The Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology's weekly Plant Pathology 250 seminar series is presented this week by Dr. Quan Zeng, Associate Plant Pathologist, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.
Seminar Title: "Flower microbiome and its link to plant health"
Abstract: Due to the nutrient rich nature and the ephemeral presence, flowers present unique opportunities to understand the assembly and function of microbiome on plants. From the plant pathology perspective, flowers are important natural openings and infection sites of many plant pathogens. In this USDA-NIFA funded research project, we aimed to understand the assembly, priority effect, and functions of microbiome on apple flowers, and its impact to fire blight infection. We identified that a microbiome initially composed of a highly diverse microbial groups colonize on apple flowers at early stage of bloom, gradually evolved to become a microbiome dominated by two keystone families, Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonadaceae, at later stage of bloom. Strong priority effect, particularly niche pre-emption, was identified between the fire blight pathogen Erwinia amylovora and the natural microbiome. Certain members of the microbiome, such as Pseudomonas, was found to negatively correlate with E. amylovora on flowers. Finally, manipulation of the flower microbiome through microbial spray altered the microbiome structure and reduced fire blight infection.
Faculty Host: Caroline Roper; firstname.lastname@example.org