Variability of bacterial community composition on leaves between and within plant species

Ido Izhaki, Svetlana Fridman, Yoram Gerchman, Malka Halpern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The phyllosphere is one of the largest habitats for terrestrial microorganisms. To gain a better insight into the factors underlying the composition of bacterial communities inhabiting leaf surfaces we performed culture-dependent and independent (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis) analyses on the bacteria associated with the leaves of three plant species: Amygdalus communis, Citrus paradisi, and Nicotiana glauca. We found that the culturable classes Bacilli and Actinobacteria were the predominant classes on the phyllosphere of all three plant species. In contrast to this consistency on the bacterial class level, we found a significant variation on the bacterial species-level based on the culturable methods. Although some variation was detected among individual plants within one plant species, the inter-specific variability exceeded the intra-specific variability. C. paradisi leaf surface had the highest predicted total species richness (Chao 2 and ICE) and the highest species diversity (βw) among the three plant species. Our findings demonstrate that environmental conditions, mainly the plant species within a site, govern the bacterial community composition on leaf surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-235
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the Israel Science Foundation (ISF, Grant Nos. 189/08 and 1094/12).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Microbiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Variability of bacterial community composition on leaves between and within plant species'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this