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Growth and Behavior of North American Microbes on Phragmites australis Leaves

USGS Great Lakes Science Center, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2020, 8(5), 690;
Received: 31 March 2020 / Revised: 24 April 2020 / Accepted: 3 May 2020 / Published: 8 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Endophytes and Their Interactions with Plants)
Phragmites australis subsp. australis is a cosmopolitan wetland grass that is invasive in many regions of the world, including North America, where it co-occurs with the closely related Phragmites australis subsp. americanus. Because the difference in invasive behavior is unlikely to be related to physiological differences, we hypothesize that interactions with unique members of their microbiomes may significantly affect the behavior of each subspecies. Therefore, we systematically inoculated both plant lineages with a diverse array of 162 fungal and bacterial isolates to determine which could (1) differentiate between Phragmites hosts, (2) infect leaves at various stages of development, or (3) obtain plant-based carbon saprophytically. We found that many of the microbes isolated from Phragmites leaves behave as saprophytes. Only 1% (two taxa) were determined to be strong pathogens, 12% (20 taxa) were weakly pathogenic, and the remaining 87% were nonpathogenic. None of the isolates clearly discriminated between host plant lineages, and the Phragmites cuticle was shown to be a strong nonspecific barrier to infection. These results largely agree with the broad body of literature on leaf-associated phyllosphere microbes in Phragmites. View Full-Text
Keywords: germination; invasion; disease; barcode; microbiome; pathogen; endophyte germination; invasion; disease; barcode; microbiome; pathogen; endophyte
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    Description: Supplementary files (Appendices S1-S3) are referenced throughout the text. In addition we have completed a full data release available at the link above. The data release contains the raw data whereas the appendices provide formatted tables of the most important information related to the manuscript.
MDPI and ACS Style

DeVries, A.E.; Kowalski, K.P.; Bickford, W.A. Growth and Behavior of North American Microbes on Phragmites australis Leaves. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 690.

AMA Style

DeVries AE, Kowalski KP, Bickford WA. Growth and Behavior of North American Microbes on Phragmites australis Leaves. Microorganisms. 2020; 8(5):690.

Chicago/Turabian Style

DeVries, Aaron E., Kurt P. Kowalski, and Wesley A. Bickford. 2020. "Growth and Behavior of North American Microbes on Phragmites australis Leaves" Microorganisms 8, no. 5: 690.

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