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Symbiosis

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Exploring the natural microbiome of the model liverwort: fungal endophyte diversity in Marchantia polymorpha L

  • Jessica NelsonEmail author
  • A. Jonathan Shaw
Article

Abstract

Within their tissues, plants host diverse communities of fungi, termed fungal endophytes. These fungi can affect plant growth, competitiveness, and resistance to stressors, thereby influencing plant community structure. Research characterizing fungal endophyte communities has so far mostly focused on seed plants, but information on the endophytes of other plant lineages is needed to understand how plant microbiomes impact whole ecosystems and how major changes through land plant evolution have affected plant-microbe relationships. In this study, we assess the fungal endophyte community of the model liverwort Marchantia polymorpha L. by both culturing and Illumina amplicon sequencing methods. We detect a very diverse fungal community that is distinct between M. polymorpha patches and only shares a few core fungi between populations across the United States. We also show low overlap in taxa detected by the different methods. This study helps build a foundation for using M. polymorpha and other Marchantia species as models for the ecology and dynamics of bryophyte microbiomes.

Keywords

Bryophyte Liverwort Fungal endophytes Marchantia polymorpha Plant microbiota 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the following for assistance with field work logistics and facilities: G. Hermann and M. Metz (Lewis & Clark College); S. LaGreca and K. Hodge (Cornell University); K. McFarland (University of Tennessee); D. Allard and M. Tierney (University of Vermont); P. Ball (Oregon State University, Cascades); D. Taylor (Daniel Boone National Forest); B. Overton (Lock Haven University); A. DeMarais, M. Morrison, and B. Kirkpatrick (University of Puget Sound); C. Crisafulli (Pacific Northwest Research Station); K. Golinski (Smithsonian Institution); S. Heiney (North Carolina Botanical Garden). We thank R. Vilgalys, F. Lutzoni, F. Dietrich, and P. Manos for their advice on manuscript development. We also thank our undergraduate assistants: K. Atherton, C. Chen, R. Hinson, and S. Ou. Funding for this work was provided by grant no. DEB-1501826, U.S. National Science Foundation, an Anderson & Crum grant from the American Bryological and Lichenological Society, and a Grant in Aid of Research from the Duke University Biology Department.

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Boyce Thompson InstituteIthacaUSA

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