Long-Term Rock Phosphate Fertilization Impacts the Microbial Communities of Maize Rhizosphere.
ABSTRACT: Phosphate fertilization is a common practice in agriculture worldwide, and several commercial products are widely used. Triple superphosphate (TSP) is an excellent soluble phosphorus (P) source. However, its high cost of production makes the long-term use of crude rock phosphate (RP) a more attractive alternative in developing countries, albeit its influence on plant-associated microbiota remains unclear. Here, we compared long-term effects of TSP and RP fertilization on the structure of maize rhizosphere microbial community using next generation sequencing. Proteobacteria were dominant in all conditions, whereas Oxalobacteraceae (mainly Massilia and Herbaspirillum) was enriched in the RP-amended soil. Klebsiella was the second most abundant taxon in the RP-treated soil. Burkholderia sp. and Bacillus sp. were enriched in the RP-amended soil when compared to the TSP-treated soil. Regarding fungi, Glomeromycota showed highest abundance in RP-amended soils, and the main genera were Scutellospora and Racocetra. These taxa are already described as important for P solubilization/acquisition in RP-fertilized soil. Maize grown on TSP and RP-treated soil presented similar productivity, and a positive correlation was detected for P content and the microbial community of the soils. The results suggest changes of the microbial community composition associated to the type of phosphate fertilization. Whilst it is not possible to establish causality relations, our data highlights a few candidate taxa that could be involved in RP solubilization and plant growth promotion. Moreover, this can represent a shorter path for further studies aiming the isolation and validation of the taxa described here concerning P release on the soil plant system and their use as bioinoculants.
Project description:Rock phosphate (RP) is a natural source of phosphorus for agriculture, with the advantage of lower cost and less impact on the environment when compared to synthetic fertilizers. However, the release of phosphorus (P) from RP occurs slowly, which may limit its short-term availability to crops. Hence, the use of P-solubilizing microorganisms to improve the availability of P from this P source is an interesting approach, as microorganisms often perform other functions that assist plant growth, besides solubilizing P. Here, we describe the characterization of 101 bacterial isolates obtained from the rhizosphere and endosphere of maize plants for their P solubilizing activity <i>in vitro</i>, their growth-promoting activity on millet plants cultivated in soil amended with RP, and their gene content especially associated with phosphate solubilization. For the <i>in vitro</i> solubilization assays, two mineral P sources were used: rock phosphate from Araxá (Brazil) mine (AP) and iron phosphate (Fe-P). The amounts of P released from Fe-P in the solubilization assays were lower than those released from AP, and the endophytic bacteria outperformed the rhizospheric ones in the solubilization of both P sources. Six selected strains were evaluated for their ability to promote the growth of millet in soil fertilized with a commercial rock phosphate (cRP). Two of them, namely <i>Bacillus megaterium</i> UFMG50 and <i>Ochrobactrum pseudogrignonense</i> CNPMS2088, performed better than the others in the cRP assays, improving at least six physiological traits of millet or P content in the soil. Genomic analysis of these bacteria revealed the presence of genes related to P uptake and metabolism, and to organic acid synthesis. Using this approach, we identified six potential candidates as bioinoculants, which are promising for use under field conditions, as they have both the genetic potential and the experimentally demonstrated <i>in vivo</i> ability to improve rock phosphate solubilization and promote plant growth.
Project description:Phosphate-(P)-solubilizing microorganisms (PSM) are important drivers of P cycling in natural and agro-ecosystems. Their use as plant inoculants to improve P acquisition of crops has been investigated for decades. However, limited reproducibility of the expected effects, particularly under field conditions, remains a major challenge. This study demonstrates that the form of nitrogen fertilization has a significant impact on the performance of various fungal and bacterial PSM inoculants in maize grown on neutral to alkaline soils with limited P availability. Under these conditions, a high soil pH-buffering capacity frequently limits the efficiency of nutrient mobilization, mediated by plant roots and microorganisms via rhizosphere acidification. In a soil pH range between 7.0 and 8.0, nitrate fertilization promoting rhizosphere alkalinisation further aggravates this problem. Accordingly, in greenhouse experiments, six strains of Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Paenibacillus, Streptomyces, and Penicillium with proven P-solubilizing potential, completely failed to promote P acquisition in maize grown on a calcareous Loess sub-soil pH 7.6 with nitrate fertilization and rock phosphate (Rock-P) as a sparingly soluble P source. However, after replacement of nitrate fertilization by ammonium, stabilized with the nitrification inhibitor 3,4-dimethylpyrazole-phosphate (DMPP), five out of seven investigated PSM inoculants (comprising 12 fungal and bacterial PSM strains) exerted beneficial effects on plant growth and reached up to 88% of the shoot biomass production of a control supplied with soluble triple-superphosphate (TSP). Stabilized ammonium combined with PSM-inoculants improved P acquisition (Trichoderma harzianum T22, Pseudomonas sp. DMSZ 13134), while other strains particularly stimulated root growth (T. harzianum OMG16, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42), which promoted the acquisition also of other mineral nutrients, such as N, K, and Mn. A similar effect was recorded under field conditions on an alkaline clay-loam soil pH 8.6. The combination of stabilized ammonium with a range of consortium products based on T. harzianum OMG16, B. amyloliquefaciens, micronutrients, and humic acids completely compensated the effect of a TSP fertilization on field establishment, nutrient acquisition, and yield formation in maize, while non-stabilized urea-di-ammonium phosphate fertilization was largely ineffective. These findings suggest that the efficiency of PSM-plant interactions can be influenced by the form of N fertilization, offering promising perspectives for synergistic effects with stabilized ammonium fertilizers.
Project description:The benefit of plant growth-promoting microorganisms (PGPMs) as plant inoculants is influenced by a wide range of environmental factors. Therefore, microbial consortia products (MCPs) based on multiple PGPM strains with complementary functions, have been proposed as superior, particularly under challenging environmental conditions and for restoration of beneficial microbial communities in disturbed soil environments. To test this hypothesis, the performance of a commercial MCP inoculant based on 22 PGPM strains was investigated in greenhouse experiments with maize on three soils with contrasting pH, organic matter content and microbial activity, under different P and N fertilization regimes. Interestingly, the MCP inoculant stimulated root and shoot growth and improved the acquisition of macronutrients only on a freshly collected field soil with high organic matter content, exclusively in combination with stabilized ammonium fertilization. This was associated with transiently increased expression of AuxIAA5 in the root tissue, a gene responsive to exogenous auxin supply, suggesting root growth promotion by microbial auxin production as a major mode of action of the MCP inoculant. High microbial activity was indicated by intense expression of soil enzyme activities involved in C, N and P cycling in the rhizosphere (cellulase, leucine peptidase, alkaline and acid phosphatases) but without MCP effects. By contrast, the MCP inoculation did not affect maize biomass production or nutrient acquisition on soils with very little Corg and low microbial activity, although moderate stimulation of rhizosphere enzymes involved in N and P cycling was recorded. There was also no indication for MCP-induced solubilization of Ca-phosphates on a calcareous sub-soil fertilized with rock-phosphate. The results demonstrate that the combination of multiple PGPM strains with complementary properties as MCP inoculants does not necessarily translate into plant benefits in challenging environments. Thus, a better understanding of the conditions determining successful MCP application is mandatory.
Project description:In organic soil fertility management, rock phosphate (RP) is gaining momentum as an acceptable phosphorus source, though much of this P is not bioavailable for plant uptake, particularly in igneous RP. This study evaluated the nutrient solubilization, biodegradation and heavy metal concentration when cow dung - waste paper mixture amended with increasing rates of igneous RP was vermicomposted with <i>E. fetida</i>. The cow dung was optimized to a C/N ratio of 30 using waste paper and amended with RP to provide 0%; 2%; 4% and 8% of elemental phosphorus on a dry w/w basis. Incorporation of RP at 2% and 8% P enhanced compost biodegradation resulting in a 12% and 22% significantly (<i>P</i> < 0.001) lower final C/N ratio, respectively, compared to the control; together with higher humification parameters. Amending the cow dung - waste paper mixture with 2%, 4% and 8% P as rock phosphate, resulted in a 39%; 50% and 65% more resin extractable P, respectively, relative to the control. Similarly, the bicarbonate extractable P, which represents the bioavailable P fraction, increased consistently by 19%; 28% and 33% following 2%, 4% and 8% RP application, respectively. Though incorporation of RP initially resulted in increased heavy metal levels, reductions of 40%; 35%; 35%; 40% and 45% for Cr, Cu, Cd, Pb and Zn, respectively, were observed in the 8% RP treatment after 8 weeks, due to the presence of earthworms. Vermicomposting with <i>E. fetida</i> significantly reduced heavy metals to levels below the maximum permissible concentration of potentially toxic elements in soils after 8 weeks. This study demonstrates the potential of optimized vermicomposting with igneous RP for generating nutrient rich organic fertilizers.
Project description:Much effort has been directed toward increasing the availability of soil residual phosphorus (P). However, little information is available for the P fertilization-induced biotic P legacy and its mediation of plant P uptake. We collected microbial inocula from a monoculture maize field site with a 10-year P-fertilization history. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to investigate whether bacterial communities, as a result of different P-fertilization history (nil P, 33 and/or 131 kg P kg ha-1 yr-1), affected the growth of a conspecific (maize) or heterospecific (clover) plant, at two levels of current P application (5 and 30 mg P kg-1 soil; P5 and P30). Deep amplicon sequencing (16S rRNA) was used to determine the maize and clover root-associated bacterial microbiome in different rhizocompartments (rhizoplane, rhizosphere, bulk soil). For both maize and clover, rhizocompartment and host identity were the dominant factors shaping bacterial assemblages, followed by P supply level and the inoculum effect was smallest. Bacterial operational taxonomic unit (OTU) numbers decreased from bulk soil to rhizoplane, whilst specific OTUs were enriched from bulk soil to rhizoplane. A clear hierarchical habitat filtering of bacterial communities was observed in the rhizoplane of the two plant species. The functional prediction of dominant bacterial taxa in the rhizoplane differed between clover and maize, and clover microbiota were more closely associated with P metabolism and maize with carbon cycling. More connected and complex interactions were observed in the clover rhizoplane compared to maize. The microbial legacy effect caused by long-term P fertilization is overridden by host identity and rhizocompartment. Our results highlight the importance of crop diversification in improving P efficiency. The fine-tuning of rhizosphere microbiome in host metabolism indicates that the functions of microbial communities should be integrated into P management to increase P use efficiency and sustainable food production.
Project description:A biotechnological strategy for the production of an alternative P fertilizer is described in this work. The fertilizer was produced through rock phosphate (RP) solubilization by Aspergillus niger in a solid-state fermentation (SSF) with sugarcane bagasse as substrate. SSF conditions were optimized by the surface response methodology after an initial screening of factors with significant effect on RP solubilization. The optimized levels of the factors were 865?mg of biochar, 250?mg of RP, 270?mg of sucrose and 6.2?ml of water per gram of bagasse. At this optimal setting, 8.6?mg of water-soluble P per gram of bagasse was achieved, representing an increase of 2.4 times over the non-optimized condition. The optimized SSF product was partially incinerated at 350°C (SB-350) and 500°C (SB-500) to reduce its volume and, consequently, increase P concentration. The post-processed formulations of the SSF product were evaluated in a soil-plant experiment. The formulations SB-350 and SB-500 increased the growth and P uptake of common bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris?L.) when compared with the non-treated RP. Furthermore, these two formulations had a yield relative to triple superphosphate of 60% (on a dry mass basis). Besides increasing P concentration, incineration improved the SSF product performance probably by decreasing microbial immobilization of nutrients during the decomposition of the remaining SSF substrate. The process proposed is a promising alternative for the management of P fertilization since it enables the utilization of low-solubility RPs and relies on the use of inexpensive materials.
Project description:The simultaneous release of various chemical elements with inhibitory potential for phosphate solubilization from rock phosphate (RP) was studied in this work. Al, B, Ba, Ca, F, Fe, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, Pb, Rb, Si, Sr, V, Zn, and Zr were released concomitantly with P during the solubilization of Araxá RP (Brazil), but only F showed inhibitory effects on the process at the concentrations detected in the growth medium. Besides P solubilization, fluoride decreased fungal growth, citric acid production, and medium acidification by Aspergillus niger. At the maximum concentration found during Araxá RP solubilization (22.9 mg F(-) per liter), fluoride decreased P solubilization by 55%. These findings show that fluoride negatively affects RP solubilization by A. niger through its inhibitory action on the fungal metabolism. Given that fluoride is a common component of RPs, the data presented here suggest that most of the microbial RP solubilization systems studied so far were probably operated under suboptimal conditions.
Project description:In this study, we examined the influence of different nitrogen (N) application rates (0, 168, 240, 270 and 312 kg N ha(-1)) on soil properties, maize (Zea mays L.) yields and microbial communities of three types of soils (clay, alluvial and sandy soils). Phospholipid fatty acid analysis was used to characterize soil microbial communities. Results indicated that N fertilization significantly decreased microbial biomass in both clay and sandy soils regardless of application rate. These decreases were more likely a result of soil pH decreases induced by N fertilization, especially in the sandy soils. This is supported by structural equation modeling and redundancy analysis results. Nitrogen fertilization also led to significant changes in soil microbial community composition. However, the change differences were gradually dismissed with increase in N application rate. We also observed that N fertilization increased maize yields to the same level regardless of application rate. This suggests that farmers could apply N fertilizers at a lower rate (i.e. 168 kg N ha(-1)), which could achieve high maize yield on one hand while maintain soil microbial functions on the other hand.
Project description:In this study, an in vitro in vivo correlation (IVIVC) between Pb in vitro bioaccessibility (IVBA) and relative bioavailability (RBA) was explored to determine whether the efficacy of Pb immobilization in phosphate amended soils could be predicted using an in vitro approach. Mining/smelting impacted soil from Broken Hill, Australia (582-3536?mg/kg of Pb in the <250??m soil particle fraction) was amended with Phosphoric Acid (PA), Mono Ammonium Phosphate (MAP) or Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) at Pb:P molar ratios of 1:1-1:5. Pb speciation in pre- and post-treated soil was assessed using X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS), Pb IVBA was measured using the Solubility Bioaccessibility Research Consortium (SBRC) assay (gastric and intestinal phases), and Pb RBA was determined in mice using blood Pb concentration as the bioavailability endpoint. XAS analysis revealed a 3.75-6.00 fold increase in the weighted % of Pb phosphates in soil containing >1000?mg/kg Pb while treatment effect ratios of 0.89-0.99 (SBRC-G), 0.09-0.71 (SBRC-I) and 0.27-0.80 (RBA) were observed in PA amended soil (Pb:P?=?1:5). Although significant (p?<?0.05) correlation were obtained between Pb RBA and IVBA (%) determined using SBRC-G (r?=?0.64) and SBRC-I (r?=?0.67), the strengths of the relationships were weak (r2?=?0.41-0.45). This research highlights the complexities associated with the prediction of Pb RBA in phosphate amended soil.
Project description:The aim of the experiment was to determine if temporal variations of belowground activity reflect the influence of the Cry1Ab protein from transgenic maize on soil bacteria and, hence, on a regulatory change of the microbial community (ability to metabolize sources belonging to different chemical guilds) and/or a change in numerical abundance of their cells. Litter placement is known for its strong influence on the soil decomposer communities. The effects of the addition of crop residues on respiration and catabolic activities of the bacterial community were examined in microcosm experiments. Four cultivars of Zea mays L. of two different isolines (each one including the conventional crop and its Bacillus thuringiensis cultivar) and one control of bulk soil were included in the experimental design. The growth models suggest a dichotomy between soils amended with either conventional or transgenic maize residues. The Cry1Ab protein appeared to influence the composition of the microbial community. The highly enhanced soil respiration observed during the first 72 h after the addition of Bt-maize residues can be interpreted as being related to the presence of the transgenic crop residues. This result was confirmed by agar plate counting, as the averages of the colony-forming units of soils in conventional treatments were about one-third of those treated with transgenic straw. Furthermore, the addition of Bt-maize appeared to induce increased microbial consumption of carbohydrates in BIOLOG EcoPlates. Three weeks after the addition of maize residues to the soils, no differences between the consumption rate of specific chemical guilds by bacteria in soils amended with transgenic maize and bacteria in soils amended with conventional maize were detectable. Reaped crop residues, comparable to post-harvest maize straw (a common practice in current agriculture), rapidly influence the soil bacterial cells at a functional level. Overall, these data support the existence of short Bt-induced ecological shifts in the microbial communities of croplands' soils.