Diversity of microbiota associated with symptomatic and non-symptomatic bacterial wilt-diseased banana plants determined using 16S rRNA metagenome sequencing

Nurul Shamsinah Mohd Suhaimi, Share-Yuan Goh, Noni Ajam, Rofina Yasmin Othman, Kok-Gan Chan, Kwai Lin Thong
World Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology 2017 August 21, 33 (9): 168
Banana is one of the most important fruits cultivated in Malaysia, and it provides many health benefits. However, bacterial wilt disease, which attacks bananas, inflicts major losses on the banana industry in Malaysia. To understand the complex interactions of the microbiota of bacterial wilt-diseased banana plants, we first determined the bacterial communities residing in the pseudostems of infected (symptomatic) and diseased-free (non-symptomatic) banana plants. We characterized the associated microorganisms using the targeted 16S rRNA metagenomics sequencing on the Illumina MiSeq platform. Taxonomic classifications revealed 17 and nine known bacterial phyla in the tissues of non-symptomatic and symptomatic plants, respectively. Cyanobacteria and Proteobacteria (accounted for more than 99% of the 16S rRNA gene fragments) were the two most abundant phyla in both plants. The five major genera found in both plant samples were Ralstonia, Sphingomonas, Methylobacterium, Flavobacterium, and Pseudomonas. Ralstonia was more abundant in symptomatic plant (59% out of the entire genera) as compared to those in the non-symptomatic plant (only 36%). Our data revealed that 102 bacterial genera were only assigned to the non-symptomatic plant. Overall, this study indicated that more diverse and abundant microbiota were associated with the non-symptomatic bacterial wilt-diseased banana plant as compared to the symptomatic plant. The higher diversity of endophytic microbiota in the non-symptomatic banana plant could be an indication of pathogen suppression which delayed or prevented the disease expression. This comparative study of the microbiota in the two plant conditions might provide caveats for potential biological control strategies.

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