Metagenomic profiling of the community structure, diversity, and nutrient pathways of bacterial endophytes in maize plant.Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2020 Nov; 113(11):1559-1571.AV
This study investigated the diversity, structure and nutrient pathways of the root-associated bacterial endophytes of maize plant cultivated using different fertilizers to verify the claim that inorganic fertilizers have some toxic effects on plant microbiome and not are ecofriendly. Whole DNA was extracted from the roots of maize plants cultivated with organic fertilizer, inorganic fertilizer and maize planted without any fertilizer at different planting sites in an experimental field and sequenced using shotgun metagenomics. Our results using the Subsystem database revealed a total of 28 phyla and different nutrient pathways in all the samples. The major phyla observed were Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, Verrucomicrobia, Tenericutes, Planctomycetes, Cyanobacteria, and Chlorobi. Bacteroidetes dominated maize from organic fertilizer sites, Firmicutes dominated the no fertilizers site while Proteobacteria dominated Inorganic fertilizer. The diversity analysis showed that the abundance of endophytic bacteria in all the sites is in the order organic fertilizer (FK) > no fertilizer (CK) > inorganic fertilizer (NK). Furthermore, the major nutrient cycling pathways identified are linked with nitrogen and phosphorus metabolism which were higher in FK samples. Going by the results obtained, this study suggests that organic fertilizer could be a boost to sustainable agricultural practices and should be encouraged. Also, a lot of novel endophytic bacteria groups were identified in maize. Mapping out strategies to isolate and purify this novel endophytic bacteria could help in promoting sustainable agriculture alongside biotechnological applications in future.