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First Author: LIAO Hongkai

Plant-derived carbon (C) is considered fundamental to understand the interaction between rhizosphere microbes and plants in terrestrial ecosystems. Biochar soil amendment may enhance plant performance via changing soil properties or microbial diversity in the rhizosphere. However, our knowledge of how plant-microbiome associations respond to biochar amendment remains rather limited. Herein, 13CO2 steady-state labeling combined with DNA stable-isotope probing was used to characterize soil bacterial communities in the rhizosphere contributing to the utilization of plant-derived C. The diversity of bacteria active in the utilization of root exudates was determined after biochar amendment in a legume-based intercropping system (Vicia faba L., with Zea mays L.). The results showed the biochar application not only changed the bacterial community structure and diversity in the rhizosphere, but also altered bacterial members actively assimilating plant-derived C. There were more labeled species in the biochar-amended soils than the control soils. Compared with the control, the biochar amendment increased the relative abundances of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes members (i.e., Bacillus, Clostridium, Sporomusa, Desulfosporosinus, and Alicyclobacillus) while decreasing the abundances of Proteobacteria members (e.g., Methylobacterium and Sphingomonas) utilizing plant-derived C. In contrast, slow-growing species of the phyla Acidobacteria, Planctomycetes, and Gemmatimonadetes were barely labeled. The bacteria found stimulated by the biochar amendment are known for their ability to fix nitrogen, solubilize phosphorus, or reduce iron and sulfur, which may potentially contribute to the “biochar effect” in the rhizosphere. This study is the first to provide empirical evidence that biochar amendment can alter the soil bacterial community assimilating plant-derived C; this may have consequences for nutrient cycling and improving plant performance in intercropping systems.

A conceptual diagram for the study design, methods and objective.

Contact the author: YAO Huaiying
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Issue: 1361
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PubYear: JUN 2019
Volume: 10
The full text link: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2019.01361/full