Bacterial diversity in the rhizosphere of cucumbers grown in soils covering a wide range of cucumber cropping histories and environmental conditions.Microb Ecol. 2014 Nov; 68(4):794-806.ME
Rhizosphere microorganisms in soils are important for plant growth. However, the importance of rhizosphere microorganisms is still underestimated since many microorganisms associated with plant roots cannot be cultured and since the microbial diversity in the rhizosphere can be influenced by several factors, such as the cropping history, biogeography, and agricultural practice. Here, we characterized the rhizosphere bacterial diversity of cucumber plants grown in soils covering a wide range of cucumber cropping histories and environmental conditions by using pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes. We also tested the effects of compost addition and/or bacterial inoculation on the bacterial diversity in the rhizosphere. We identified an average of approximately 8,883 reads per sample, corresponding to around 4,993 molecular operational taxonomic units per sample. The Proteobacteria was the most abundant phylum in almost all soils. The abundances of the phyla Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Acidobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia varied among the samples, and together with Proteobacteria, these phyla were the six most abundant phyla in almost all analyzed samples. Analyzing all the sample libraries together, the predominant genera found were Flavobacterium, Ohtaekwangia, Opitutus, Gp6, Steroidobacter, and Acidovorax. Overall, compost and microbial amendments increased shoot biomass when compared to untreated soils. However, compost addition decreased the bacterial α-diversity in most soils (but for three soils compost increased diversity), and no statistical effect of microbial amendment on the bacterial α-diversity was found. Moreover, soil amendments did not significantly influence the bacterial β-diversity. Soil organic content appeared more important than compost and microbial amendments in shaping the structure of bacterial communities in the rhizosphere of cucumber.