Environmental sequencing shows that plants harbor complex communities of microbes that vary across environments. However, many approaches for mapping plant genetic variation to microbe-related traits were developed in the relatively simple context of binary host–microbe interactions under controlled conditions. Recent advances in sequencing and statistics make genome-wide association studies (GWAS) an increasingly promising approach for identifying the plant genetic variation associated with microbes in a community context. This review discusses early efforts on GWAS of the plant phyllosphere microbiome and the outlook for future studies based on human microbiome GWAS. A workflow for GWAS of the phyllosphere microbiome is then presented, with particular attention to how perspectives on the mechanisms, evolution and environmental dependence of plant–microbe interactions will influence the choice of traits to be mapped.
- genome-wide association studies
- host–microbe interactions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology