Profiling, isolation and characterisation of beneficial microbes from the seed microbiomes of drought tolerant wheat
journal contributionposted on 06.07.2021, 03:57 by H Hone, R Mann, G Yang, J Kaur, Ian Tannenbaum, Tongda Li, German Spangenberg, Tim Sawbridge
Climate change is predicted to increase the incidence and severity of drought conditions, posing a significant challenge for agriculture globally. Plant microbiomes have been demonstrated to aid crop species in the mitigation of drought stress. The study investigated the differences between the seed microbiomes of drought tolerant and drought susceptible wheat lines. Furthermore, it highlighted and quantified the degree of drought tolerance conferred by specific microbes isolated from drought tolerant wheat seed microbiomes. Metagenomic and culture-based methods were used to profile and characterise the seed microbiome composition of drought tolerant and drought susceptible wheat lines under rainfed and drought conditions. Isolates from certain genera were enriched by drought tolerant wheat lines when placed under drought stress. Wheat inoculated with isolates from these targeted genera, such as Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens (Cf D3-25) and Arthrobacter sp. (Ar sp. D4-14) demonstrated the ability to promote growth under drought conditions. This study indicates seed microbiomes from genetically distinct wheat lines enrich for beneficial bacteria in ways that are both line-specific and responsive to environmental stress. As such, seed from stress-phenotyped lines represent an invaluable resource for the identification of beneficial microbes with plant growth promoting activity that could improve commercial crop production.