Rhizosphere bacterial community in watermelon-wheat intercropping was more stable than in watermelon monoculture system under Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum invasion

  • Hongjie Yu
  • Shaocan Chen
  • Xiaoxiao Zhang
  • Xingang ZhouEmail author
  • Fengzhi WuEmail author
Regular Article



Although intercropping and pathogen invasion can affect the plant rhizosphere bacterial community, how intercropping affects the rhizosphere bacterial community in response to pathogen invasion is poorly understood.


The root system of watermelon was separated into two halves and placed in separate pots for Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum(FON) inoculation and wheat intercropping. Responses of the watermelon rhizosphere bacterial community to wheat intercropping and FON inoculation were analyzed by high-throughput sequencing.


Wheat intercropping did not affect the diversity but altered the composition of rhizosphere bacterial community on both sides of watermelon roots. In watermelon monoculture, FON inoculation increased the diversity of the rhizosphere bacterial community and stimulated certain potentially plant beneficial bacteria. The effects of FON inoculation on the watermelon rhizosphere bacterial community diversity and composition in watermelon-wheat intercropping were weaker than those in watermelon monoculture. No contact between wheat and FON was required to decrease the disease index of Fusarium wilt.


The effects of wheat intercropping and FON inoculation on the watermelon rhizosphere bacterial community were mostly plant-mediated, and under FON invasion the rhizosphere bacterial community was more stable in watermelon-wheat intercropping than in watermelon monoculture.


Bacterial community Fusarium wilt Intercropping Watermelon Wheat 



Relative abundance


Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum



This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFD1000800), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31471917), and the Natural Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Province (YQ2019C009).

Author contributions

Fengzhi Wu and Xingang Zhou designed the study. Hongjie Yu and Xiaoxiao Zhang performed the experiments. Hongjie Yu and Shaocan Chen analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11104_2019_4321_MOESM1_ESM.doc (919 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 919 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Horticultural Crops (Northeast Region), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural AffairsNortheast Agricultural UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of HorticultureNortheast Agricultural UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China

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