Table_1_Wheat Rhizosphere Metagenome Reveals Newfound Potential Soil Zn-Mobilizing Bacteria Contributing to Cultivars’ Variation in Grain Zn Concentration.XLSX
An effective solution to global human zinc (Zn) deficiency is Zn biofortification of staple food crops, which has been hindered by the low available Zn in calcareous soils worldwide. Many culturable soil microbes have been reported to increase Zn availability in the laboratory, while the status of these microbes in fields and whether there are unculturable Zn-mobilizing microbes remain unexplored. Here, we use the culture-independent metagenomic sequencing to investigate the rhizosphere microbiome of three high-Zn (HZn) and three low-Zn (LZn) wheat cultivars in a field experiment with calcareous soils. The average grain Zn concentration of HZn was higher than the Zn biofortification target 40 mg kg–1, while that of LZn was lower than 40 mg kg–1. Metagenomic sequencing and analysis showed large microbiome difference between wheat rhizosphere and bulk soil but small difference between HZn and LZn. Most of the rhizosphere-enriched microbes in HZn and LZn were in common, including many of the previously reported soil Zn-mobilizing microbes. Notably, 30 of the 32 rhizosphere-enriched species exhibiting different abundances between HZn and LZn possess the functional genes involved in soil Zn mobilization, especially the synthesis and exudation of organic acids and siderophores. Most of the abundant potential Zn-mobilizing species were positively correlated with grain Zn concentration and formed a module with strong interspecies relations in the co-occurrence network of abundant rhizosphere-enriched microbes. The potential Zn-mobilizing species, especially Massilia and Pseudomonas, may contribute to the cultivars’ variation in grain Zn concentration, and they deserve further investigation in future studies on Zn biofortification.