Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Ecology and Evolution






e10570 (1-15)


Soil microbiota of the rhizosphere are an important extension of the plant phenotype because they impact the health and fitness of host plants. The composition of these communities is expected to differ among host plants due to influence by host genotype. Given that many plant populations exhibit fine-scale genetic structure (SGS), associated microbial communities may also exhibit SGS. In this study, we tested this hypothesis using Chamaecrista fasciculata, a legume species that has previously been determined to have significant SGS. We collected genetic data from prokaryotic and fungal rhizosphere communities in association with 70 plants in an area of ~400 square meters to investigate the presence of SGS in microbial communities. Bacteria of Acidobacteria, Protobacteria, and Bacteroidetes and fungi of Basidiomycota, Ascomycota, and Mortierellomycota were dominant members of the rhizosphere. Although microbial alpha diversity did not differ significantly among plants hosts, we detected significant compositional differences among the microbial communities as well as isolation by distance. The strongest factor associated with microbial distance was genetic distance of the other microbial community, followed by geographic distance, but there was not a significant association with plant genetic distance for either microbial community. This study further demonstrates the strong potential for spatial structuring of soil microbial communities at the smallest spatial scales and provides further insight into the complexity of factors that influence microbial composition in soils and in association with host plants.


© 2023 The Authors.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Data Availability

Article states: "Microbial sequences are deposited in the NCBI Sequence Read Archive (SRA) under BioProject PRJNA978088 (16S sequences) and BioProject PRJNA978088 (ITS sequences)."

Original Publication Citation

Nobarinezhad, M. H., & Wallace, L. E. (2023). Fine-scale genetic structure in rhizosphere microbial communities associated with Chamaecrista fasciculata (Fabaceae). Ecology and Evolution, 13(9), 1-15, Article e10570.


0000-0001-6665-5454 (Wallace)


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