Microbe-associated molecular pattern recognition receptors have little effect on endophytic Arabidopsis thaliana microbiome assembly in the field

Caroline Oldstone-Jackson, Feng Huang, Joy Bergelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plant microbiome structure affects plant health and productivity. A limited subset of environmental microbes successfully establishes within plant tissues, but the forces underlying this selectivity remain poorly characterized. Transmembrane pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), used by plants to detect microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs), are strong candidates for achieving this selectivity because PRRs can potentially interact with many members of the microbiome. Indeed, MAMPs found in many microbial taxa, including beneficials and commensals, can instigate a robust immune response that affects microbial growth. Surprisingly, we found that MAMP-detecting PRRs have little effect on endophytic bacterial and fungal microbiome structure in the field. We compared the microbiomes of four PRR knockout lines of Arabidopsis thaliana to wild-type plants in multiple tissue types over several developmental stages and detected only subtle shifts in fungal, but not bacterial, β-diversity in one of the four PRR mutants. In one developmental stage, lore mutants had slightly altered fungal β-diversity, indicating that LORE may be involved in plant-fungal interactions in addition to its known role in detecting certain bacterial lipids. No other effects of PRRs on α-diversity, microbiome variability, within-individual homogeneity, or microbial load were found. The general lack of effect suggests that individual MAMP-detecting PRRs are not critical in shaping the endophytic plant microbiome. Rather, we suggest that MAMP-detecting PRRs must either act in concert and/or are individually maintained through pleiotropic effects or interactions with coevolved mutualists or pathogens. Although unexpected, these results offer insights into the role of MAMP-detecting PRRs in plant-microbe interactions and help direct future efforts to uncover host genetic elements that control plant microbiome assembly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1276472
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
StatePublished - 2023


  • Arabidopsis
  • MAMP
  • field
  • microbe-associated molecular pattern
  • microbial communities
  • microbial diversity
  • microbiome
  • plant immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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