Assembly and maintenance of rhizosphere communities are primarily driven by root exudates that provide carbon and nutrients to soil bacteria. Soil harbors a sizeable pool of inactive (dormant) bacteria that can resuscitate under specific environmental conditions and provide a reservoir of metabolic diversity. Thus, resuscitation of bacteria and their recruitment to the rhizosphere may be important for plant responses to stress. We hypothesized that phytohormones resuscitate dormant bacterial taxa and signal their recruitment to the rhizosphere. To test the hypothesis we are looking at the microbial responses to phytohormones in soil microcosms and culture collections using CTC staining, flow cytometry, amplicon sequencing and mass spectrometry.
Collaboration: Sheng He
Funding: NSF (MCB #1817377)