ORNL researchers are testing the hypothesis that genetic modification of plant cell wall has cascading and quantifiable impacts on its secondary metabolome and the associated functional microbiome. The hypothesis is based on the team’s recent finding that modification of a plant cell wall pathway gene, PdKOR, an endoglucanase, in Populus can impact its ability to interact with a single known mutualist. Through amplicon rRNA gene and metagenome analysis, microbial genome sequencing of field-grown PdKOR plants is expected to aid in understanding and managing implications of plant phenotypic modifications on associated microbiome and the sustainability of bioenergy crops.
Proposer: Udaya Kalluri, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Proposal: Reciprocal impacts of modified plant cell wall and associated microbiome