Aridity modulates belowground bacterial community dynamics in olive tree

Ramona Marasco, Marco Fusi, Eleonora ROLLI, Besma Ettoumi, Fulvia Tambone, Sara Borin, Hadda-Imene Ouzari, Abdellatif Boudabous, Claudia Sorlini, Ameur Cherif, Fabrizio Adani, Daniele Daffonchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Aridity negatively affects the diversity and abundance of edaphic microbial communities and their multiple ecosystem services, ultimately impacting vegetation productivity and biotic interactions. Investigation about how plant-associated microbial communities respond to increasing aridity is of particular importance, especially in light of the global climate change predictions. To assess the effect of aridity on plant associated bacterial communities, we investigated the diversity and co-occurrence of bacteria associated with the bulk soil and the root system of olive trees cultivated in orchards located in higher, middle and lower arid regions of Tunisia. The results indicated that the selective process mediated by the plant root system is amplified with the increment of aridity, defining distinct bacterial communities, dominated by aridity-winner and aridity-loser bacteria negatively and positively correlate with increasing annual rainfall, respectively. Aridity regulated also the co-occurrence interactions among bacteria by determining specific modules enriched with one of the two categories (aridity-winners or aridity-losers), which included bacteria with multiple PGP functions against aridity. Our findings provide new insights into the process of bacterial assembly and interactions with the host plant in response to aridity, contributing to understand how the increasing aridity predicted by climate changes may affect the resilience of the plant holobiont.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
StatePublished - Sep 7 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-09-09
Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the EU project BIODESERT (European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme CSA-SA REGPOT-2008-2 under grant agreement no. 245746), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology through the baseline research funds to DD. ER and SB thank funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 841317, for the project “SENSE”.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Microbiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Aridity modulates belowground bacterial community dynamics in olive tree'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this