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TECHNICAL SESSION: Characterization of crop-associated microbiome

Association between soil and root microbiomes and within-farm-spatial-variation of soybean yields: II. The fungal perspective.
Ananda Bandara - The Pennsylvania State University. Ryan Trexler- The Pennsylvania State University, Dilooshi K. Weerasooriya- The Pennsylvania State University, Paul Esker- The Pennsylvania State University, Terrence Bell- The Pennsylvania State University

The within-farm-spatial-variation of yields (WFSVY) has been a key yield limiting factor in soybean growing states including Pennsylvania. The drivers of WFSVY are presently unknown. We hypothesize that the possible differences of soil and root associated fungal communities contribute to WFSVY in soybean. The goal of this study was to investigate the fungal communities of samples obtained from high and low yielding spots at V1 and R8 soybean growth stages (SGS). At each of the eight farms (in Pennsylvania) chosen for this study, bulk soil (BS), rhizosphere soil (RS), and soybean root (R) samples were collected from five high and low yielding spots. DNA extracted from samples were subjected to PCR targeting fungal ITS regions (ITS1F/58A2R primers) and amplicons were sequenced using MiSeq platform. The ?-diversity analysis did not distinguish data points based on yield (high/low), farm, or SGS for BS and RS samples, though a clear grouping was observed based on SGS for R samples. For BS at R8, ?-diversity was greater in high yield sites than low sites and the opposite trend was observed for R at R8. The relative abundance of Ascomycota and Zygomycota appeared to be different between high and low sites in BS and R at R8 while Chytridiomycota, Zygomycota, and Basidiomycota were different between high and low sites in RS at R8. The global analyses altogether suggested that fungal community differences can potentially contribute to WFSVSY in Pennsylvania.