Host genetic variation drives the differentiation in the ecological role of the native Miscanthus root-associated microbiome

Niuniu Ji, Di Liang, Lindsay V. Clark, Erik J. Sacks, Angela D. Kent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Microbiome recruitment is influenced by plant host, but how host plant impacts the assembly, functions, and interactions of perennial plant root microbiomes is poorly understood. Here we examined prokaryotic and fungal communities between rhizosphere soils and the root endophytic compartment in two native Miscanthus species (Miscanthus sinensis and Miscanthus floridulus) of Taiwan and further explored the roles of host plant on root-associated microbiomes. Results: Our results suggest that host plant genetic variation, edaphic factors, and site had effects on the root endophytic and rhizosphere soil microbial community compositions in both Miscanthus sinensis and Miscanthus floridulus, with a greater effect of plant genetic variation observed for the root endophytic communities. Host plant genetic variation also exerted a stronger effect on core prokaryotic communities than on non-core prokaryotic communities in each microhabitat of two Miscanthus species. From rhizosphere soils to root endophytes, prokaryotic co-occurrence network stability increased, but fungal co-occurrence network stability decreased. Furthermore, we found root endophytic microbial communities in two Miscanthus species were more strongly driven by deterministic processes rather than stochastic processes. Root-enriched prokaryotic OTUs belong to Gammaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Sphingobacteriia, and [Saprospirae] both in two Miscanthus species, while prokaryotic taxa enriched in the rhizosphere soil are widely distributed among different phyla. Conclusions: We provide empirical evidence that host genetic variation plays important roles in root-associated microbiome in Miscanthus. The results of this study have implications for future bioenergy crop management by providing baseline data to inform translational research to harness the plant microbiome to sustainably increase agriculture productivity. [MediaObject not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number216
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Core microbiome
  • Host genetic variation
  • Microbial co-occurrence networks
  • Microbiome assembly
  • Perennial plant microbiomes
  • Rhizosphere soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology


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