Bacterial communities on plants grown indoors

We recently published a paper ( reporting that plants grown indoors have different leaf-surface (phyllosphere) bacterial communities than those grown outdoors. We found that Romaine lettuce grown in environmental chambers contains 10- to 100-fold lower numbers of bacteria than age-matched, field-grown lettuce. The bacterial diversity on laboratory-grown lettuce plants was also significantly lower and contained higher proportions of Betaproteobacteria as opposed to the Gammaproteobacteria-enriched communities on field lettuce. Relocation of field-grown plants to the growth chamber resulted in less diverse bacterial populations over time. Field microbiota transplantation experiments showed that field-like bacterial communities can be established on lettuce plants grown indoors. We hope that this information is of interest and use to the microBEnet community.

Romaine lettuce J2

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Maria Marco

Maria Marco is a researcher at the University of California, Davis studying how microbes interact with our food.