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Performance and microbiota of Lupinus polyphyllus for Plant and Soil

Cite this dataset

Ramula, Satu et al. (2021). Performance and microbiota of Lupinus polyphyllus for Plant and Soil [Dataset]. Dryad.


Purpose: In cold climates, glyphosate residues may linger in soils, with effects on plant-microbe interactions and, consequently, plant performance. Here, we explore the influence of glyphosate residues on the endophytic microbiota (bacteria and fungi) and performance of the perennial nitrogen-fixing weed Lupinus polyphyllus.

Methods: In a common garden, we grew plants from six populations of L. polyphyllus in glyphosate-treated or untreated control soils, with or without additional phosphorus. We sampled plant microbiota (leaves, roots, nodules) and assessed plant performance based on six traits: height, retrogression probability (i.e. shrinkage), biomass, root:shoot ratio, nodule number, and nodule viability.

Results: The richness of plant endophytic microbial communities was determined by soil phosphorus level rather than by glyphosate treatment. However, for bacteria, the composition of these communities differed between glyphosate-treated and control soils across plant tissue types; no difference was observed for fungi. The plant bacterial communities in both soil types were dominated by potential nitrogen-fixing bacteria belonging to family Bradyrhizobiaceae, and particularly so in glyphosate-treated soils. Overall, though, these changes in plant bacterial communities had a minor effect on plant performance: the only difference we detected was that the probability of retrogression was occasionally higher in glyphosate-treated soils than in control soils.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate that glyphosate-based herbicides, when applied at the recommended frequency and concentration, may not have critical effects on the growth of short-lived weeds after the safety period has passed; however, the endophytic microbiota of such weeds may experience longer-lasting shifts in community structure.


Individuals of Lupinus polyphyllus were grown from seed in a greenhouse and seedlings were planted in the common garden to observe the effects of glyphosate residues on plant performance during June-August 2019 (in two different experiments). Plant endophytic microbiota were sampled (roots, nodules and leaves) in July 2019 to identify fungal and bacterial OTUs.

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Academy of Finland, Award: 285746, 331046, 311077