Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 54, Issue 7, pp 819–828 | Cite as

Spatiotemporal patterns of enzyme activities in the rhizosphere: effects of plant growth and root morphology

  • Xiaomin MaEmail author
  • Yuan LiuEmail author
  • Mohsen Zarebanadkouki
  • Bahar S. Razavi
  • Evgenia BlagodatskayaEmail author
  • Yakov Kuzyakov
Original Paper


Lentil and lupine, having contrasting root morphologies, were chosen to investigate the effects of plant growth and root morphology on the spatial distribution of β-glucosidase, cellobiohydrolase, leucine aminopeptidase, and acid phosphomonoesterase activities. Lentil kept as vegetative growth and the rhizosphere extent was constant, while the enzyme activities at the root surface kept increasing. Lupine entered reproductive growth in the seventh week after planting, the rhizosphere extent was broader in the eighth week than in the first and fourth weeks. However, enzyme activity at the root surface of lupine decreased by 10–50% in comparison to the preceding vegetative stage (first and fourth weeks). Lupine lateral roots accounted for 1.5–3.5 times more rhizosphere volume per root length than taproots, with 6–14-fold higher enzyme activity per root surface area. Therefore, we conclude that plant growth and root morphology influenced enzyme activity and shape the rhizosphere as follows: the enzyme activity in the rhizosphere increased with plant growth until reproductive stage; lateral roots have much larger rhizosphere volume per unit root length and higher enzyme activity per root surface area than the taproots.


Rhizosphere extent Enzyme spatial distribution Zymography Plant growth stage Root morphology Visualization approaches 



We gratefully acknowledge the China Scholarship Council (CSC) (201506300073 and 201406300014), for supporting Xiaomin Ma and Yuan Liu, respectively. The contribution of Evgenia Blagodatskaya was supported by the Russian Scientific Foundation (project no. 14-14-00625). The publication was prepared with the support of the “RUDN University program 5-100”. This study was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the Research Unit (FOR 918) “Carbon Flow in Belowground Food Webs assessed by Isotope Tracers” (KU 1184/13-2) and “Biopores as hotspots of nutrient acquisition from subsoil” (PAK 888; KU 1184/29-1). We thank three anonymous reviewers and the editor for their very helpful suggestions.

Supplementary material

374_2018_1305_MOESM1_ESM.docx (605 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 604 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Soil Science of Temperate Ecosystems, Department of Agricultural Soil ScienceUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Crop Science, Nutritional Crop PhysiologyUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  3. 3.Chair of Soil PhysicsUniversity of BayreuthBauyreuthGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil SciencePushchinoRussia
  5. 5.Agro-Technology InstituteRUDN UniversityMoscowRussia

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