Comparison of endophytic and epiphytic microbial communities in surviving and dead Korean Fir (Abies koreana) using metagenomic sequencing

Choi B.Y., Lee S., Kim J., Park H., Kim J.-H., Kim M., Park S.-J., Kim K.-T., Ryu H. & Shim D.
13(11): 1932 [13 p.]
Plant endophyte and epiphyte communities cooperatively interact with their host plants and play crucial roles in sustaining plant fitness. In Korea, a variety of studies have been conducted to elucidate the reasons for the declining population of the endangered Korean fir (Abies koreana), but the relationship between microbiota and the healthy condition of trees remains unclear. Here, we conducted bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS sequence analyses to dissect the composition of endophytic and epiphytic microbiota in both live and dead trees located in the same Mt. Jiri habitat. In the live trees, the bacterial class Armatimonadia and the lichenized fungi groups were significantly dominant, whereas many bacterial and fungal taxa mainly found in rotten wood were enriched in the dead trees. Functional prediction of the microbial communities in live trees suggested the possibility that bacterial endophytes and epiphytes play a role in inorganic nutrient metabolism and fungal endophytes and epiphytes produce biologically active secondary metabolites, thereby contributing to the healthy condition of Korean fir trees. The ecological function of endophytes and epiphytes in dead trees was predicted to be involved in the decomposition of wood for nutrient recycling. Our analyses revealed a distinct difference in microbial communities depending on the health condition of Korean fir trees. The results from this study would be useful for understanding the ecological function of endophytic and epiphytic microorganisms to conserve and manage this endangered species from ecologically vulnerable environments. Keywords: community diversity; Abies koreana; plant endophyte; plant epiphyte; metagenome; endangered species.
Thursday, 17 November 2022 23:01