Grapevine rootstocks shape underground bacterial microbiome and networking but not potential functionality

Ramona Marasco*, Eleonora Rolli, Marco Fusi, Grégoire Michoud, Daniele Daffonchio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


Background: The plant compartments of Vitis vinifera, including the rhizosphere, rhizoplane, root endosphere, phyllosphere and carposphere, provide unique niches that drive specific bacterial microbiome associations. The majority of phyllosphere endophytes originate from the soil and migrate up to the aerial compartments through the root endosphere. Thus, the soil and root endosphere partially define the aerial endosphere in the leaves and berries, contributing to the terroir of the fruit. However, V. vinifera cultivars are invariably grafted onto the rootstocks of other Vitis species and hybrids. It has been hypothesized that the plant species determines the microbiome of the root endosphere and, as a consequence, the aerial endosphere. In this work, we test the first part of this hypothesis. We investigate whether different rootstocks influence the bacteria selected from the surrounding soil, affecting the bacterial diversity and potential functionality of the rhizosphere and root endosphere. Methods: Bacterial microbiomes from both the root tissues and the rhizosphere of Barbera cultivars, both ungrafted and grafted on four different rootstocks, cultivated in the same soil from the same vineyard, were characterized by 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing. To assess the influence of the root genotype on the bacterial communities' recruitment in the root system, (i) the phylogenetic diversity coupled with the predicted functional profiles and (ii) the co-occurrence bacterial networks were determined. Cultivation-dependent approaches were used to reveal the plant-growth promoting (PGP) potential associated with the grafted and ungrafted root systems. Results: Richness, diversity and bacterial community networking in the root compartments were significantly influenced by the rootstocks. Complementary to a shared bacterial microbiome, different subsets of soil bacteria, including those endowed with PGP traits, were selected by the root system compartments of different rootstocks. The interaction between the root compartments and the rootstock exerted a unique selective pressure that enhanced niche differentiation, but rootstock-specific bacterial communities were still recruited with conserved PGP traits. Conclusion: While the rootstock significantly influences the taxonomy, structure and network properties of the bacterial community in grapevine roots, a homeostatic effect on the distribution of the predicted and potential functional PGP traits was found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s). 2018.


  • Bacterial recruitment
  • Co-occurrence network
  • Endosphere
  • Grapevine
  • Microbial ecology
  • Microbiome
  • Plant growth-promoting bacteria
  • Rhizosphere
  • Rootstock selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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