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Applied and Environmental Microbiology
78, No. 17, 2012; Pages: 6187 - 6193

Distance-decay relationships partially determine diversity patterns of phyllosphere bacteria on Tamrix trees across the Sonoran Desert

Omri M. Finkel, Adrien Y. Burch, Tal Elad, Susan M. Huse, Steven E. Lindow, Anton F. Post and Shimshon Belkin

Institute of Life Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.


Dispersal limitation in phyllosphere communities was measured on the leaf surfaces of salt-excreting Tamarix trees, which offer unique, discrete habitats for microbial assemblages. We employed 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing to measure bacterial community dissimilarity on leaves of spatially dispersed Tamarix specimens in sites with uniform climatic conditions across the Sonoran Desert in the Southwestern United States. Our analyses revealed diverse bacterial communities with four dominant phyla that exhibited differential effects of environmental and geographic variables. Geographical distance was the most important parameter that affected community composition, particularly that of betaproteobacteria, which displayed a statistically significant, distance-decay relationship.

Keywords: 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing; Tamarix specimens; betaproteobacteria.



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