Plants and animals each have evolved specialized organs dedicated to nutrient acquisition, and these harbor specific bacterial communities that extend the host's metabolic repertoire. Similar forces driving microbial community establishment in the gut and plant roots include diet/soil-type, host genotype, and immune system as well as microbe-microbe interactions. Here we show that there is no overlap of abundant bacterial taxa between the microbiotas of the mammalian gut and plant roots, whereas taxa overlap does exist between fish gut and plant root communities. A comparison of root and gut microbiota composition in multiple host species belonging to the same evolutionary lineage reveals host phylogenetic signals in both eukaryotic kingdoms. The reasons underlying striking differences in microbiota composition in independently evolved, yet functionally related, organs in plants and animals remain unclear but might include differences in start inoculum and niche-specific factors such as oxygen levels, temperature, pH, and organic carbon availability.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.