Effect of nitrogen fertilisation on nitrous oxide emission and the abundance of microbial nitrifiers and denitrifiers in the bulk and rhizosphere soil of Solanum lycopersicum and Phaseolus vulgaris

  • Antonio Castellano-HinojosaEmail author
  • Jesús González-López
  • Eulogio J. Bedmar
Regular Article



To determine the effect of three N-fertilisers on N2O emission and abundance of nitrification and denitrification genes in bulk and rhizosphere soil of tomato and common bean, two vegetable crops representative of main horticultural crops in South Spain.


Four consecutive harvests of tomato and common bean fertilised with urea, ammonium or nitrate were carried out. The total abundance of bacteria, archaea, nitrifiers and denitrifiers was estimated by quantitative PCR. Soil physicochemical properties and N2O emission were also determined.


Regardless of the plant species, the highest N2O emission was produced by the soil treated with urea, followed by ammonium and nitrate. Bacteria were more abundant than archaea in the bulk and rhizosphere soil. The abundance of the ammonia-oxidising archaea was greater than the ammonia-oxidising bacteria in the rhizosphere, but lower in the bulk soil. N-fertilisation increased the gene copy number of denitrifiers, which were more abundant in the bulk soil.


N-fertilisation decreases N2O production due to increased abundance of the nosZ gene. The abundance of nitrification and denitrification genes in bulk and rhizosphere soils is dependent on the type of fertiliser. For both plant species, the ratio of the genes involved in production and reduction of N2O by bulk and rhizosphere was similar.


Nitrogen fertiliser Nitrification genes Denitrification genes qPCR Cultivated soil 



Comments from anonymous reviewers helped improved this manuscript.

Funding information

This study was supported by the ERDF-cofinanced grant PEAGR2012-1968 from Consejería de Economía, Innovación y Ciencia (Junta de Andalucía, Spain) and the MINECO-CSIC Agreement RECUPERA 2020. ACH is the recipient of a grant of MECD (FPU 2014/01633).

Supplementary material

11104_2019_4188_MOESM1_ESM.docx (62 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 62 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Soil Microbiology and Symbiotic SystemsEstación Experimental del Zaidín, CSICGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain

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