Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #408390

Research Project: Agricultural Management for Long-Term Sustainability and Soil Health

Location: Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research

Title: Harnessing phosphorous (P) fertilizer-insensitive bacteria to enhance rhizosphere P bioavailability in legumes

item AFKARIN, ANTISAE - Colorado State University
item DIXON, MARY - Colorado State University
item BUCHANAN, CASSIDY - Colorado State University
item IPPOLITO, JAMES - Colorado State University
item Manter, Daniel
item DAVIS, JESSICA - Colorado State University
item VIVANCO, JORGE - Colorado State University

Submitted to: Microorganisms
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/3/2024
Publication Date: 2/8/2024
Citation: Afkarin, A., Dixon, M., Buchanan, C., Ippolito, J.A., Manter, D.K., Davis, J., Vivanco, J.M. 2024. Harnessing phosphorous (P) fertilizer-insensitive bacteria to enhance rhizosphere P bioavailability in legumes. Microorganisms. 12(2). Article e353.

Interpretive Summary: A plant's roots can manipulate soil microbial composition by increasing nutrient availability. In this study, we explored the association of various legumes and soil microbes and how to increase phosphorus (P) availability and biomass production with reduced P fertilizer inputs. Many of these microbes often decrease in abundance when P fertilizer is added to the soil. In the study we identified a series of microbes that uniquely associate with leguminous crops and are maintained under P fertilization. These microbes are a novel group of microbes that could be targeted to optimize P utilization under a wide array of environmental and management regimes.

Technical Abstract: Phosphorous (P) is widely used in agriculture, yet P fertilizers are a non-renewable resource. Thus, finding mechanisms to improve soil P bioavailability need to be sought. Legumes are efficient in P acquisition and therefore could be used to develop new technologies to improve soil P bioavailability. Here, we studied different species and varieties of legumes and their rhizosphere microbiome responses to low-phosphorus stress. Varieties of common beans, cowpeas and peas displayed similar biomass with and without P fertilization. The rhizosphere microbiome of those varieties grown without P was composed of unique microbes displaying different levels of P solubilization and mineralization. When those varieties were amended with P, some of the microbes involved in P solubilization and mineralization decreased in abundance, but other microbes were insensitive to P fertilization. The microbes that decreased in abundance upon P fertilization belonged to groups that are commonly used as biofertilizers such as Pseudomonas and Azospirillum. The microbes that were not affected by P fertilization involved unique species involved in P mineralization such as Arenimonas daejeonensis, Hyphomicrobium hollandicum, Paenibacillus oenotherae, and Microlunatus speluncae among others. These P-insensitive microbes potentially constitute a novel set of tools that may be used to optimize P utilization and drive future sustainable agricultural practices to reduce the human dependency on a non-renewable resource.