Differential Responses of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities to Long-Term Fertilization in the Wheat Rhizosphere and Root Endosphere.Appl Environ Microbiol. 2021 08 11; 87(17):e0034921.AE
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) provide essential nutrients to crops and are critically impacted by fertilization in agricultural ecosystems. Understanding shifts in AMF communities in and around crop roots under different fertilization regimes can provide important lessons for improving agricultural production and sustainability. Here, we compared the responses of AMF communities in the rhizosphere (RS) and root endosphere (ES) of wheat (Triticum aestivum) to different fertilization treatments, nonfertilization (control), mineral fertilization only (NPK), mineral fertilization plus wheat straw (NPKS), and mineral fertilization plus cow manure (NPKM). We employed high-throughput amplicon sequencing and investigated the diversity, community composition, and network structure of AMF communities to assess their responses to fertilization. Our results elucidated that AMF communities in the RS and ES respond differently to fertilization schemes. Long-term NPK application decreased the RS AMF alpha diversity significantly, whereas additional organic amendments (straw or manure) had no effect. In contrast, NPK fertilization increased the ES AMF alpha diversity significantly, while additional organic amendments decreased it significantly. The effect of different fertilization schemes on AMF network complexity in the RS and ES were similar to their effects on alpha diversity. Changes to AMF communities in the RS and ES correlated mainly with the pH and phosphorus level of the rhizosphere soil under long-term inorganic and organic fertilization regimes. We suggest that the AMF community in the roots should be given more consideration when studying the effects of fertilization regimes on AMF in agroecosystems. IMPORTANCE Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are an integral component of rhizospheres, bridging the soil and plant systems and are highly sensitive to fertilization. However, surprisingly little is known about how the response differs between the roots and the surrounding soil. Decreasing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity under fertilization has been reported, implying a potential reduction in the mutualism between plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. However, we found opposing responses to long-term fertilization managements of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the wheat roots and rhizosphere soil. These results suggested that changes in the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community in soils do not reflect those in the roots, highlighting that the root arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community is pertinent to understand arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and their crop hosts' responses to anthropogenic influences.