Plant and Soil

, Volume 282, Issue 1–2, pp 99–115 | Cite as

Impact of the Maize Rhizosphere on the Genetic Structure, the Diversity and the Atrazine-degrading Gene Composition of Cultivable Atrazine-degrading Communities

  • Fabrice Martin-Laurent
  • Benoît Barrès
  • Isabelle Wagschal
  • Séverine Piutti
  • Marion Devers
  • Guy Soulas
  • Laurent Philippot


Sixty-six atrazine-degrading bacterial communities utilizing atrazine as sole N source and citrate as principal C source were isolated from unplanted and maize planted soils treated with atrazine. Ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (RISA) fingerprints revealed that the genetic structure of atrazine-degrading bacterial communities was modified in the maize rhizosphere. To assess the underlying microbial diversity, 16S rDNA sequences amplified from each bacterial community were cloned. Libraries containing 660 16S rDNA clones were screened by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. In all, 63 clone families were identified. Rarefaction curves did not reach a clear saturation, indicating that the analysis of a greater number of clones would have revealed further diversity. Recovered 16S rDNA sequences were related to Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. The four dominant RFLP families were highly similar to Variovorax paradoxus, Burkholderia cepacia, Arthrobacter sp. and Bosea sp. The composition of most of the atrazine-degrading bacterial communities consisted of 2–7 different bacterial species. Various atrazine-degrading gene compositions were observed, two of these atzABCDEF, trzND and atzBCDEF, trzN being largely dominant. The first was more frequently detected in bacterial communities isolated from the maize rhizosphere whereas the second was more frequently detected in communities isolated from bulk soil. Monitoring of atrazine-degrading activity showed that 76% of the bacterial communities degraded up to 80% of the initially added atrazine within 15 days of culture. Altogether our results indicate that the maize rhizosphere has an impact on the genetic structure, the diversity and atrazine-degrading gene composition of the atrazine-degrading communities.


atrazine bacterial community biodegradation maize rhizosphere 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabrice Martin-Laurent
    • 1
  • Benoît Barrès
    • 2
  • Isabelle Wagschal
    • 3
  • Séverine Piutti
    • 4
  • Marion Devers
    • 1
  • Guy Soulas
    • 5
  • Laurent Philippot
    • 1
  1. 1.UMR Microbiologie et Géochimie des SolsINRA/Université de BourgogneDijon cedexFrance
  2. 2.UMR 1136 IAM, Equipe Pathologie ForestièreINRA NancyChampenoux
  3. 3.Abteilung Biochemie der PflanzenETHZ, Institut für PflanzenwissenschaftenZürichSwitzerland
  4. 4.Laboratoire d’Agronomie et d’EnvironnementENSAIAVandoeuvre-les-Nancy
  5. 5.UMR Œnologie-AmpéologieUniversité Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2Talence cedexFrance

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