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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #389472

Research Project: Sustainable Intensification of Cropping Systems on Spatially Variable Landscapes and Soils

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Title: Exploring seasonal soil microbiome under corn production as influenced by soil order and nitrogen fertilization

item YOST, MATT - Utah State University
item SULLIVAN, MADSEN - University Of Illinois
item CHASTON, JOHN - Brigham Young University - Idaho
item Ransom, Curtis
item GEARY, BRADLEY - Brigham Young University - Idaho
item Veum, Kristen
item Kitchen, Newell

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2021
Publication Date: 11/7/2021
Citation: Yost, M., Sullivan, M., Chaston, J., Ransom, C.J., Geary, B., Veum, K.S., Kitchen, N.R. 2021. Exploring seasonal soil microbiome under corn production as influenced by soil order and nitrogen fertilization [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual International Conference, November 7-10, 2021, Salt Lake City, Utah. Poster No. 1275. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The soil microbiome is largely determined by genetic (e.g., plant species), environment (e.g., soil characteristics, temperature, and moisture), and management (e.g., tillage, fertilizer additions) factors. Extensive research has been conducted to understand how these factors affect soil microbes, but little is known about how inherent soil characteristics and nitrogen fertilization practices influence soil microbial communities through the growing season. Therefore, the aim of our research was to determine soil bacterial and fungal baseline communities and seasonal changes in cornfields, under contrasting soil orders and with N fertilization. Study sites included three Missouri fields with differing soil orders (alfisol, mollisol, and entisol) with 0 and 215 kg N ha-1 applied at planting. Soil samples were collected every 2 weeks, starting prior to planting until the corn reached the reproductive stages. DNA was extracted and sequenced to identify bacterial and fungal diversity and abundance. Our results show that soil order strongly affects the structure of the bacterial and fungal microbiomes, and that the corn growth stage influences the diversity of bacterial and fungal communities. Nitrogen fertilization had a minimal impact on the soil biota diversity, as only a single amplicon sequence variant from the Xanthamonadaceae family varied in abundance with N fertilization. Whether this information can assist farmers with management decisions is uncertain, but this initial investigation indicates that the use of synthetic N fertilizers (e.g., ammonium nitrate) may not be as impactful on the soil microbiome as previously theorized.