Prof. Tian Baoyu’s Research Group Makes Significant Progress in the Research on the Interactions between Root-knot Nematodes and Plant Microbiomes


Root-knot nematodes (RKN) is one of the most damaging plant-parasitic nematodes in agriculture, causing severe crop yield losses worldwide. The plant rhizosphere and root endosphere contain rich and diverse bacterial communities. An in-depth understanding of how RKN and root bacteria interact, as well as determining the key microbial taxa and their functional contributions to plant health and RKN development, is important for understanding RKN parasitism and developing efficient biological disease control strategies.

Recently, Prof. Tian Baoyu’s research group has made significant progress in the research on the interactions between RKN and plant microbiomes. The group used the high-throughput sequencing technology to analyze the composition, changes and ecological mechanisms of the microbiota of plants with and without RKN, and the results showed that the ecological niche, nematode parasitism, developmental stage, and host species, as well as their interactions, had significant effects on the composition and formation mechanisms in root-associated microbiota. In addition, the group conducted a quantitative and localization analysis of nifH, the key enzyme gene involved in biological nitrogen fixation. Data from a further assay showed that adding a proper amount of soil nitrogen could affect the composition and abundance of endophytic bacterial flora of the order Rhizobiales and also the incidence of RKN disease and the number of root knots in plants.

The research was published in the periodical Microbiome, titled “Microbiota and functional analyses of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in root-knot nematode parasitism of plants”. FNU is the first organization of the paper, with Li Ye, Lei Shaonan, Cheng Zhiqiang and Jin Lingyue, master students of FNU, as the co-first authors, and Prof. Tian Baoyu of FNU and Prof. Xu Jianping of McMaster University of Canada, as the co-corresponding authors; Zhang Ting, a doctoral student of FNU, completed the part of the Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The work was supported by the National Key Basic Research Program of China, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the general program of the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province and the Forestry Science and Technology Project of Fujian Forestry Bureau.

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(Translated by Huang Min/ Reviewed by Xie Xiujuan)