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Project area A: Spatiotemporal dynamics of oak’s bacterial leaf microbiota

This project area characterizes and monitors the phyllosphere habitat of pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) and its leaf bacterial microbiota.

Project A1: Spatial and temporal monitoring of leaf and tree status, and environment

Fanhao Kong, Jörg Bendix, Thomas Nauss, Dirk Zeuss, Helge Bode

Interrelations between environmental factors, the leaf microbiome and generated secondary metabolites across-scales (leaf to crown) are to date poorly understood. We will use microclimate observation and modelling to understand the climatic environment of the leaf microbiome. Further, we will apply high resolution proximate hyperspectral sensing of single leaves to derive leaf traits as a resource for the microbiome. Finally, we will combine imaging techniques of other subprojects with hyperspectral sensing to determine and upscale information on the leaf microbiome (abundance, diversity) and its secondary metabolites.

Project A2: Spatial and temporal monitoring of the leaf microbiome

Anna Wagner, Robert Junker, Alexander Goesmann

The leaf microbiome is shaped by several biotic and abiotic factors that vary with time, between trees, within trees and even within individual leaves. Using metabarcoding sequencing, metagenomics, as well as target enrichment sequencing, we will characterize the microbiome at different scales and relate it to biotic and abiotic factors, which will serve as a valuable source for the project areas B and C.

Project A3: Library of cultured representatives of the leaf microbiota

Fiona Ullmann, Anke Becker, Tobias Erb

As a prerequisite for a deep investigation of the functional role of individual members of the oak leaf microbiota, we are cultivating and isolating bacteria of this microbial community. The bacterial isolates are initially phylogenetically classified, genome sequenced, and characterized for their metabolic potential. Genome editing methods are developed for selected natural isolates to enable experiments in project areas B and C.

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