane transport, DNA repair and recombination, signal transduction, purine metabolism, translation-related protein processing, oxidative phosphorylation, bacterial motility protein secretion, and membrane receptor proteins. Monoterpenoid biosynthesis was the most significantly enriched pathway in rhizosphere samples when compared to the soil samples. Overall, the predictive abundances indicate that, functionally, the rhizosphere bacteria had the highest gene abundances and that salinity and drought affected the above- and belowground microbiomes differently.