Impact of 12-year field treatments with organic and inorganic fertilizers on crop productivity and mycorrhizal community structure
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The effect of manure and mineral fertilization on the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal community structure of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) plants was studied. Soils were collected from a field experiment treated for 12 years with equivalent nitrogen (N) doses of inorganic N, dairy manure slurry, or without N fertilization. Fresh roots of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) grass collected from the field plots without N fertilization and unfumigated field soils were used as native microbial inoculum sources. Sunflower plants were sown in pots containing these soils, and three different means of manipulating the microbial community were set: unfumigated soil with fresh grass roots, fumigated soil with fresh grass roots, or fumigated soil with sterilized grass roots. Assessing the implications with respect to plant productivity and mycorrhizal community structure was investigated. Twelve AM fungal OTUs were identified from root or soil samples as different taxa of Acaulospora, Claroideoglomus, Funneliformis, Rhizophagus, and uncultured Glomus, using PCR-DGGE and sequencing of an 18S rRNA gene fragment. Sunflower plants grown in manure-fertilized soils had a distinct AMF community structure from plants either fertilized with mineral N or unfertilized, with an abundance of Rhizophagus intraradices-like (B2). The results also showed that AM inoculation increased P and N contents in inorganic N-fertilized or unfertilized plants, but not in manure-fertilized plants.
KeywordsArbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Biodiversity Manure Nitrogen Fertilization Ribosomal rRNA genes DGGE
This work was supported by NSERC discovery grants to both MSA and MH and by a fellowship from the Ministry of Higher Education of Egypt to SEH, to which supports are gratefully acknowledged. Funding was also provided by NSERC Metal in the Human Environment (MITHE) grant. We thank Stéphane Daigle for helping with statistical analysis and Cristina Micali for comments and English editing.
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