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Research article2008Peer reviewedOpen access

Community analysis of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and bacteria in the maize mycorrhizosphere in a long-term fertilization trial

Toljander, Jonas F.; Santos-Gonzalez, Juan C.; Tehler, Anders; Finlay, Roger D.

Abstract

In this study, we investigated the impact of organic and mineral fertilizers on the community composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and bacteria in the mycorrhizosphere of maize in a field experiment established in 1956, in south-east Sweden. Roots and root-associated soil aggregates were sampled four times during the growing season in 2005, in control plots and in plots amended with calcium nitrate, ammonium sulphate, green manure, farmyard manure or sewage sludge. Fungi in roots were identified by cloning and sequencing, and bacteria in soil aggregates were analysed by terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism, cloning and sequencing. The community composition of AM fungi and bacteria was significantly influenced by the different fertilizers. Changes in microbial community composition were mainly correlated with changes in pH induced by the fertilization regime. However, other factors, including phosphate and soil carbon content, also contributed significantly to these changes. Changes in bacterial community composition and a reduction in bacterial taxon richness throughout the growing season were also manifest. The results of this study highlight the importance and significant effects of the long-term application of different fertilizers on edaphic factors and specific groups of fungi and bacteria playing a key role in arable soils.

Keywords

arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; bacteria; community structure; soil; sustainable agriculture; Zea mays

Published in

FEMS Microbiology Ecology
2008, Volume: 65, number: 2, pages: 323-338 Publisher: BLACKWELL PUBLISHING