Image_5_Influence of host genotype in establishing root associated microbiome of indica rice cultivars for plant growth promotion.JPEG
Rice plants display a unique root ecosystem comprising oxic-anoxic zones, harboring a plethora of metabolic interactions mediated by its root microbiome. Since agricultural land is limited, an increase in rice production will rely on novel methods of yield enhancement. The nascent concept of tailoring plant phenotype through the intervention of synthetic microbial communities (SynComs) is inspired by the genetics and ecology of core rhizobiome. In this direction, we have studied structural and functional variations in the root microbiome of 10 indica rice varieties. The studies on α and β-diversity indices of rhizospheric root microbiome with the host genotypes revealed variations in the structuring of root microbiome as well as a strong association with the host genotypes. Biomarker discovery, using machine learning, highlighted members of class Anaerolineae, α-Proteobacteria, and bacterial genera like Desulfobacteria, Ca. Entotheonella, Algoriphagus, etc. as the most important features of indica rice microbiota having a role in improving the plant’s fitness. Metabolically, rice rhizobiomes showed an abundance of genes related to sulfur oxidation and reduction, biofilm production, nitrogen fixation, denitrification, and phosphorus metabolism. This comparative study of rhizobiomes has outlined the taxonomic composition and functional diversification of rice rhizobiome, laying the foundation for the development of next-generation microbiome-based technologies for yield enhancement in rice and other crops.