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Bacterial communities on plants grown indoors

We recently published a paper (http://mbio.asm.org/content/5/4/e01564-14) reporting that plants grown indoors have different leaf-surface (phyllosphere) bacterial communities than those grown outdoors. We found that Romaine lettuce grown in environmental chambers contains 10- to 100-fold lower numbers of bacteria than age-matched, field-grown lettuce. The bacterial diversity on laboratory-grown lettuce plants was also significantly lower and contained higher proportions of Betaproteobacteria as opposed to the Gammaproteobacteria-enriched communities on field lettuce. Relocation of field-grown plants to the growth chamber resulted in less diverse bacterial populations over time. Field microbiota transplantation experiments showed that field-like bacterial communities can be established on lettuce plants grown indoors. We hope that this information is of interest and use to the microBEnet community.

Romaine lettuce J2


Maria Marco

Maria Marco is a researcher at the University of California, Davis studying how microbes interact with our food.

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