, Volume 298, Issue 1-2, pp 273-284

Mycorrhiza and soil bacteria influence extractable iron and manganese in soil and uptake by soybean

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Abstract

Excess manganese (Mn) in soil is toxic to crops, but in some situations arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) alleviate the toxic effects of Mn. Besides the increased phosphorus (P) uptake, mycorrhiza may affect the balance between Mn-reducing and Mn-oxidizing microorganisms in the mycorrhizosphere and affect the level of extractable Mn in soil. The aim of this work was to compare mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants that received extra P in relation to alleviation of Mn toxicity and the balance between Mn-oxidizing and Mn-reducing bacteria in the mycorrhizosphere. A clayey soil containing 508 mg kg−1 of extractable Mn was fertilized with 30 mg kg−1 (P1) or 45 mg kg−1 (P2) of soluble P. Soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill, cv. IAC 8-2) plants at P1 level were non-inoculated (CP1) or inoculated with either Glomus etunicatum (GeP1) or G. macrocarpum (GmP1), while plants at P2 level were left non-inoculated (CP2). Plants were grown in a greenhouse and harvested after 80 days. In the mycorrhizosphere of the GmP1 and GeP1 plants a shift from Mn-oxidizing to Mn-reducing bacteria coincided with higher soil extractability of Mn and Fe. However, the occurrence of Mn-oxidizing/reducing bacteria in the (mycor)rhizosphere was unrelated to Mn toxicity in plants. Using 16S rDNA sequence homologies, the Mn-reducing isolates were consistent with the genus Streptomyces. The Mn-oxidizers were homologous with the genera Arthrobacter, Variovorax and Ralstonia. While CP1 plants showed Mn toxicity throughout the whole growth period, CP2 plants never did, in spite of having Fe and Mn shoot concentrations as high as in CP1 plants. Mycorrhizal plants showed Mn toxicity symptoms early in the growth period that were no longer visible in later growth stages. The shoot P concentration was almost twice as high in mycorrhizal plants compared with CP1 and CP2 plants. The shoot Mn and Fe concentrations and contents were lower in GmP1 and GeP1 plants compared with the CP2 treatment, even though levels of extractable metals increased in the soil when plants were mycorrhizal. This suggests that mycorrhiza protected its host plant from excessive uptake of Mn and Fe. In addition, higher tissue P concentrations may have facilitated internal detoxification of Mn in mycorrhizal plants. The exact mechanisms acting on alleviation of Mn toxicity in mycorrhizal plants should be further investigated.

Responsible Editor: Hans Lambers.