AbstractRhizosphere arguably embodies the most diverse microbial ecosystem on the planet, yet it is largely a functional 'black box' of belowground plant-microbiome interactions. The rhizosphere is the primary site of entry for subsurface injection of fixed carbon (C) into soil with impacts on local to global scale C biogeochemistry and ultimately Earth's climate. While spatial organization of rhizosphere is central to its function, the small scale and steep microbial and geochemical gradients within this dynamic region make it easily disrupted by sampling where this complexity represents a significant challenge toward revealing discreet functions, drivers, and interactions central to the rhizosphere ecosystem. Here, we describe a non-destructive sampling method linked to metaproteomic analysis to accurately capture spatial and temporal shifts in the microbial composition and function of rhizosphere. A robust, non-destructive method of sampling microbial hotspots within rhizosphere provides an unperturbed window into the elusive functional interactome of this system over time and space.
Published: December 1, 2021