Microenvironment and microbial community in the rhizosphere of dioecious Populus cathayana at Chaka Salt Lake
Sex effects may cause significant changes in rhizosphere microbial community composition and soil properties. Although dioecious plants are widespread, little is known about rhizosphere microenvironmental differences in response to dioecious plants.
Materials and methods
This study characterized microbial species by next-generation sequencing and evaluation of soil properties in the rhizosphere of male and female Populus cathayana plants located in non-saline area (control site), salt lakeside (low salt), salt mountain (middle salt), and salt factory (high salt) areas.
Results and discussion
A total of 5 phyla, 18 classes, 57 orders, 108 families, and 211 genera of fungi were observed in the rhizosphere of P. cathayana, while 18 phyla, 35 classes, 69 orders, 149 families, and 329 genera of bacteria were observed in the rhizosphere of P. cathayana. With increasing salinization, the microbial community diversity in the rhizosphere of P. cathayana first increased and then decreased, especially in the fungal community. Site and sex had significant effects on microbial communities and caused adjustments in microbial community structure. Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that available K, ammonium nitrogen (NH4-N), and nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N) as well as Na+ and Cl− contents and the electrical conductivity (EC) were the main factors affecting the microbial community in the rhizosphere of P. cathayana in the Chaka Salt Lake ecosystem.
This is the first study focusing on microbial communities and soil properties in the rhizosphere of male and female P. cathayana plants with different degrees of salinity. In addition, potential differences in the preferences of the microbial communities between the two sexes exist.
KeywordsDioecious Microbial community Microenvironment Populus cathayana Salinity
N Wu and Z Li have contributed equally to this work. N Wu and Z Li designed the experiments, collected and analyzed the experimental data, and prepared the first draft under supervision of Prof. M. Tang. F Wu modified the manuscript. All authors contributed substantially to revising the manuscript.
This study was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFD0600203) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (41671268).
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