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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Agroecosystems Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #302543

Title: Impacts of bulk soil microbial community structure on rhizosphere microbiomes of Zea mays

item Bakker, Matthew
item CHAPARRO, JACCQUELINE - Colorado State University
item Manter, Daniel
item VIVANCO, JORGE - Colorado State University

Submitted to: Plant and Soil
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/9/2015
Publication Date: 6/1/2015
Citation: Bakker, M.G., Chaparro, J., Manter, D.K., Vivanco, J. 2015. Impacts of bulk soil microbial community structure on rhizosphere microbiomes of Zea mays. Plant and Soil. 392:115-126.

Interpretive Summary: Our aim was to better understand the processes through which communities of soil microorganisms change over time, in response to changes in available resources and to the growth of plant roots. We collected four distinct types of soil, and repeatedly added different chemical compounds to each soil. We used DNA sequences to measure changes in the composition and relative abundance of different kinds of microorganisms. After this, we grew corn plants in each soil to see what effect plant roots, which interact extensively with soil microorganisms, would have on these distinct microbial communities. Our results demonstrate changes in the identity and diversity of soil microorganisms in response to the experimental manipulations we imposed. An important conclusion of this work is that the ability of plants to re-shape soil microbial communities will differ depending on the composition of the microbial community available in soil in a particular location. We also demonstrate the soil microbial communities in different soils may respond differently to changes in resource availability. Soil microbial communities can impact plant performance, and it would be valuable to be able to deliberately shape soil microbial communities in ways that promote agricultural productivity. As a step toward that goal, this work will benefit plant breeders developing cultivars that yield well with low inputs and crop producers looking to manage soil biology in their production systems. This work will also guide future research into soil microbial ecology.

Technical Abstract: Aims: It has frequently been shown that plants interact with soils to shape rhizosphere microbiomes. However, previous work has not distinguished between effects of soil properties per se, and effects attributable to the resident microbial communities of those soils; different soils also represent distinct initial microbial communities upon which selection must act during the formation of the rhizosphere community. Methods: We used repeated chemical amendments to develop divergent bulk soil microbial community starting points from which rhizosphere development proceeded. Additionally, we contrasted rhizosphere microbiomes associated with two different cultivars of corn (Zea mays). Results: A wide range of bacterial and archaeal taxa responded to chemical resource amendments, which reduced bulk soil microbiome diversities. Corn genotypes P9714XR and 35F40 had largely similar impacts on rhizosphere microbiome development, although differences were evident in select treatments. Notably, in cases where resource amendments altered bulk soil microbial community composition, legacy effects persisted into the rhizosphere. Conclusions: Our results suggest that rhizosphere microbial communities may develop into different states depending on site history and prior selective events. This work advances our understanding of soil microbiome dynamics and responsiveness to change in the form of simple resource amendments and the development of the rhizosphere.