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Climate change imposes adaptation of viticulture in risk areas, such as the Mediterranean. Mycorrhization is a valid tool to reduce the impact of the expected temperature/drought increase. Aim of this work was to test the effects of mycorrhization on grapevine vegetative growth, element composition of soil/leaves, and microbiota of bulk soil/rhizosphere/endorhiza, in the field, under exacerbated summer stress conditions obtained by planting the rootstocks in June.
118 rooted cuttings of 1103-Paulsen (Vitis berlandieri × Vitis rupestris) were planted in Salento (Apulia, Southern Italy); about half of them were mycorrhized. Leaf Area Index, shoot growth and survival rate were monitored across two growing seasons. Leaf/shoot weight, chemical analysis of 25 elements, and 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding of bulk soil/rhizosphere/endorhiza were performed on subsamples.
Mycorrhized plants showed significantly higher survival rate and growth, and accumulated significantly higher amounts of 18 elements. 27 endorhizal OTUs (representing ~20% of total sequences) were differently distributed (20 OTUs more abundant in mycorrhized plants); in the rhizosphere, instead, 12 OTUs (~2.5% of total sequences) were differently distributed. A few Actinobacterial OTUs were enriched by mycorrhization in the root endosphere; the same OTUs were the most correlated with the chemical elements, suggesting a role in element dynamics. These OTUs were not hub taxa of the co-occurrence network.
This work shed light onto the interactions between mycorrhiza and microbiome, in the context of plant element dynamics, which is useful to identify potential target candidates for biotechnological applications, thus moving towards a more sustainable, ecosystem-based viticulture.
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