Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 101, Issue 3, pp 551–560 | Cite as

Phyllosphere bacterial communities of trichome-bearing and trichomeless Arabidopsis thaliana leaves

  • Eva E. Reisberg
  • Ulrich Hildebrandt
  • Markus Riederer
  • Ute Hentschel
Original Paper


This study aimed to investigate whether the presence of trichomes as conspicuous physical attributes of the leaf surface affects the microbial community composition on Arabidopsis thaliana leaves. The A. thaliana ecotype Col-0 and its trichomeless gl1 mutant were grown in growth cabinets under climate-controlled conditions. The gl1 mutant showed a similar wax composition as the Col-0 wild type with slightly reduced amounts of C29, C31 and C33 alkanes by GC/MS and GC/FID analyses. 120 bacterial isolates representing 39 bacterial genera were obtained from A. thaliana Col-0 leaf surfaces. Phylogenetic analysis of nearly full-length 16S rRNA sequences from 29 selected isolates confirmed their affiliation to the Proteobacteria (Alpha-, Beta-, Gamma-), Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. The bacterial diversity on A. thaliana ecotype Col-0 and its gl1 mutant, devoid of trichomes, were further compared by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Banding patterns and sequencing of representative DGGE bands revealed the presence of phylotypes related to Sphingomonas (Alphaproteobacteria), Methylophilus (Betaproteobacteria) and Dyadobacter (Bacteroidetes) which are common phyllosphere inhabitants. Furthermore, wildtype and trichomeless mutant plants were exposed to outdoor conditions for 4–5 weeks. The DGGE gels showed only minor differences between the two plant lines, thus suggesting that trichomes per se do not affect bacterial diversity on Arabidopsis leaves under the experimental conditions tested.


Arabidopsis Phyllosphere Trichome DGGE Microbiota 



A. thaliana Col-0 and gl1 seeds were kindly provided by S. Berger, University of Würzburg. The authors thank J. Kamke, University of Würzburg, for assistance in phylogenetic tree construction. This project was financially supported by the DFG Graduiertenkolleg 1342 (TP A8/B8) to U. Hentschel/M. Riederer and Sonderforschungsbereich 567 (TP A5) to U. Hildebrandt/M. Riederer.

Supplementary material

10482_2011_9669_MOESM1_ESM.eps (1.4 mb)
Supplementary Fig. 1: DGGE profiles of the phyllosphere microbiota of plants grown in growth chambers (see also Fig. 3), and the corresponding soil samples as well as plants grown under entirely sterile conditions in agar boxes. (EPS 1399 kb)
10482_2011_9669_MOESM2_ESM.eps (610 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 2: DGGE analysis of the phyllosphere microbiota of the A. thaliana wildtype and the trichomeless mutant (gl 1) that were grown outdoors 4–5 weeks. One PCR reaction per individual plant is shown. (EPS 611 kb)
10482_2011_9669_MOESM3_ESM.eps (861 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 3: Average Linkage (WPGAMA) analysis of DGGE gels shown in Fig. 3(A) and Supplementary Fig. 2(B). Scale bar represents percentage similarity by Dice coefficient. (EPS 861 kb)
10482_2011_9669_MOESM4_ESM.eps (908 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 4: Classification of 120 bacterial isolates obtained from A. thaliana Col-0 leaves based on partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing and BLAST analysis. (EPS 909 kb)
10482_2011_9669_MOESM5_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 5 (DOCX 23 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva E. Reisberg
    • 1
  • Ulrich Hildebrandt
    • 1
  • Markus Riederer
    • 1
  • Ute Hentschel
    • 1
  1. 1.Julius-von-Sachs-Institut für BiowissenschaftenUniversität WürzburgWürzburgGermany

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