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21.11.2019

+++ News Ticker Science #14 +++ Biodiversity +++

Drivers of the composition of rhizosphere bacterial communities.

Recently, a team of researchers including IPB scientists, published a comprehensive study on the bacterial communities of the rhizosphere in temperate grasslands - a dominant ecosystem in Germany.
In frame of their study, the scientists planted a total of 324 phytometer plants in three biosphere reserves up to 700 km apart, which were beforehand cultivated under uniform conditions in sterile soil. After one year, they collected the remaining phytometers and other bulk soil samples. By analyzing the bacterial rRNA sequences from the soil material, the scientists were able to compare the bacterial composition of the rhizosphere with that of the bulk soil.
Unexpectedly, abiotic factors, such as texture, soil type or water content were the major drivers for the enrichment of certain taxa in the rhizosphere. The plant species and plant exudates were largely uncoupled from the composition and selection of rhizosphere communities. Detailed knowledge of rhizosphere dynamics forms the basis for increasing agricultural productivity and reducing the risk of disease.

Original publication:
Selma Vieira, Johannes Sikorski, Sophie Dietz, Katharina Herz, Marion Schrumpf, Helge Bruelheide, Dierk Scheel, Michael W. Friedrich and Jörg Overmann. Drivers of the composition of active rhizosphere bacterial communities in temperate grasslands. The ISME Journal, 2019.

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