Abstract— Its seems likely that agricultural management as diverse as certified organic and conventional IPM practices would impact the microbiota associated with crop surfaces differently. We sampled organic and conventionally managed apples at multiple time-points in a growing season and characterized the bacterial taxa associated with replicates of each treatment type. Surprisingly, no evidence of significant differences persisting across multiple time-points was observed. Significant differential abundance of certain taxa was documented but when it was, it was primarily associated with a single time-point making it difficult to understand if these observations resulted from an environmental or a treatment effect. Principal component analyses demonstrated that sampling time-point explained more of the differences between bacterial communities than treatment. Description of dominant shared bacterial families for both organic and conventional samples included Oxalobacteraceae, Pseudomonadaceae, Sphingomonadaceae and Enterobacteriaceae.
Keywords— Organic, conventional, 16S, ITS, phyllosphere, bacteria, fungi.
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