The Molecular clock is a powerful technique used to estimate divergence time among organisms using molecules. Although widely used in animal and plant studies, the molecular clock is rarely applied to microbes and microbiomes: while in few cases co-radiation with host can be exploited, calibration of molecules is generally impaired by a lack of fossils and a poor knowledge of generation times outside model organisms. Here we outline, however, how molecular clocks can provide interesting insight into the biology of complex microbe-host interaction within various types of agro-ecosystems. Our case studies include: 1) the concomitant radiation of a phytoplasma with its apple host and its insect vector: a complex partnership further characterized by endosymbionts with putatively protective role against the pathogenic phytoplasma; 2) the origin of a likely beneficial new grapevine endosymbiont whose divergence matches human domestication; 3) the co-radiation of garden strawberry with its main anthracnose fungal endophytic agent. Although methodologically challenging, these examples illustrate that molecular clock is a promising and powerful tool to study the evolution of microbes and microbiomes in the agroecosystems.
|Citation:||Rota-Stabelli, O.; Weil, T.F.A.; Ometto, L.; Campisano, A.; Pertot, I.; Anfora, G. (2016). Using molecular clocks to investigate beneficial (and deleterious) microbe-host interactions in the agroecosystem. In: Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution conference 2016, Broadbeach, Australia, 3-7 July 2016: 186. handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/33379|
|Organization unit:||Department of Sustainable Agro-ecosystems and Bioresources # CRI|
Department of Food Quality and Nutrition # CRI
|Authors:||Rota-Stabelli, O.; Weil, T.F.A.; Ometto, L.; Campisano, A.; Pertot, I.; Anfora, G.|
|Title:||Using molecular clocks to investigate beneficial (and deleterious) microbe-host interactions in the agroecosystem|
|Scientific Disciplinary Area:||Settore AGR/12 - Patologia Vegetale|
|Appears in Collections:||03 - Conference object|