Our current understanding of microbial community structures largely comes from snapshots, samples taken at single time points. Further, in regards to plants, little is known how communities change as plants age and transition from vegetative to reproductive growth.
In this project, we have planted surface sterilized seeds at sites located in Southwestern Michigan and sampled root and leaf tissues as the plants germinate, over winter, grow, and flower. To quantify community structures, we will amplify and sequence a portion of the 16S rRNA gene. From these data, we will be able to assess whether A. thaliana harbors “core” leaf and root microbiomes as well as how these communities change with environmental factors and plant growth stages.