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Microorganisms 2019, 7(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7010004

The Microbial Communities of Leaves and Roots Associated with Turtle Grass (Thalassia testudinum) and Manatee Grass (Syringodium filliforme) are Distinct from Seawater and Sediment Communities, but Are Similar between Species and Sampling Sites

Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center, Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, UF/IFAS, University of Florida, Davie, FL 33314, USA
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Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 22 December 2018 / Published: 26 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Microbiology)
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Abstract

Seagrasses are vital members of coastal systems, which provide several important ecosystem services such as improvement of water quality, shoreline protection, and serving as shelter, food, and nursery to many species, including economically important fish. They also act as a major carbon sink and supply copious amounts of oxygen to the ocean. A decline in seagrasses has been observed worldwide, partly due to climate change, direct and indirect human activities, diseases, and increased sulfide concentrations in the coastal porewaters. Several studies have shown a symbiotic relationship between seagrasses and their microbiome. For instance, the sulfur, nitrogen, and carbon cycles are important biochemical pathways that seem to be linked between the plant and its microbiome. The microbiome presumably also plays a key role in the health of the plant, for example in oxidizing phyto-toxic sulfide into non-toxic sulfate, or by providing protection for seagrasses from pathogens. Two of the most abundant seagrasses in Florida include Thalassia testudinum (turtle grass) and Syringodium filliforme (manatee grass), yet there is little data on the composition of the microbiome of these two genera. In this study, the microbial composition of the phyllosphere and rhizosphere of Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme were compared to water and sediment controls using amplicon sequencing of the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. The microbial composition of the leaves, roots, seawater, and sediment differ from one another, but are similar between the two species of seagrasses. View Full-Text
Keywords: seagrass; phyllosphere; rhizosphere; microbiome seagrass; phyllosphere; rhizosphere; microbiome
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Ugarelli, K.; Laas, P.; Stingl, U. The Microbial Communities of Leaves and Roots Associated with Turtle Grass (Thalassia testudinum) and Manatee Grass (Syringodium filliforme) are Distinct from Seawater and Sediment Communities, but Are Similar between Species and Sampling Sites. Microorganisms 2019, 7, 4.

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