Folia Microbiologica

, Volume 64, Issue 3, pp 461–470 | Cite as

Functional diversity performs a key role in the isolation of nitrogen-fixing and phosphate-solubilizing bacteria from soil

  • Poulomi Chakraborty
  • Prosun TribediEmail author
Original Article


Functional diversity covers diverse functional traits of microorganisms in an ecosystem. Thus, we hypothesized that it could play an important role in the isolation of nitrogen-fixing and phosphate-solubilizing bacteria. These bacteria have been considered as biofertilizer for sustainable agriculture development. Soils were collected from different sites of agricultural field and performed several microbiological tests in which we observed considerable differences in heterotrophic microbial abundance and microbial activities among the microcosms. Functional diversity depends on both microbial richness and evenness. Based on the results of metabolic fingerprinting of the carbon sources of BiOLOG-ECO plates, richness and evenness was measured by determining Shannon diversity index and Gini coefficient, respectively. The results showed significant differences in both microbial richness and evenness, suggesting considerable variation of functional diversity among the microcosms. Thereafter, nitrogen-fixing and phosphate-solubilizing bacteria were isolated on Burk’s and Pikovskaya media, respectively. The results revealed considerable variation of both types of bacterial abundance among the microcosms. Microcosm (T2) showing the highest functional diversity houses the maximum numbers of nitrogen-fixing and phosphate-solubilizing bacteria. Similarly, the microcosm (T5) exhibiting the lowest functional diversity houses the minimum numbers of nitrogen-fixing and phosphate-solubilizing bacteria. Thus, a strong positive correlation was observed between functional diversity and both types of bacterial abundance among the soil samples. Higher richness and evenness lead to the development of increased functional diversity that facilitates to accommodate substantial numbers of nitrogen-fixing and phosphate-solubilizing bacteria in soil. Taken together, the results demonstrated that functional diversity plays an important role in the isolation of nitrogen-fixing and phosphate-solubilizing bacteria from soil.



The authors’ would like to express sincere gratitude to the learned experts for their immense guidance and cooperation in improving the manuscript. We sincerely thank Ms. Rakshita Dave, Ms. Sutirtha Dutta, and Mr. Debajjyoti Basu for vitally reading the manuscript. This current work has been supported by a grant in aid from the Department of Science and Engineering research board (SERB), DST, Govt. of India (sanction number YSS/2015/000387).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Adnan M, Shah Z, Fahad S, Arif M, Alam M, Khan IA, Mian IA, Basir A, Ullah H, Arshad M, Rahman IU, Saud S, Ihsan MZ, Jamal Y, Amanullah, Hammad HM, Nasim W (2017) Phosphate-solubilizing bacteria nullify the antagonistic effect of soil calcification on bioavailability of phosphorus in alkaline soils. Sci Rep 7:16131. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bardi L, Malusà E (2012) Drought and nutritional stresses in plant: alleviating role of rhizospheric microorganisms. Abiotic stress: new research. Nova Science Publishers Inc., Hauppauge, pp 1–57. Google Scholar
  3. Bhattarai KP, Mandal TN (2017) Effect of altitudinal variation on the soil characteristics in Sal (Shorea robusta gaertn.) forests of eastern Nepal. Int J Ecol Environ Sci 42:19–28. Google Scholar
  4. Chakraborty P, Joardar S, Ray S, Biswas P, Maiti D, Tribedi P (2018) 3,6-Di (pyridin-2-yl)-1,2,4,5-tetrazine (pytz)-capped silver nanoparticles (TzAgNPs) inhibit biofilm formation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa: a potential approach toward breaking the wall of biofilm through reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. Folia Microbiol (Praha) 63:763–772. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Choi KH, Dobbs FC (1999) Comparison of two kinds of BiOLOG microplates (GN and ECO) in their ability to distinguish among aquatic microbial communities. J Microbiol Methods 36:203–213. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clark CM, Flynn DF, Butterfield BJ, Reich PB (2012) Testing the link between functional diversity and ecosystem functioning in a Minnesota grassland experiment. PLoS One 7:e52821. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dey S, Tribedi P (2018) Microbial functional diversity plays an important role in the degradation of polyhydroxyl butyrate (PHB) in soil. 3 Biotech 8:171. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Goswami M, Bhattacharyya P, Mukherjee I, Tribedi P (2017) Functional diversity: an important measure of ecosystem functioning. Adv Microbiol 7:82–93. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Goswami M, Bhattacharyya P, Tribedi P (2017a) Addition of rubber to soil damages the functional diversity of soil. 3 Biotech 7:173. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Green VS, Stottb DE, Diacka M (2006) Assay for fluorescein diacetate hydrolytic activity: optimization for soil samples. Soil Biol Biochem 38:693–701. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gu Y, Wag P, Kong C (2009) Urease, invertase, dehydrogenase and polyphenoloxidase activities in paddy soils influenced by allelophatic rice variety. Eur J Soil Biol 45:436–441. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hoffman BM, Dean DR, Seefeldt LC (2009) Climbing nitrogenase: toward a mechanism of enzymatic nitrogen fixation. Acc Chem Res 42:609–619. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kaczynska G, Borowik A, Wyszkowska J (2015) Soil dehydrogenases as an indicator of contamination of the environment with petroleum products. Water Air Soil Pollut 226:372. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kayasth M, Gera R, Dudeja SS, Sharma PK, Kumar V (2014) Studies on salinization in Haryana soils on free-living nitrogen-fixing bacterial populations and their activity. J Basic Microbiol 54:170–179. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Laureto LMO, Cianciaruso MV, Samia DSM (2015) Functional diversity: an overview of its history and applicability. Natureza Conservação 13:112–116. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mahanty T, Bhattacharjee S, Goswami M, Bhattacharyya P, Das B, Ghosh A, Tribedi P (2017) Biofertilizers: a potential approach for sustainable agriculture development. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 24:3315–3335. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Malusa E, Vassilev N (2014) A contribution to set a legal framework for biofertilizers. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 98:6599–6607. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mason NW, Mouillot D, Lee WG, Wilson JB (2005) Functional richness, functional evenness and functional divergence: the primary components of functional diversity. Oikos 111:112–118. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mazid M, Khan TA (2015) Future of bio-fertilizers in Indian agriculture: an overview. Int J Agric Food Res 3:10–23. Google Scholar
  20. Mehta S, Nautiyal CS (2001) An efficient method for qualitative screening of phosphate-solubilizing bacteria. Curr Microbiol 43:51–56. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Nannipieri P, Ascher J, Ceccherini MT, Landi L, Pietramellara G, Renella G (2017) Microbial diversity and soil functions. Eur J Soil Sci 68:12–26. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Panhwar QA, Othman R, Rahman ZA, Meon S, Ismail MR (2012) Isolation and characterization of phosphate-solubilizing bacteria from aerobic rice. Afr J Biotechnol 11:2711–2719. Google Scholar
  23. Park M, Kim C, Yang J, Lee H, Shin W, Kim S, Sa T (2005) Isolation and characterization of diazotrophic growth promoting bacteria from rhizosphere of agricultural crops of Korea. Microbiol Res 160:127–133. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Salazar S, Sanchez L, Alvarez J, Valverde A, Galindo P, Igual J, Peix A, Santa-Regina I (2011) Correlation among soil enzyme activities under different forest system management practices. Ecol Eng 37:1123–1131. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sarkar S, Tribedi P, Gupta AD, Saha T, Sil AK (2017) Microbial functional diversity decreases with sewage purification in stabilization ponds. Waste Biomass Valoriz 8:417–423. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Satyaprakash M, Nikitha T, Reddi EUB, Sadhana B, Vani SS (2017) Phosphorous and phosphate solubilizing bacteria and their role in plant nutrition. Int J Curr Microbiol App Sci 6:2133–2144. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Smith BE, Richards RL, Newton WE (eds) (2013) Catalysts for nitrogen fixation: nitrogenases, relevant chemical models and commercial processes. Springer Science & Business Media 1:340.
  28. Stotzky G (ed) (2000) Soil biochemistry, volume 10. CRC Press, Boca Raton. Google Scholar
  29. Teng Y, Luo Y, Sun M, Liu Z, Li Z, Christie P (2010) Effect of bioaugmentation by Paracoccus sp. strain HPD-2 on the soil microbial community and removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from an aged contaminated soil. Bioresour Technol 101:3437–3443. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tribedi P, Sil AK (2013) Bioaugmentation of polyethylene succinate contaminated soil with Pseudomonas sp. AKS2 results in increased microbial activity and better polymer degradation. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 20:1318–1326. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Tribedi P, Sil AK (2013a) Founder effect uncovers a new axis in polyethylene succinate bioremediation during biostimulation. FEMS Microbiol Lett 346:113–120. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tribedi P, Gupta AD, Sil AK (2015) Adaptation of Pseudomonas sp. AKS2 in biofilm on low-density polyethylene surface: an effective strategy for efficient survival and polymer degradation. Bioresour Bioprocess 2:14. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wolińska A, Frąc M, Oszust K, Szafranek-Nakonieczna A, Zielenkiewicz U, Stępniewska Z (2017) Microbial biodiversity of meadows under different modes of land use: catabolic and genetic fingerprinting. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 33:154. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wolińska A, Kuźniar A, Zielenkiewicz U, Banach A, Izak D, Stępniewska Z, Błaszczyk M (2017a) Metagenomic analysis of some potential nitrogen-fixing bacteria in arable soils at different formation process. Microb Ecol 73:162–176. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zaidi A, Khan MS, Ahemad M, Oves M, Wani PA (2009) Recent advances in plant growth promotion by phosphate-solubilizing microbes. In: Khan MS et al (eds) Microbial strategies for crop improvement. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, pp 23–50. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyThe Neotia UniversitySarishaIndia

Personalised recommendations