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p-Coumaric can alter the composition of cucumber rhizosphere microbial communities and induce negative plant-microbial interactions

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A Correction to this article was published on 05 May 2018

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Phenolics from root exudates or decaying residues are usually referred as autotoxins of several plant species. However, how phenolics affect soil microbial communities and their functional significances are poorly understood. Rhizosphere bacterial and fungal communities from cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) seedlings treated with p-coumaric acid, an autotoxin of cucumber, were analyzed by high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene and internal transcribed spacer amplicons. Then, feedback effects of the rhizosphere biota on cucumber seedlings were evaluated by inoculating non-sterilized and sterilized rhizosphere soils to sterilized background soils. p-Coumaric acid decreased the bacterial diversity of rhizosphere but increased fungal diversity and altered the compositions of both the bacterial and fungal communities. p-Coumaric acid increased the relative abundances of microbial taxa with phenol-degrading capability (such as Chaetomium, Humicola, and Mortierella spp.) and microbial taxa which contained plant pathogens (such as Fusarium spp.). However, p-coumaric acid inhibited the relative abundances of Lysobacter, Haliangium, and Gymnoascus spp., whose species can have pathogen-antagonistic and/or plant-growth-promoting effects. The positive effect of cucumber rhizosphere microbiota on cucumber seedling growth was reduced by p-coumaric acid. Overall, our results showed that, besides its direct phytotoxicity, p-coumaric acid can inhibit cucumber seedling growth through generating negative plant-soil microbial interactions.

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  • 05 May 2018

    The above article originally published with an error present in the article title. This is now presented correctly in this article.


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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31772361, 41401271), “Academic Backbone” Project of Northeast Agricultural University (17XG05), University Nursing Program for Young Scholars with Creative Talents in Heilongjiang Province (UNPYSCT-2015002), and China Agricultural Research System (CARS-23-C-10).

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Correspondence to Fengzhi Wu.

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Zhou, X., Zhang, J., Pan, D. et al. p-Coumaric can alter the composition of cucumber rhizosphere microbial communities and induce negative plant-microbial interactions. Biol Fertil Soils 54, 363–372 (2018).

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