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Diversity and distribution of the endophytic bacterial community at different stages of Eucalyptus growth

Abstract

The relationships between plants and endophytic bacteria significantly contribute to plant health and yield. However, the microbial diversity in leaves of Eucalyptus spp. is still poorly characterized. Here, we investigated the endophytic diversity in leaves of hybrid Eucalyptus grandis x E. urophylla (Eucalyptus “urograndis”) by using culture-independent and culture-dependent approaches, to better understand their ecology in leaves at different stages of Eucalyptus development, including bacteria with N2 fixation potential. Firmicutes, Proteobacteria (classes alpha-, beta- and gamma-) and Actinobacteria were identified in the Eucalyptus “urograndis” endophytic bacterial community. Within this community, the species Novosphingobium barchaimii, Rhizobium grahamii, Stenotrophomonas panacihumi, Paenibacillus terrigena, P. darwinianus and Terrabacter lapilli represent the first report these bacteria as endophytes. The diversity of the total endophytic bacteria was higher in the leaves from the ‘field’ (the Shannon–Wiener index, 2.99), followed by the indices obtained in the ‘clonal garden’ (2.78), the ‘recently out from under shade (2.68), ‘under shade’ (2.63) and ‘plants for dispatch’ (2.51). In contrast, for diazotrophic bacteria, the highest means of these indices were obtained from the leaves of plants in the ‘under shade’ (2.56), ‘recently out from under shade (2.52)’ and ‘field’ stages (2.54). The distribution of the endophytic bacterial species in Eucalyptus was distinct and specific to the development stages under study, and many of the species had the potential for nitrogen fixation, raising the question of whether these bacteria could contribute to overall nitrogen metabolism of Eucalyptus.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank the Celulose Nipo-Brasileira (CENIBRA) for financial support, Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—CAPES) for financial support and the Minas Gerais State Research Foundation (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais—FAPEMIG) for the grant provided to the first author.

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Correspondence to Maurício Dutra Costa.

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Miguel, P.S.B., de Oliveira, M.N.V., Delvaux, J.C. et al. Diversity and distribution of the endophytic bacterial community at different stages of Eucalyptus growth. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 109, 755–771 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10482-016-0676-7

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Keywords

  • Diversity
  • Endophytic bacteria
  • DGGE
  • Sequencing
  • Eucalyptus development stages