Get access

Natural soil microbes alter flowering phenology and the intensity of selection on flowering time in a wild Arabidopsis relative

Authors

  • Maggie R. Wagner,

    Corresponding author
    1. Duke University Program in Genetics and Genomics, Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Derek S. Lundberg,

    1. Department of Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology, Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Devin Coleman-Derr,

    1. Joint Genome Institute, Walnut Creek, CA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Susannah G. Tringe,

    1. Joint Genome Institute, Walnut Creek, CA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jeffery L. Dangl,

    1. Department of Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology, Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
    2. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Thomas Mitchell-Olds

    1. Duke University Program in Genetics and Genomics, Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
    2. Department of Biology, Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Corrigendum to Wagner et al.: Natural soil microbes alter flowering phenology and the intensity of selection on flowering time in a wild Arabidopsis relative Volume 18, Issue 2, 218–220, Article first published online: 10 December 2014

Abstract

Plant phenology is known to depend on many different environmental variables, but soil microbial communities have rarely been acknowledged as possible drivers of flowering time. Here, we tested separately the effects of four naturally occurring soil microbiomes and their constituent soil chemistries on flowering phenology and reproductive fitness of Boechera stricta, a wild relative of Arabidopsis. Flowering time was sensitive to both microbes and the abiotic properties of different soils; varying soil microbiota also altered patterns of selection on flowering time. Thus, soil microbes potentially contribute to phenotypic plasticity of flowering time and to differential selection observed between habitats. We also describe a method to dissect the microbiome into single axes of variation that can help identify candidate organisms whose abundance in soil correlates with flowering time. This approach is broadly applicable to search for microbial community members that alter biological characteristics of interest.

Ancillary