Legacy effects of anaerobic soil disinfestation on soil bacterial community composition and production of pathogen-suppressing volatiles.
ABSTRACT: There is increasing evidence that microbial volatiles (VOCs) play an important role in natural suppression of soil-borne diseases, but little is known on the factors that influence production of suppressing VOCs. In the current study we examined whether a stress-induced change in soil microbial community composition would affect the production by soils of VOCs suppressing the plant-pathogenic oomycete Pythium. Using pyrosequencing of 16S ribosomal gene fragments we compared the composition of bacterial communities in sandy soils that had been exposed to anaerobic disinfestation (AD), a treatment used to kill harmful soil organisms, with the composition in untreated soils. Three months after the AD treatment had been finished, there was still a clear legacy effect of the former anaerobic stress on bacterial community composition with a strong increase in relative abundance of the phylum Bacteroidetes and a significant decrease of the phyla Acidobacteria, Planctomycetes, Nitrospirae, Chloroflexi, and Chlorobi. This change in bacterial community composition coincided with loss of production of Pythium suppressing soil volatiles (VOCs) and of suppression of Pythium impacts on Hyacinth root development. One year later, the composition of the bacterial community in the AD soils was reflecting that of the untreated soils. In addition, both production of Pythium-suppressing VOCs and suppression of Pythium in Hyacinth bioassays had returned to the levels of the untreated soil. GC/MS analysis identified several VOCs, among which compounds known to be antifungal, that were produced in the untreated soils but not in the AD soils. These compounds were again produced 15 months after the AD treatment. Our data indicate that soils exposed to a drastic stress can temporarily lose pathogen suppressive characteristics and that both loss and return of these suppressive characteristics coincides with shifts in the soil bacterial community composition. Our data are supporting the suggested importance of microbial VOCs in the natural buffer of soils against diseases caused by soil-borne pathogens.
Project description:Soil pathogens are believed to be major contributors to negative plant-soil feedbacks that regulate plant community dynamics and plant invasions. While the theoretical basis for pathogen regulation of plant communities is well established within the plant-soil feedback framework, direct experimental evidence for pathogen community responses to plants has been limited, often relying largely on indirect evidence based on above-ground plant responses. As a result, specific soil pathogen responses accompanying above-ground plant community dynamics are largely unknown. Here, we examine the oomycete pathogens in soils conditioned by established populations of native noninvasive and non-native invasive haplotypes of Phragmites australis (European common reed). Our aim was to assess whether populations of invasive plants harbor unique communities of pathogens that differ from those associated with noninvasive populations and whether the distribution of taxa within these communities may help to explain invasive success. We compared the composition and abundance of pathogenic and saprobic oomycete species over a 2-year period. Despite a diversity of oomycete taxa detected in soils from both native and non-native populations, pathogen communities from both invaded and noninvaded soils were dominated by species of Pythium. Pathogen species that contributed the most to the differences observed between invaded and noninvaded soils were distributed between invaded and noninvaded soils. However, the specific taxa in invaded soils responsible for community differences were distinct from those in noninvaded soils that contributed to community differences. Our results indicate that, despite the phylogenetic relatedness of native and non-native P. australis haplotypes, pathogen communities associated with the dominant non-native haplotype are distinct from those of the rare native haplotype. Pathogen taxa that dominate either noninvaded or invaded soils suggest different potential mechanisms of invasion facilitation. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that non-native plant species that dominate landscapes may "cultivate" a different soil pathogen community to their rhizosphere than those of rarer native species.
Project description:Microorganisms in soil are known to be a source and a sink of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The role of the microbial VOCs on soil ecosystem regulation has been increasingly demonstrated in the recent years. Nevertheless, little is known about the influence of the microbial soil community structure and diversity on VOC emissions. This novel study analyzed the effect of reduced microbial diversity in soil on VOC emissions. We found that reduced levels of microbial diversity in soil increased VOC emissions from soils, while the number of different VOCs emitted decreased. Furthermore, we found that Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and fungi phyla were positively correlated to VOC emissions, and other prokaryotic phyla were either negatively correlated or very slightly positively correlated to VOCs emissions. Our interpretation is that Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and fungi were VOC producers while the other prokaryotic phyla were consumers. Finally, we discussed the possible role of VOCs as mediators of microbial interactions in soil.
Project description:Soil pathogens affect plant community structure and function through negative plant-soil feedbacks that may contribute to the invasiveness of non-native plant species. Our understanding of these pathogen-induced soil feedbacks has relied largely on observations of the collective impact of the soil biota on plant populations, with few observations of accompanying changes in populations of specific soil pathogens and their impacts on invasive and noninvasive species. As a result, the roles of specific soil pathogens in plant invasions remain unknown. In this study, we examine the diversity and virulence of soil oomycete pathogens in freshwater wetland soils invaded by non-native Phragmites australis (European common reed) to better understand the potential for soil pathogen communities to impact a range of native and non-native species and influence invasiveness. We isolated oomycetes from four sites over a 2-year period, collecting nearly 500 isolates belonging to 36 different species. These sites were dominated by species of Pythium, many of which decreased seedling survival of a range of native and invasive plants. Despite any clear host specialization, many of the Pythium species were differentially virulent to the native and non-native plant species tested. Isolates from invaded and noninvaded soils were equally virulent to given individual plant species, and no apparent differences in susceptibility were observed between the collective groups of native and non-native plant species.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The importance of soil biota in the composition of mature plant communities is commonly acknowledged. In contrast, the role of soil biota in the early establishment of new plant communities and their relative importance for soil abiotic conditions are still poorly understood. AIMS AND METHODS:The aim of this study was to understand the effects of soil origin and soil fungal communities on the composition of a newly established dry grassland plant community. We used soil from two different origins (dry grassland and abandoned field) with different pH and nutrient and mineral content. Grassland microcosms were established by sowing seeds of 54 species of dry grassland plants into the studied soils. To suppress soil fungi, half of the pots were regularly treated with fungicide. In this way, we studied the independent and combined effects of soil origin and soil community on the establishment of dry grassland communities. KEY RESULTS:The effect of suppressing the soil fungal community on the richness and composition of the plant communities was much stronger than the effect of soil origin. Contrary to our expectations, the effects of these two factors were largely additive, indicating the same degree of importance of soil fungal communities in the establishment of species-rich plant communities in the soils from both origins. The negative effect of suppressing soil fungi on species richness, however, occurred later in the soil from the abandoned field than in the soil from the grassland. This result likely occurred because the negative effects of the suppression of fungi in the field soil were caused mainly by changes in plant community composition and increased competition. In contrast, in the grassland soil, the absence of soil fungi was limiting for plants already at the early stages of their establishment, i.e., in the phases of germination and early recruitment. While fungicide affects not only arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi but also other biota, our data indicate that changes in the AMF communities are the most likely drivers of the observed changes. The effects of other soil biota, however, cannot be fully excluded. CONCLUSIONS:These results suggest that the availability of soil fungi may not be the most important limiting factor for the establishment of grassland species in abandoned fields if we manage to reduce the intensity of competition at these sites e.g., by mowing or grazing.
Project description:Replant disease (RD) severely affects apple production in propagation tree nurseries and in fruit orchards worldwide. This study aimed to investigate the effects of soil disinfection treatments on plant growth and health in a biotest in two different RD soil types under greenhouse conditions and to link the plant growth status with the bacterial community composition at the time of plant sampling. In the biotest performed we observed that the aboveground growth of apple rootstock M26 plants after 8 weeks was improved in the two RD soils either treated at 50°C or with gamma irradiation compared to the untreated RD soils. Total community DNA was extracted from soil loosely adhering to the roots and quantitative real-time PCR revealed no pronounced differences in 16S rRNA gene copy numbers. 16S rRNA gene-based bacterial community analysis by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and 454-pyrosequencing revealed significant differences in the bacterial community composition even after 8 weeks of plant growth. In both soils, the treatments affected different phyla but only the relative abundance of Acidobacteria was reduced by both treatments. The genera Streptomyces, Bacillus, Paenibacillus, and Sphingomonas had a higher relative abundance in both heat treated soils, whereas the relative abundance of Mucilaginibacter, Devosia, and Rhodanobacter was increased in the gamma-irradiated soils and only the genus Phenylobacterium was increased in both treatments. The increased abundance of genera with potentially beneficial bacteria, i.e., potential degraders of phenolic compounds might have contributed to the improved plant growth in both treatments.
Project description:Growth depression of Rosa plants at sites previously used to cultivate the same or closely related species is a typical symptom of rose replant disease (RRD). Currently, limited information is available on the causes and the etiology of RRD compared to apple replant disease (ARD). Thus, this study aimed at analyzing growth characteristics, root morphology, and root metabolites, as well as microbial communities in the rhizosphere of the susceptible rootstock Rosa corymbifera 'Laxa' grown in RRD-affected soil from two sites (Heidgraben and Sangerhausen), either untreated or disinfected by ?-irradiation. In a greenhouse bioassay, plants developed significantly more biomass in the ?-irradiated than in the untreated soils of both sites. Several plant metabolites detected in R. corymbifera 'Laxa' roots were site- and treatment-dependent. Although aloesin was recorded in significantly higher concentrations in untreated than in ?-irradiated soils from Heidgraben, the concentrations of phenylalanine were significantly lower in roots from untreated soil of both sites. Rhizosphere microbial communities of 8-week-old plants were studied by sequencing of 16S rRNA, ITS, and cox gene fragments amplified from total community DNA. Supported by microscopic observations, sequences affiliated to the bacterial genus Streptomyces and the fungal genus Nectria were identified as potential causal agents of RRD in the soils investigated. The relative abundance of oomycetes belonging to the genus Pythiogeton showed a negative correlation to the growth of the plants. Overall, the RRD symptoms, the effects of soil treatments on the composition of the rhizosphere microbial community revealed striking similarities to findings related to ARD.
Project description:Two Pythium-infested soils were used to compare the wheat root and rhizosphere soil microbial communities from plants grown in the field or in greenhouse trials and their stability in the presence of biocontrol agents. Bacteria showed the highest diversity at early stages of wheat growth in both field and greenhouse trials, while fungal diversity increased later on, at 12 weeks of the crop cycle. The microbial communities were stable in roots and rhizosphere samples across both soil types used in this study. Such stability was also observed irrespective of the cultivation system (field or greenhouse) or addition of biocontrol coatings to wheat seeds to control Pythium disease (in this study soil infected with Pythium sp. clade F was tested). In greenhouse plant roots, Archaeorhizomyces, Debaryomyces, Delftia, and unclassified Pseudeurotiaceae were significantly reduced when compared to plant roots obtained from the field trials. Some operational taxonomic units (OTUs) represented genetic determinants clearly transmitted vertically by seed endophytes (specific OTUs were found in plant roots) and the plant microbiota was enriched over time by OTUs from the rhizosphere soil. This study provided key information regarding the microbial communities associated with wheat roots and rhizosphere soils at different stages of plant growth and the role that Paenibacillus and Streptomyces strains play as biocontrol agents in supporting plant growth in infested soils.
Project description:Cropping soils vary in extent of natural suppression of soil-borne plant diseases. However, it is unknown whether similar variation occurs across pastoral agricultural systems. We examined soil microbial community properties known to be associated with disease suppression across 50 pastoral fields varying in management intensity. The composition and abundance of the disease-suppressive community were assessed from both taxonomic and functional perspectives. Overall design: The genomic DNA was extracted from 50 pastoral fields (1 replicate per soil) varying in management intensity. The DNA from each sample was hybridised to GeoChip 5.0 mciroarrays and processed. The genes associated with the biosynthesis of a suite of secondary metabolites were then investigated
Project description:The ecological mechanisms driving community succession are widely debated, particularly for microorganisms. While successional soil microbial communities are known to undergo predictable changes in structure concomitant with shifts in a variety of edaphic properties, the causal mechanisms underlying these patterns are poorly understood. Thus, to specifically isolate how nutrients--important drivers of plant succession--affect soil microbial succession, we established a full factorial nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilization plot experiment in recently deglaciated (?3 years since exposure), unvegetated soils of the Puca Glacier forefield in Southeastern Peru. We evaluated soil properties and examined bacterial community composition in plots before and one year after fertilization. Fertilized soils were then compared to samples from three reference successional transects representing advancing stages of soil development ranging from 5 years to 85 years since exposure. We found that a single application of +NP fertilizer caused the soil bacterial community structure of the three-year old soils to most resemble the 85-year old soils after one year. Despite differences in a variety of soil edaphic properties between fertilizer plots and late successional soils, bacterial community composition of +NP plots converged with late successional communities. Thus, our work suggests a mechanism for microbial succession whereby changes in resource availability drive shifts in community composition, supporting a role for nutrient colimitation in primary succession. These results suggest that nutrients alone, independent of other edaphic factors that change with succession, act as an important control over soil microbial community development, greatly accelerating the rate of succession.
Project description:The fate of the carbon stocked in permafrost soils following global warming and permafrost thaw is of major concern in view of the potential for increased CH4 and CO2 emissions from these soils. Complex carbon compound degradation and greenhouse gas emissions are due to soil microbial communities, but their composition and functional potential in permafrost soils are largely unknown. Here, a 2 m deep permafrost and its overlying active layer soil were subjected to metagenome sequencing, quantitative PCR, and microarray analyses. The active layer soil and 2 m permafrost soil microbial community structures were very similar, with Actinobacteria being the dominant phylum. The two soils also possessed a highly similar spectrum of functional genes, especially when compared to other already published metagenomes. Key genes related to methane generation, methane oxidation and organic matter degradation were highly diverse for both soils in the metagenomic libraries and some (e.g. pmoA) showed relatively high abundance in qPCR assays. Genes related to nitrogen fixation and ammonia oxidation, which could have important roles following climatic change in these nitrogen-limited environments, showed low diversity but high abundance. The 2 m permafrost soil showed lower abundance and diversity for all the assessed genes and taxa. Experimental biases were also evaluated and showed that the whole community genome amplification technique used caused large representational biases in the metagenomic libraries. This study described for the first time the detailed functional potential of permafrost-affected soils and detected several genes and microorganisms that could have crucial importance following permafrost thaw. Overall design: A 2m deep permafrost sample and it overlying active layer were sampled and their metagenome analysed. For microarray analyses, 8 other soil samples from the same region were used for comparison purposes.