Maize rhizosphere modulates the microbiome diversity and community structure to enhance plant health.Saudi J Biol Sci. 2023 Jan; 30(1):103499.SJ
Metagenomic has been explored in investigating microbiome diversity. However, there is limited available information on its application towards securing plant health. Hence, this study adopts the metagenomic approach to unravel the microbiome diversity associated with healthy (LI and MA) and Northern corn leaf blight (NCLB) infected (LID and MAD) maize rhizosphere in the maize growing field at Lichtenburg and Mafikeng, North-West province of South Africa. The extraction of whole DNA from the respective healthy and diseased rhizosphere soils was conducted and sequenced using shotgun metagenomics. A total of 12 bacteria, 4 archaea and 2 fungal phyla were found as predominant across the fields with the use of the SEED subsystem database. The most predominant bacteria phyla included Proteobacteria, Dienococcus-Thermus, Gemmatimonadetes, Chlorobi, Cyanobacteria, Planctomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes, Chloroflexi and Bacteroidetes. Archaea consisted of Euryarchaeota, Thaumarchaeota, Crenarchaeota and Korachaeota, while Ascomycota and Basidiomycota were the dominant fungal phyla. Microbial abundance and diversity were higher in the rhizosphere of healthy maize (LI and MA) rhizosphere as compared to the NCLB diseased (LID and MAD), in the order LI > MA > LID > MAD. At phylum and genus level, alpha diversity index showed no significant (p > 0.05) difference in the abundance of the microbial community of healthy and NCLB infected maize rhizosphere, while beta analysis produced a significant (p = 0.01) difference in the microbial diversity in the soil. Taken together, the study revealed that the abundance of microbial diversity in the maize rhizosphere influences the efficacy of the rhizosphere microbiome to modulate microbial functions towards managing and sustaining plant health.