Impact of cropping systems on the functional diversity of rhizosphere microbial communities associated with maize plant: a shotgun approach.Arch Microbiol. 2021 Aug; 203(6):3605-3613.AM
Understanding the functions carried out by rhizosphere microbiomes will further explore their importance in biotechnological improvement and agricultural sustainability. This study presents one of the foremost attempts to understand the functional diversity of the rhizosphere microbiome in mono-cropping and crop rotation farming sites using shotgun metagenomic techniques. We hypothesized that the functional diversity would vary in the cropping sites and more abundant in the rotational cropping site. Hence, we carried out complete DNA extraction from the bulk and rhizospheric soils associated with maize plant cultivated on the mono-cropping farm (LT and LTc) and the crop rotation farm (VD and VDc), respectively, and sequenced employing shotgun approach. Using the SEED subsystem, our result revealed that a total of 24 functional categories dominated the rotational cropping site, while four functional categories dominated the mono-cropping sites. Alpha diversity assessment showed that no significant difference (p > 0.05) was observed across the cropping sites, while beta diversity assessment revealed a significant difference. Going by the high abundance of functional groups observed in the samples from the crop rotational site, it is evident that cropping systems influenced the functions of soil microbiomes. Worthy of note is the high abundance of unknown functions associated with these maize rhizosphere microbiomes. This is an indication that there are still some under-investigated functional genes associated with the maize rhizosphere microbiome. It is, therefore, imperative that further studies explore these functional genes for their agricultural and biotechnological potentials.