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Diversity of endophytic bacterial communities in poplar grown under field conditions

Ulrich, Kristina, Ulrich, Andreas, Ewald, Dietrich
FEMS microbiology ecology 2008 v.63 no.2 pp. 169-180
Curtobacterium, Pseudomonas, Sphingomonas, aerial parts, bacteria, bacterial communities, beta-Proteobacteria, clones, community structure, endophytes, genes, genetic background, hybrids, phylogeny, plant health, plant tissues, restriction fragment length polymorphism, ribosomal RNA, trees
Bacterial endophytes may be important for plant health and other ecologically relevant functions of poplar trees. The composition of endophytic bacteria colonizing the aerial parts of poplar was studied using a multiphasic approach. The terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of 16S rRNA genes demonstrated the impact of different hybrid poplar clones on the endophytic community structure. Detailed analysis of endophytic bacteria using cultivation methods in combination with cloning of 16S rRNA genes amplified from plant tissue revealed a high phylogenetic diversity of endophytic bacteria with a total of 53 taxa at the genus level that included Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. The community structure displayed clear differences in terms of the presence and relative proportions of bacterial taxa between the four poplar clones studied. The results showed that the genetic background of the hybrid poplar clones corresponded well with the endophytic community structure. Out of the 513 isolates and 209 clones identified, Actinobacteria, in particular the family Microbacteriaceae, made up the largest fraction of the isolates, whereas the clone library was dominated by Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria. The most abundant genera among the isolates were Pseudomonas and Curtobacterium, while Sphingomonas prevailed among the clones.