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From the micro-scale to the habitat: Assessment of soil bacterial community structure as shown by soil structure directed sampling

Abstract : Natural structural units of a luvisol under maize crop were studied to assess if soil structure directed sampling could improve the understanding of arrangements of bacteria in spatially constraint location. Three habitats were defined: (i) soil around fine lateral roots (rhizo-aggregates), (ii) soil close to basal roots (core clods) and (iii) unplanted soil between rows (bare soil clods). These habitats were also investigated with maize plants resulting from Azospirillum lipoferum CRT1 inoculated seeds as a model of enhanced fine root system. Rhizo-aggregates were clearly separated from each other (disconnected habitat) in contrast to micro-samples (fragments) from clods, which belong to cohesive macro-structures. Genetic fingerprints on metagenomic extracts were used to characterize the structure of bacterial communities on 95 micro-samples from the three habitats. For eubacteria, automated RISA (Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis) of ITS (internal Transcribed Spacer) profiles were performed. PCR-RFLP on nifH gene were used to describe the N-fixer guilds. Exploratory multivariate analyses (PCA and MDS) revealed bacterial community patterns in the sampled habitats. On the basis of ITS profiles, rhizo-aggregates harboured closely related communities, distant from those of the unplanted soil, and each sampled rhizo-aggregate could therefore be considered as a sub-unit of the whole macro-habitat, comprising all the fine roots. The observed low dissimilarity of disconnected rhizo-aggregates is likely to result from the direct influence of maize root tips on the recruitment of rhizosphere bacteria. Molecular fingerprints of nifH from basal root clods (core) were more similar to bare soil than to rhizo-aggregates, indicating similar ecological conditions without, or with, at least, poor maize exudating root influence. Although our study was performed on a limited number of situations, the distribution of bacteria was revealed to be patterned by soil structure units, which is a first step to improve the modelling of microbial ecology in soils.
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Benoit Remenant, Geneviève Grundmann, Lucile Jocteur-Monrozier. From the micro-scale to the habitat: Assessment of soil bacterial community structure as shown by soil structure directed sampling. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Elsevier, 2009, 41 (1), pp.29-36. ⟨10.1016/j.soilbio.2008.09.005⟩. ⟨hal-02545063⟩



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