We investigated soil streptomycete communities associated with four host plant species (two warm season C4 grasses: Andropogon gerardii, Schizachyrium scoparium and two legumes: Lespedeza capitata, Lupinus perennis), grown in plant communities varying in species richness. We used actinobacteria-selective PCR coupled with pyrosequencing to characterize streptomycete community composition and structure. The greatest pairwise distances between communities were observed in contrasts between monocultures of different plant species, indicating that plant species exert distinct selective effects on soil streptomycete populations. Increasing plant richness altered the composition and structure of streptomycete communities associated with each host plant species. Significant relationships between plant community characteristics, soil edaphic characteristics, and streptomycete community structure suggest that host plant effects on soil microbial communities may be mediated through changes to the soil environment. Co-occurring streptomycete taxa also shared consistent relationships with soil edaphic properties, providing further indication of the importance of habitat preference for taxon occurrence. Physical distance between sampling points had a significant influence on streptomycete community similarity. This work provides a detailed characterization of soil streptomycete populations across a field scale and in relation to plant host identity and plant community richness.
- Microbial community structure
- Plant-driven selection