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Comprehensive analysis of the apple rhizobiome as influenced by different Brassica seed meals and rootstocks in the same soil/plant system

Tracey S. Somera, Shiri Freilich, Mark Mazzola
Applied soil ecology 2021 v.157 no. pp. -
Brassica juncea, Brassica napus, Malus domestica, Nectriaceae, Peronospora destructor, Phytophthora cactorum, Sinapis alba, apples, biodegradation, biological control, bioremediation, genetic variation, genotype, meals (products), microbial communities, orchard soils, plant disease resistance, plant pathogenic fungi, preplanting treatment, replant disease, rhizosphere, rhizosphere bacteria, rhizosphere fungi, roots, rootstocks, soil amendments, soil quality, soil-borne diseases, soil-plant interactions
Replant disease refers to the poor growth of trees when attempting to establish the same or related species on old orchard sites. The use of pre-plant Brassicaceae seed meal (SM) soil amendments in combination with apple replant disease-tolerant rootstock genotypes has been shown to be a promising strategy for the control of apple replant disease (ARD). However, optimizing microorganism-driven protection of apple roots from infection by multiple soil-borne pathogens requires a more comprehensive understanding of how “effective” vs. “ineffective” Brassicaceae seed meal × rootstock genotype disease control systems modulate the composition of rhizosphere microbial communities. In particular, the community of oomycetes associated with the apple rhizosphere remains relatively unexplored compared with bacteria and fungi. To address these issues, we sequenced the root associated bacterial, fungal, and oomycete communities of apple replant disease tolerant (G.210) and susceptible (M.26) rootstocks when grown in an orchard replant soil amended with different Brassicaceae seed meal formulations (Brassica juncea + Sinapis alba, B. juncea, and Brassica napus) previously shown to provide varying levels of replant disease control. Multiple microbial components were associated with observed growth differences between “effective” and “ineffective” disease control systems including the absolute abundance of Ilyonectria/Cylindrocarpon in fine root tissue. Amplicon sequencing provided a more detailed picture of the genetic diversity of oomycete groups in the apple rhizosphere than previously appreciated, and highlighted the variability in oomycete community structure between different rootstock × seed meal disease control systems. In Brassica juncea + Sinapis alba SM-structured rhizospheres, the ARD-tolerant rootstock (G.210) harbored higher relative abundances of Peronosporales with reduced potential to infect apple roots and incite replant disease (such as Peronospora destructor and P. acanthicum), whereas the Peronosporales community associated with the sensitive rootstock (M.26) was dominated by the ARD-specific pathogen Phytophthora cactorum. In addition, Brassica juncea + Sinapis alba SM-structured microbiomes were characterized by numerous bacterial and fungal taxa with the potential for biocontrol, biodegradation and bioremediation. Taken together, these results support the hypothesis that particular Brassicaceae SM soil amendments not only provide “effective” disease control, but also promote microbiomes which are likely to contribute to long-term orchard soil health in many other ways. Overall, this comprehensive analysis highlights the significance of the rootstock × seed meal interaction on bacterial, fungal, and oomycete communities within the apple rhizosphere of “effective” vs. “ineffective” disease control systems and the potential influence of these elements on the dynamics of apple replant disease.