Root-associated (rhizosphere and endosphere) microbiomes of the Miscanthus sinensis and their response to the heavy metal contamination

Weimin Sun , Xiaoxu Sun , Benru Song , Rui Xu , Miaomiao Zhang , Pin Gao , Hanzhi Lin


Received November 03, 2020,Revised , Accepted December 16, 2020, Available online December 30, 2020

Volume 33,2021,Pages 387-398

The plant root-associated microbiomes, including both the rhizosphere and the root endosphere microbial community, are considered as a critical extension of the plant genome. Comparing to the well-studied rhizosphere microbiome, the understanding of the root endophytic microbiome is still in its infancy. Miscanthus sinensis is a pioneering plant that could thrive on metal contaminated lands and holds the potential for phytoremediation applications. Characterizing its root-associated microbiome, especially the root endophytic microbiome, could provide pivotal knowledge for phytoremediation of mine tailings. In the current study, M. sinensis residing in two Pb/Zn tailings and one uncontaminated site were collected. The results demonstrated that the metal contaminant fractions exposed strong impacts on the microbial community structures. Their influences on the microbial community, however, gradually decreases from the bulk soil through the rhizosphere soil and finally to the endosphere, which resulting in distinct root endophytic microbial community structures compared to both the bulk and rhizosphere soil. Diverse members affiliated with the order Rhizobiales was identified as the core microbiome residing in the root of M. sinensis. In addition, enrichment of plant-growth promoting functions within the root endosphere were predicted, suggesting the root endophytes may provide critical services to the host plant. The current study provides new insights into taxonomy and potential functions of the root-associated microbiomes of the pioneer plant, M. sinensis, which may facilitate future phytoremediation practices.

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