Microbiome & stress

Dr. Stefanie Schulz, Neuherberg
Prof. Dr. Michael Schloter, Freising

In the frame of our project, we will investigate how bacteria with these traits change in diversity, relative abundance as well as activity along plant diversity and drought intensity gradients. We will further investigate how differences in microbial drought stress responses feedback on plant growth. We will address the following research questions:
1) How does plant diversity alter the relative abundance and diversity of bacteria exhibiting different drought-tolerance traits (WP1)?
2) At which drought intensity do drought-resistant bacteria (S strategy) prevail over Y-A strategists and how is that mediated by plant diversity (WP2)?
3) How do drought-tolerance traits of seed and soil-derived bacteria differ (WP3)?

Additionally, we will perform a MockCoMic Experiment, which tests synthetic consortia of drought-tolerant bacteria, which are isolated from the Main Experiment, for their effectiveness to reduce drought stress of plants. We will test (1) the relevance of microbes with different drought-tolerance traits for the plant drought resistance and recovery and (2) if it matters whether the bacteria originate from the rhizosphere soil or the seed.