Evaluation of fertility indicators associated with arsenic-contaminated paddy fields soil
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Emerging environmental issues related to heavy metal contamination in rice draw great concern about the soil quality of paddy farming lands irrigated with groundwater. Investigating the functioning of soil microorganisms exposed to heavy metal contamination is imperative for agricultural soil manipulations. The current study accentuates the influence of heavy metals on microbial activity and community composition in arable soil of West Bengal State of India. The result revealed that the fertility indicators (activity of all soil enzymes) and growth-limiting factors (soil N and P) were negatively correlated with the heavy metal stress except the soil total organic content which demonstrated significant positive correlation with the heavy metals. In case of functional diversity of soil, all the considered diversity indices exhibited no specific pattern along with the availability of heavy metals. Further, despite the heavy metal contamination, we observed a very complex and indifferent pattern of bacterial community composition along the heavy metal contamination sites. Overall, we found that γ-Proteobacteria had been the most abundant bacterial community followed by Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, β-Proteobacteria and α-Proteobacteria. Commemorating all the results, we can infer that arsenic and other heavy metal contamination is deteriorating the soil quality and hence warrants immediate attention of concerned soil scientist and agronomists.
KeywordsHeavy metal Arsenic Microbial diversity DGGE Soil fertility
The study was conducted using the operating funds of the network project Plant Microbe and Soil Interactions (PMSI) (BSC-0117) funded by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, India. Authors are thankful to the Director, CSIR-NBRI, Lucknow, for providing necessary resources to conduct this study.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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