Site and plant species are important determinants of the Methylobacterium community composition in the plant phyllosphere

Knief, Claudia; Ramette, Alban Nicolas; Frances, Lisa; Alonso-Blanco, Carlos; Vorholt, Julia A (2010). Site and plant species are important determinants of the Methylobacterium community composition in the plant phyllosphere. The ISME journal, 4(6), pp. 719-728. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/ismej.2010.9

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The plant phyllosphere constitutes a habitat for numerous microorganisms; among them are members of the genus Methylobacterium. Owing to the ubiquitous occurrence of methylobacteria on plant leaves, they represent a suitable target for studying plant colonization patterns. The influence of the factor site, host plant species, time and the presence of other phyllosphere bacteria on Methylobacterium community composition and population size were evaluated in this study. Leaf samples were collected from Arabidopsis thaliana or Medicago truncatula plants and from the surrounding plant species at several sites. The abundance of cultivable Methylobacterium clearly correlated with the abundance of other phyllosphere bacteria, suggesting that methylobacteria constitute a considerable and rather stable fraction of the phyllosphere microbiota under varying environmental conditions. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) was applied to characterize the Methylobacterium community composition and showed the presence of similar communities on A. thaliana plants at most sites in 2 consecutive years of sampling. A substantial part of the observed variation in the community composition was explained by site and plant species, especially in the case of the plants collected at the Arabidopsis sites (50%). The dominating ARISA peaks that were detected on A. thaliana plants were found on other plant species grown at the same site, whereas some different peaks were detected on A. thaliana plants from other sites. This indicates that site-specific factors had a stronger impact on the Methylobacterium community composition than did plant-specific factors and that the Methylobacterium–plant association is not highly host plant species specific.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute for Infectious Diseases
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Ramette, Alban Nicolas


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Nature Publishing Group




Alban Nicolas Ramette

Date Deposited:

20 Mar 2017 11:18

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:00

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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