Abstract Flower pollen represents a unique microbial habitat, however the factors driving microbial assemblages and microbe–microbe interactions remain largely unexplored. Here we compared the structure and diversity of the bacterial–fungal microbiome between eight different pollen species (four wind–pollinated and four insect–pollinated) from close geographical locations, using high-throughput sequencing of a 16S the rRNA gene fragment (bacteria) and the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2, fungi). Proteobacteria and Ascomycota were the most abundant bacterial and fungal phyla, respectively. Pseudomonas (bacterial) and Cladosporium (fungal) were the most abundant genera. Both bacterial and fungal microbiota were significantly influenced by plant species and pollination type, but showed a core microbiome consisting of 12 bacterial and 33 fungal genera. Co-occurrence analysis highlighted significant inter- and intra-kingdom interactions, and the interaction network was shaped by four bacterial hub taxa: Methylobacterium (two OTUs), Friedmanniella and Rosenbergiella. Rosenbergiella prevailed in insect-pollinated pollen and was negatively correlated with the other hubs, indicating habitat complementarity. Inter-kingdom co–occurrence showed a predominant effect of fungal on bacterial taxa. This study enhances our basic knowledge of pollen microbiota, and poses the basis for further inter- and intra–kingdom interaction studies in the plant reproductive organs. Flower pollen, microbiome, inter–kingdom diversity, intra–kingdom diversity, core microbiome, hub species © FEMS 2018. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)
FEMS Microbiology Ecology – Oxford University Press
Published: Jun 6, 2018
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