Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Enriched root bacterial microbiome in invaded vs native ranges of the model grass allotetraploid Brachypodium hybridum.

Abstract

Invasive species can shift the composition of key soil microbial groups, thus creating novel soil microbial communities. To better understand the biological drivers of invasion, we studied plant-microbial interactions in species of the Brachypodium distachyon complex, a model system for functional genomic studies of temperate grasses and bioenergy crops. While Brachypodium hybridum invasion in California is in an incipient stage, threatening natural and agricultural systems, its diploid progenitor species B. distachyon is not invasive in California. We investigated the root, soil, and rhizosphere bacterial composition of Brachypodium hybridum in both its native and invaded range, and of B. distachyon in the native range. We used high-throughput, amplicon sequencing to evaluate if the bacteria associated with these plants differ, and whether biotic controls may be driving B. hybridum invasion. Bacterial community composition of B. hybridum differed based on provenance (native or invaded range) for root, rhizosphere, and bulk soils, as did the abundance of dominant bacterial taxa. Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria and Bacillus spp. (species) were significantly more abundant in B. hybridum roots from the invaded range, whereas Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Erwinia and Pseudomonas were more abundant in the native range roots. Brachypodium hybridum forms novel biotic interactions with a diverse suite of rhizosphere microbes from the invaded range, which may not exert a similar influence within its native range, ostensibly contributing to B. hybridum's invasiveness. These associated plant microbiomes could inform future management approaches for B. hybridum in its invaded range and could be key to understanding, predicting, and preventing future plant invasions.