Microbial Ecology

, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp 618–626 | Cite as

Effects of Arbuscular Mycorrhizas on Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria in an Organic Farm Soil

  • T. R. Cavagnaro
  • L. E. Jackson
  • K. M. Scow
  • K. R. Hristova
Article

Abstract

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are potentially important in nutrient cycling in agricultural soils and particularly in soils managed for organic production; little is known, however, about the interrelationships between AMF and other members of soil microbial communities. Ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) are a trophic group of bacteria having an enormous impact on nitrogen availability in soils and are expected to be influenced by the presence of AMF. In a field study, we utilized a unique genetic system comprised of a mycorrhiza defective tomato mutant (named rmc) and its mycorrhiza wild-type progenitor (named 76RMYC+). We examined the effect of AMF by comparing AOB community composition and populations in soil containing roots of the two tomato genotypes in an organically managed soil. Responses of AOB to soil N and P amendments were also studied in the same experiment. Phylogenetic analysis of cloned AOB sequences, derived from excised denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) bands, revealed that the organic farm soil supported a diverse yet stable AOB community, which was neither influenced by mycorrhizal colonization of roots nor by N and P addition to the soil. Real-time TaqMan polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to quantify AOB population sizes and showed no difference between any of the treatments. An alternative real-time PCR protocol for quantification of AOB utilizing SYBR green yielded similar results as the TaqMan real-time PCR method, although with slightly lower resolution. This alternative method is advantageous in not requiring the detailed background information about AOB community composition required for adaptation of the TaqMan system for a new soil.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. R. Cavagnaro
    • 2
  • L. E. Jackson
    • 1
  • K. M. Scow
    • 1
  • K. R. Hristova
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Land, Air and Water ResourcesUniversity of California DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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