Earthworm activity optimized the rhizosphere bacterial community structure and further alleviated the yield loss in continuous cropping lily (Lilium lancifolium Thunb.).Sci Rep. 2021 10 21; 11(1):20840.SR
The soil microbial community plays a vital role in the biogeochemical cycles of bioelements and maintaining healthy soil conditions in agricultural ecosystems. However, how the soil microbial community responds to mitigation measures for continuous cropping obstacles remains largely unknown. Here we examined the impact of quicklime (QL), chemical fungicide (CF), inoculation with earthworm (IE), and a biocontrol agent (BA) on the soil microbial community structure, and the effects toward alleviating crop yield decline in lily. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene from the lily rhizosphere after 3 years of continuous cropping was performed using the Illumina MiSeq platform. The results showed that Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi and Gemmatimonadetes were the dominant bacterial phyla, with a total relative abundance of 86.15-91.59%. On the other hand, Betaproteobacteriales, Rhizobiales, Myxococcales, Gemmatimonadales, Xanthomonadales, and Micropepsales were the dominant orders with a relative abundance of 28.23-37.89%. The hydrogen ion concentration (pH) and available phosphorus (AP) were the key factors affecting the structure and diversity of the bacterial community. The yield of continuous cropping lily with using similar treatments decreased yearly for the leaf blight, but that of IE was significantly (p < 0.05) higher than with the other treatments in the same year, which were 17.9%, 18.54%, and 15.69% higher than that of blank control (CK) over 3 years. In addition, IE significantly (p < 0.05) increased organic matter (OM), available nitrogen (AN), AP, and available potassium (AK) content in the lily rhizosphere soil, optimized the structure and diversity of the rhizosphere bacterial community, and increased the abundance of several beneficial bacterial taxa, including Rhizobiales, Myxococcales, Streptomycetales and Pseudomonadales. Therefore, enriching the number of earthworms in fields could effectively optimize the bacterial community structure of the lily rhizosphere soil, promote the circulation and release in soil nutrients and consequently alleviate the loss of continuous cropping lily yield.