Birgit Wassermann's research while affiliated with Graz University of Technology and other places

Publications (14)

Article
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Background A detailed understanding of antimicrobial resistance trends among all human-related environments is key to combat global health threats. In food science, however, the resistome is still little considered. Here, we studied the apple microbiome and resistome from different cultivars (Royal Gala and Braeburn) and sources (freshly harvested...
Article
Despite evidence that the microbiome extends host genetic and phenotypic traits, information on how the microbiome is transmitted and maintained across generations remains fragmented. For seed-bearing plants, seeds harbor a distinct microbiome and play a unique role by linking one generation to the next. Studies on microbial inheritance, a process...
Article
Microbiomes have an immense potential to enhance plant resilience to various biotic and abiotic stresses. However, intrinsic microbial communities respond to changes in their host's physiology and environment during plant's life cycle. The potential of the inherent plant microbiome has been neglected for a long time, especially for the postharvest...
Chapter
Microbiome research was established at the beginning of the twenty‐first century and nowadays provides an interdisciplinary platform for many fields including agriculture, food science, biotechnology, and plant pathology. In the past, the general idea for plant protection was to identify, isolate, and apply specific, beneficial microbes for disease...
Article
Full-text available
Seed microbiota influence germination and plant health and have the potential to improve crop performance, but the factors that determine their structure and functions are still not fully understood. Here, we analysed the impact of plant‐related and external factors on seed endophyte communities of 10 different oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) cult...
Article
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Understanding the plant microbiome is a key for plant health and controlling pathogens. Recent studies have shown that plants are responsive towards natural and synthetic sound vibration (SV) by perception and signal transduction, which resulted in resistance towards plant pathogens. However, whether or not native plant microbiomes respond to SV an...
Chapter
Recent studies indicate that seed microbiomes affect germination and plant performance. However, the interplay between seed microbiota and plant health is still poorly understood. To get a complete picture of the system, a comprehensive analysis is required, comprising culture-dependent and culture-independent techniques. In this chapter, we provid...
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Postharvest food decay is one major issue for today's food loss along the supply chain. Hot water treatment (HWT), a sustainable method to reduce pathogen-induced postharvest fruit decay, has been proven to be effective on a variety of crops. However, the microbiome response to HWT is still unknown, and the role of postharvest microbiota for fruit...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The plant microbiota is crucial for plant health and growth. Recently, vertical transmission of a beneficial core microbiota was identified for crop seeds, but for native plants, complementary mechanisms are almost completely unknown. Methods: We studied the seeds of eight native plant species growing together for centuries under the...
Article
Full-text available
Apples are among the most consumed fruits world-wide. They represent a source of direct human exposure to bacterial communities, which is less studied. We analyzed the apple microbiome to detect differences between tissues and the impact of organic and conventional management by a combined approach of 16S rRNA gene amplicon analysis and qPCR, and v...
Chapter
Within millennia of domestication, crops and their seeds underwent traceably different adaptive trends, allowing rapid speciation and divergence that lead to phenotypic and genotypic distinction to their wild ancestors. Promoted by these dynamic processes, also the microbiotas have secretly coevolved with the host plants. Recent studies revealed an...
Article
Full-text available
Plant health is strongly connected with plants´ microbiome. In case of raw-eaten plants, the microbiome can also affect human health. To study potential impacts on health issues of both hosts, the microbiome composition of seven different Brassica vegetables, originating from different food processing pathways, was analyzed by a combined approach o...

Citations

... For example, Kim et al. (2020) found that host speciation and domestication shape seed bacterial and fungal communities in rice. Similarly, Wassermann et al. (2022) found different bacterial microbiota associated with different oilseed rape genotypes, with signatures of phylosymbiosis. In addition, while most of the studies constrain their observations to the bacterial and archeal communities (i.e., 16S rRNA gene amplicon metagenomics), it is also essential to focus on the plant-associated fungal communities. ...
... Since they were originally isolated from apple blossoms, and given that related strains are currently used for biocontrol of fire blight, it is likely that they can persist at the most common entry point for E. amylovora. Since these strains were isolated from apple blossoms, they are likely to already be part of the human diet; indeed, investigations of the apple fruit microbiome have previously found members of the genera Bacillus and Pantoea within apple fruits, with Pantoea members becoming more prevalent upon post-harvest storage [41,42]. This suggests that they might be safe for consumption and promising for future investigation. ...
... Several bacterial and yeast cultures recorded better growth and increased antibiotic susceptibility in response to Indian classical music (41-645 Hz) (Sarvaiya and Kothari, 2017). Exposure to classical music was found to improve the quality of grapevine by altering its native microbiome (Wassermann et al., 2021). In case of plants, sound exposure results in increase in certain phytohormones, enzymes and metabolites that imparts tolerance to various biotic and abiotic stresses (Appel and Cocroft, 2014;Bhandawat et al., 2020;Ghosh et al., 2016;Hou et al., 2009;López-Ribera and Vicient, 2017;Mishra et al., 2016). ...
... However, the preservation of specific taxa across generations irrespective of the soil in which they are grown implies that these microbes could be associated with plant adaptation and establishment. Future studies should consider the use of specific tools such as fluorescence in situ hybridization-confocal laser scanning microscopy to detect and monitor vertical transmission in agricultural crops (Wassermann et al. 2021). Future research should also focus on the study of plant growth promotion, abiotic stress tolerance or biological control mechanisms in vertically transmitted microorganisms. ...
... Apples are among the most consumed fresh fruits world-wide and serve as important source for healthbeneficial metabolites [20], but have also been linked to foodborne outbreaks where contaminations occurred along the processing line [21]. Pre-and postharvest practices affect the microbiome of apple fruits [22][23][24][25][26], while the apple genotype and the geographic location represent important drivers as well [27][28][29]. However, the apple resistome, nor any other fruit resistome, has been investigated so far and the selection and emergence of AMR during the postharvest period is still unknown. ...
... Regarding the time point, harvest samples were compositionally different from both storage and shelf-life samples, which is in accordance with previous studies [59,60]. Based on alpha diversity analyses, harvest samples had higher evenness compared to storage and shelf-life samples, but shared the same richness, indicating that-in a context of similar number of taxa-some taxa start to prevail in storage and later in shelf-life. ...
... Since rhizosphere fungi could shift and colonize in plant roots, they have served as the important sources of endophytic fungi for plants (Kerdraon et al. 2019;Zheng and Gong 2019), resulting in differences on the community composition of endophytic fungi (Zhang et al. 2018). Additionally, the community of endophytic fungi was regulated by the host plant, which was called as host selectivity (Schmidt et al. 2019), varied in different developmental stages of the plant (Wassermann et al. 2019;Jia et al. 2020). Compared with the seedling stage, plants in the mature stage clearly had a relatively stronger ability to regulate the community of endophytic fungal. ...
... Vegetables and fruits contain various ingredients and bioactive plant-derived secondary metabolites which are considered to have beneficial health effects. Moreover, they harbor millions of microorganisms [4], which potentially serve as one of the main direct sources of environmental microbiota. The human gut microbiome is regarded as an internal environmental factor, while the impact of the external environment, including the food microbiota, is less well understood in the exposome concept. ...
... A common approach to find ecologically important species is to search for a positive correlation between its occupancy and its abundance [23], which has been implemented in microbial ecology to help identify the so called "core microbiome" [24]. Such microbes must have developed a robust transmission strategy, consistently colonizing the plant each generation, contributing to the host species' growth, survival and/or reproduction [25]. Because of the theoretical importance to agriculture, attempts to find plant core microbiomes have occurred in Arabidopsis [26,27], grape [28], potato [29], rice [30], sugarcane [31], switchgrass [32], tomato [33] and wheat [34], to name a few. ...
... This is most likely due to the rapidly developing molecular resources available (discussed later in Underlying genetics dictate crop yield), integrated farming strategies and adaptive management programs. Several studies have shown through integrating molecular resources and farming techniques, crop yield, yield stability and yield quality can be secured [29][30][31][32][33]. ...