A green garlic (Allium sativum L.) based intercropping system reduces the strain of continuous monocropping in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) by adjusting the micro-ecological environment of soil.
ABSTRACT: The continuous cropping obstacle of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) under facility cultivation is more prevalent in China. This is associated with an imbalance in soil microbial and ecological environment in long-term monocultures. It was postulated that intercropping with green garlic would relieve the continuous cropping obstacle of cucumber by altering the soil micro-ecology status. A pot-based experiment was conducted to investigate the green garlic-cucumber intercropping and cucumber monocropping systems. The results showed that the cucumber shoot biomass was improved by intercropping with green garlic. However, the population of soil bacteria and actinomycetes increased, while the fungal population decreased. The fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) profiles indicated that soil contained more fungal FAME biomarkers (18:1?9c, 18:2?6, 9) and higher fungal:bacterial ratio in the monoculture system, whereas clustering of more bacterial FAME biomarkers (cy17:0, cy19:0, 16:1?7c10, Me16:0, 10Me17:0, 10Me18:0) was observed under intercropping conditions. Moreover, significantly (P < 0.05) higher soil invertase and alkaline phosphatase activities, organic matter, and available N, P and K contents were observed under intercropping systems. These were high in both bulk and rhizosphere soils in the intercropping system when compared to monocropping system. These findings suggest that intercropping with green garlic can alleviate continuous cropping obstacle of cucumber by improving the diverse composition of soil microbial community, enzyme activities, and nutrient availability.
Project description:Intercropping is a vital technology in resource-limited agricultural systems with low inputs. Peanut/maize intercropping enhances iron (Fe) nutrition in calcareous soil. Proteomic studies of the differences in peanut leaves, maize leaves and maize roots between intercropping and monocropping systems indicated that peanut/maize intercropping not only improves Fe availability in the rhizosphere but also influences the levels of proteins related to carbon and nitrogen metabolism. Moreover, intercropping may enhance stress resistance in the peanut plant (Xiong et al. 2013b). Although the mechanism and molecular ecological significance of peanut/maize intercropping have been investigated, little is known about the genes and/or gene products in peanut and maize roots that mediate the benefits of intercropping. In the present study, we investigated the transcriptomes of maize roots grown in intercropping and monocropping systems by microarray analysis. The results enabled exploration differentially expressed genes in intercropped maize. Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L. cv. Luhua14) and maize (Zea mays L. cv. Nongda108) seeds were grown in calcareous sandy soil in a greenhouse. The soil was enhanced with basal fertilizers [composition (mg·kg−1 soil): N, 100 (Ca (NO3)2·4H2O); P, 150 (KH2PO4); K, 100 (KCl); Mg, 50 (MgSO4·7H2O); Cu, 5 (CuSO4·5H2O); and Zn, 5 (ZnSO4·7H2O)]. The experiment consisted of three cropping treatments: peanut monocropping, maize monocropping and intercropping of peanut and maize. After germination of peanut for 10 days, maize was sown. Maize samples were harvested after 63 days of growth of peanut plants based on the degree of Fe chlorosis in the leaves of monocropped peanut. The leaves of monocropped peanut plants exhibited symptoms of Fe-deficiency chlorosis at 63 days, while the leaves of peanut plants intercropped with maize maintained a green color. Overall design: This Series represents monocropped maize and intercropped maize
Project description:Yield and nutrient acquisition advantages are frequently found in intercropping systems. However, there are few published reports on soil fertility in intercropping relative to monocultures. A field experiment was therefore established in 2009 in Gansu province, northwest China. The treatments comprised maize/faba bean, maize/soybean, maize/chickpea and maize/turnip intercropping, and their correspoding monocropping. In 2011 (the 3rd year) and 2012 (the 4th year) the yields and some soil chemical properties and enzyme activities were examined after all crop species were harvested or at later growth stages. Both grain yields and nutrient acquisition were significantly greater in all four intercropping systems than corresponding monocropping over two years. Generally, soil organic matter (OM) did not differ significantly from monocropping but did increase in maize/chickpea in 2012 and maize/turnip in both years. Soil total N (TN) did not differ between intercropping and monocropping in either year with the sole exception of maize/faba bean intercropping receiving 80 kg P ha-1 in 2011. Intercropping significantly reduced soil Olsen-P only in 2012, soil exchangeable K in both years, soil cation exchangeable capacity (CEC) in 2012, and soil pH in 2012. In the majority of cases soil enzyme activities did not differ across all the cropping systems at different P application rates compared to monocrops, with the exception of soil acid phosphatase activity which was higher in maize/legume intercropping than in the corresponding monocrops at 40 kg ha-1 P in 2011. P fertilization can alleviate the decline in soil Olsen-P and in soil CEC to some extent. In summary, intercropping enhanced productivity and maintained the majority of soil fertility properties for at least three to four years, especially at suitable P application rates. The results indicate that maize-based intercropping may be an efficient cropping system for sustainable agriculture with carefully managed fertilizer inputs.
Project description:Effective soil erosion prediction models and proper conservation practices are important tools to mitigate soil erosion in hillside agricultural areas. The Water Nutrient and Light Capture in Agroforestry Systems (WaNuLCAS) and Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) models are capable tools in soil erosion simulation in the conventional and conservation cropping systems in hillslopes. We calibrated both the models in maize monocropping and simultaneously validated them in maize-chili intercropping with Leucaena hedgerow for nine rainfall events in 2010, with the aim to evaluate their performances in runoff and sediment prediction on a skeleton soil in a hillslope, Western Thailand. The results showed that the calibrated WaNuLCAS model poorly predicts runoff prediction in the validation. In contrast, the calibrated WEPP model had a better performance in runoff prediction in the validation. For sediment prediction, the calibrated WaNuLCAS model predicted sediment yield better than the calibrated WEPP model in the validation because the WEPP model shows more variability of the sediment yield in the calibration (5.84 kg m-2) than the WaNuLCAS (5.18 kg m-2). Thus, the WEPP model was more suitable for runoff prediction than sediment prediction in the monocropping system, whereas the WaNuLCAS model was better suited for sediment yield prediction than runoff prediction, especially in complex intercropping systems.
Project description:Garlic substrate could influence plant growth through affecting soil microbiome structure. The relationship mechanism between changes in soil microbial communities, disease suppression and plant development, however, remains unclear, particularly in the degraded soil micro-ecological environment. In this study, garlic substrates as a soil amendment were incorporated with different ratios (1:100, 3:100 and 5:100 g/100 g of soil) in a replanted disturbed soil of long-term cucumber monoculture (annual double cropping system in a greenhouse). The results indicated that higher amount of C-amended garlic substrate significantly induced soil suppressiveness (35.9% greater than control (CK) against the foliar disease incidence rate. This inhibitory effect consequently improved the cucumber growth performance and fruit yield to 20% higher than the non-amended soil. Short-term garlic substrate addition modified the soil quality through an increase in soil organic matter (SOM), nutrient availability and enzymatic activities. Illumina MiSeq sequencing analysis revealed that soil bacterial and fungal communities in the garlic amendment were significantly different from the control. Species richness and diversity indices significantly increased under treated soil. The correlation-based heat map analysis suggested that soil OM, nutrient contents and biological activators were the primary drivers reshaping the microbial community structure. Furthermore, garlic substrate inhibited soil-borne pathogen taxa (Fusarium and Nematoda), and their reduced abundances, significantly affecting the crop yield. In addition, the host plant recruited certain plant-beneficial microbes due to substrate addition that could directly contribute to plant-pathogen inhibition and crop biomass production. For example, abundant Acidobacteria, Ascomycota and Glomeromycota taxa were significantly associated with cucumber yield promotion. Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Basidiomycota and Glomeromycota were the associated microbial taxa that possibly performed as antagonists of Fusarium wilt, with plant pathogen suppression potential in monocropped cucumber-planted soil.
Project description:Soil microbial communities have profound effects on the growth, nutrition and health of plants in agroecosystems. Understanding soil microbial dynamics in cropping systems can assist in determining how agricultural practices influence soil processes mediated by microorganisms. In this study, soil bacterial communities were monitored in a continuously monocropped Jerusalem artichoke (JA) system, in which JA was successively monocropped for 3 years in a wheat field. Soil bacterial community compositions were estimated by amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Abundances of ammonia-oxidizing and denitrifying bacteria were estimated by quantitative PCR analysis of the amoA, nirS, and nirK genes. Results showed that 1-2 years of monocropping of JA did not significantly impact the microbial alpha diversity, and the third cropping of JA decreased the microbial alpha diversity (P < 0.05). Principal coordinates analysis and permutational multivariate analysis of variance analyses revealed that continuous monocropping of JA changed soil bacterial community structure and function profile (P < 0.001). At the phylum level, the wheat field was characterized with higher relative abundances of Latescibacteria, Planctomycetes, and Cyanobacteria, the first cropping of JA with Actinobacteria, the second cropping of JA with Acidobacteria, Armatimonadetes, Gemmatimonadetes, and Proteobacteria. At the genus level, the first cropping of JA was enriched with bacterial species with pathogen-antagonistic and/or plant growth promoting potentials, while members of genera that included potential denitrifiers increased in the second and third cropping of JA. The first cropping of JA had higher relative abundances of KO terms related to lignocellulose degradation and phosphorus cycling, the second cropping of JA had higher relative abundances of KO terms nitrous-oxide reductase and nitric-oxide reductase, and the third cropping of JA had higher relative abundances of KO terms nitrate reductase and nitrite reductase. The abundances of amoA genes decreased while nirK increased in the third cropping of JA, nirS continuously increased in the second and third cropping of JA (P < 0.05). Redundancy analysis and Mantel test found that soil organic carbon and Olsen phosphorus contents played important roles in shaping soil bacterial communities. Overall, our results revealed that continuous monocropping of JA changed soil bacterial community composition and its functional potentials.
Project description:Garlic and formulations containing allicin are used widely as fungicides in modern agriculture. However, limited reports are available on the allelopathic mechanism of green garlic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and its component allelochemicals. The aim of this study was to investigate VOCs of green garlic and their effect on scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cucumber. In this study, green garlic VOCs were collected by HS-SPME, then analyzed by GS-MS. Their biological activity were verified by bioassays. The results showed that diallyl disulfide (DADS) is the main allelochemical of green garlic VOCs and the DADS content released from green garlic is approximately 0.08 mg/g. On this basis, the allelopathic effects of green garlic VOCs in vivo and 1 mmol/L DADS on scavenging of ROS in cucumber seedlings were further studied. Green garlic VOCs and DADS both reduce superoxide anion and increase the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide of cucumber seedlings. They can also regulate active antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT, POD), antioxidant substances (MDA, GSH and ASA) and genes (CscAPX, CsGPX, CsMDAR, CsSOD, CsCAT, CsPOD) responding to oxidative stress in cucumber seedlings.
Project description:Many bacteria and fungi in the plant rhizosphere and endosphere are beneficial to plant nutrient acquisition, health, and growth. Although playing essential roles in ecosystem functioning, our knowledge about the effects of multiple cropping regimes on the plant microbiome and their interactions is still limited. Here, we designed a pot experiment simulating different cropping regimes. For this purpose, wheat and faba bean plants were grown under controlled greenhouse conditions in monocultures and in two intercropping regimes: row and mixed intercropping. Bacterial and fungal communities in bulk and rhizosphere soils as well as in the roots and aerial plant parts were analyzed using large-scale metabarcoding. We detected differences in microbial richness and diversity between the cropping regimes. Generally, observed effects were attributed to differences between mixed and row intercropping or mixed intercropping and monoculture. Bacterial and fungal diversity were significantly higher in bulk soil samples of wheat and faba bean grown in mixed compared to row intercropping. Moreover, microbial communities varied between crop species and plant compartments resulting in different responses of these communities toward cropping regimes. Leaf endophytes were not affected by cropping regime but bacterial and fungal community structures in bulk and rhizosphere soil as well as fungal community structures in roots. We further recorded highly complex changes in microbial interactions. The number of negative inter-domain correlations between fungi and bacteria decreased in bulk and rhizosphere soil in intercropping regimes compared to monocultures due to beneficial effects. In addition, we observed plant species-dependent differences indicating that intra- and interspecific competition between plants had different effects on the plant species and thus on their associated microbial communities. To our knowledge, this is the first study investigating microbial communities in different plant compartments with respect to multiple cropping regimes using large-scale metabarcoding. Although a simple design simulating different cropping regimes was used, obtained results contribute to the understanding how cropping regimes affect bacterial and fungal communities and their interactions in different plant compartments. Nonetheless, we need field experiments to properly quantify observed effects in natural ecosystems.
Project description:As the major crops in north China, spring crops are usually planted from April through May every spring and harvested in fall. Wheat is also a very common crop traditionally planted in fall or spring and harvested in summer year by year. This continuous cropping system exhibited the disadvantages of reducing the fertility of soil through decreasing microbial diversity. Thus, management of microbial diversity in the rhizosphere plays a vital role in sustainable crop production. In this study, ten common spring crops in north China were chosen sole-cropped and four were chosen intercropped with peanut in wheat fields after harvest. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and DNA sequencing of one 16S rDNA fragment were used to analyze the bacterial diversity and species identification. DGGE profiles showed the bacterial community diversity in rhizosphere soil samples varied among various crops under different cropping systems, more diverse under intercropping system than under sole-cropping. Some intercropping-specific bands in DGGE profiles suggested that several bacterial species were stimulated by intercropping systems specifically. Furthermore, the identification of these dominant and functional bacteria by DNA sequencing indicated that intercropping systems are more beneficial to improve soil fertility. Compared to intercropping systems, we also observed changes in microbial community of rhizosphere soil under sole-crops. The rhizosphere bacterial community structure in spring crops showed a strong crop species-specific pattern. More importantly, Empedobacter brevis, a typical plant pathogen, was only found in the carrot rhizosphere, suggesting carrot should be sown prudently. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that crop species and cropping systems had significant effects on bacterial community diversity in the rhizosphere soils. We strongly suggest sorghum, glutinous millet and buckwheat could be taken into account as intercropping crops with peanut; while hulled oat, mung bean or foxtail millet could be considered for sowing in wheat fields after harvest in North China.
Project description:Several factors influenced the sugarcane production, and among them, higher use of nitrogen and depletion of soil nutrient constitutes a significant concern in China. Sugarcane-legume intercropping may help to regulate the microbial structure and functions. In the present study, sugarcane rhizosphere soils of three cropping systems: Sugarcane only (S-only), sugarcane with peanut (S + P), and sugarcane + soybean (S + S) were sampled in tillering, elongation, and maturation stages from two different experimental fields. High-throughput sequencing technologies applied to assess the effects of different cropping systems on the structure of nitrogenase (nifH) gene communities. A total of 3818 OTUs (operational taxonomic units) were acquired from all soil samples. Intercropping systems noticeably increased the relative abundance of Proteobacteria in the tillering stage. The increased microbial diversity in the rhizosphere was mainly due to soil organic carbon and total soil N. In contrast, intercropping has no significant negative impact on microbial abundance, but sugarcane growth stages influence it significantly, and two bacteria (Bradyrhizobium and Pseudacidovorax) showed significant shift during plant growth. The results provide insight into the microbial structure of Proteobacteria in the sugarcane legume-intercropping field, and how microbial community behaves in different growth stages. It can boost the microbial activity of the soil, and that could be a new strategy to stimulate soil fertility without causing any negative impact on crop production.
Project description:Cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) is persistently increasing due to excessive demands of naturals. Agricultural land and its microbial diversity are primarily adapted to conventional crops, and introduction of MAP and their continuous monocropping may disturb the ecological stability of soil microbiome. Here, the effect of cultivation of MAPs on soil microbial diversity was studied. The aim of the study is to examine the effects of cultivation of MAPs on the possible shift in soil microbial diversity and to restore such impacts by using organic amendments or intercropping. Terminal restriction fragments polymorphism (TRFLP) and next-generation sequencing (NGS) studies showed that of the various selected MAPs, maximal modulation in the soil microbial diversity patterns was noticed in fields of Mentha arvensis and Artemisia annua, and the traces of essential oil/phytochemicals were detected in bulk and rhizospheric soil. In both Artemisia- and Mentha-cultivated soil, the total operating taxonomic unit (OTU) declined in both bulk and rhizospheric soil in comparison to control (Zea mays), but the bacterial richness of Mentha soil was slightly higher than that of control. However, cultivation of Mentha improved the evenness of the microbial community. The inclusion of crops like Sesbania and Chlorophytum and the application of vermicompost (VC) enhanced the microbial richness and evenness, thereby restoring the soil microbial state shift and resulting in higher productivity in the continuously Mentha cropped field. Our study concludes that long-term cultivation of some MAPs may affect the richness but promote the evenness of microbial diversity. The state shift could be restored to some extent, and crop productivity could be enhanced by the inclusion of selected crops and organic manures in cropping systems.