Comparative fungal diversity and dynamics in plant compartments at different developmental stages under root-zone restricted grapevines
BMC Microbiol. 2021 Nov 16;21(1):317. doi: 10.1186/s12866-021-02376-y.
BACKGROUND: The root-zone restriction cultivation technique is used to achieve superior fruit quality at the cost of limited vegetative and enhanced reproductive development of grapevines. Fungal interactions and diversity in grapevines are well established; however, our knowledge about fungal diversity under the root-zone restriction technique is still unexplored. To provide insights into the role of mycobiota in the regulation of growth and fruit quality of grapevine under root-zone restriction, DNA from rhizosphere and plant compartments, including white roots (new roots), leaves, flowers, and berries of root-zone restricted (treatment) and conventionally grown plants (control), was extracted at three growth stages (full bloom, veraison, and maturity).
RESULTS: Diversity analysis based on the ITS1 region was performed using QIIME2. We observed that the root-zone restriction technique primarily affected the fungal communities of the soil and plant compartments at different growth stages. Interestingly, Fusarium, Ilyonectria, Cladosporium and Aspergillus spp observed in the rhizosphere overlapped with the phyllosphere at all phenological stages, having distinctive abundance in grapevine habitats. Peak richness and diversity were observed in the rhizosphere at the full bloom stage of control plants, white roots at the veraison stage of treatment, leaves at the maturity stage of treatment, flowers at the full bloom stage and berries at the veraison stage of control plants. Except for white roots, the diversity of soil and plant compartments of treated plants tended to increase until maturity. At the maturity stage of the treated and control plants, the abundance of Aspergillus spp. was 25.99 and 29.48%, respectively. Moreover, the total soluble sugar content of berries was 19.03 obrix and 16 obrix in treated and control plants, respectively, at the maturity stage.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first elucidative study targeting the fungal diversity of conventional and root-restricted cultivation techniques in a single vineyard. Species richness and diversity are affected by stressful cultivation known as root zone restriction. There is an association between the abundance of Aspergillus spp. and fruit quality because despite causing stress to the grapevine, superior quality of fruit is retrieved in root-zone restricted plants.