Brian T. Lawrence, Alejandro Calle, Christopher A. Saski, Juan Carlos Melgar

Differential Gene Expression Patterns in Peach Roots under Non-Uniform Soil Conditions in Response to Organic Matter

  • Genetics (clinical)
  • Genetics

Organic matter (OM) amendments are often encouraged in sustainable agriculture programs but can create heterogeneous soil environments when applied to perennial crops such as peaches (Prunus persica (L.) Batsch). To better understand the responses of peach roots to non-uniform soil conditions, transcriptomic analysis was performed in a split-root study using uniform soil (the same soil type for all roots) or non-uniform soil (different soil types for each half of the root system) from either (1) autoclaved sand (S), (2) autoclaved sand with autoclaved compost (A), or (3) autoclaved sand with compost which included inherent biological soil life (B). Each uniform soil type (S, A, and B) was grouped and compared by uniform and non-uniform soil comparisons for a total of nine treatments. Comparisons revealed peach roots had differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and gene ontology terms between soil groups, with the S and B groups having a range of 106–411 DEGs and the A group having a range of 19–94 DEGs. Additionally, six modules were identified and correlated (p > 0.69) for six of the nine treatment combinations. This study broadly highlights the complexity of how OM and biological life in the rhizosphere interact with immediate and distant roots and sheds light on how non-homogenous soil conditions can influence peach root gene expression.

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