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Spatial variation of active microbiota in the rice rhizosphere revealed by in situ stable isotope probing of phospholipid fatty acids
- Lu, Yahai, Abraham, Wolf-Rainer, Conrad, Ralf
- Environmental microbiology 2007 v.9 no.2 pp. 474-481
- bags, carbon, fatty acids, isotope labeling, phospholipids, rhizosphere, rice, roots, soil, soil microorganisms, soil sampling, stable isotopes
- This report is part of a serial study applying stable isotope labelling to rice microcosms to track the utilization of recently photosynthesized carbon by active microbiota in the rhizosphere. The objective of the present study was to apply phospholipid fatty acid-based stable isotope probing (PLFA-SIP) to detect the spatial variation of active microorganisms associated with rhizosphere carbon flow. In total, 49 pulses of ¹³CO₂ were applied to rice plants in a microcosm over a period of 7 days. Rhizosphere soil was separated from bulk soil by a root bag. Soil samples were taken from rhizosphere and bulk soil, and the bulk soil samples were further partitioned both vertically (up layer and down layer) and horizontally with increasing distance to the root bag. Incorporation of ¹³C into PLFAs sharply decreased with distance to the roots. The labelling of 16:1ω9, 18:1ω7, 18:1ω9, 18:2ω6,9 and i14:0 PLFAs was relatively stronger in the rhizosphere while that of i15:0 and i17:0 increased in the bulk soil. The microorganisms associated with 16:1ω9 were active in both up- and down-layer soils. The microorganisms represented by i14:0, 18:1ω7 and 18:2ω6,9 exhibited a relatively higher activity in up-layer soil, whereas those represented by i15:0 and i17:0 were more active in down-layer soil. These results suggest that in the rhizosphere Gram-negative and eukaryotic microorganisms were most actively assimilating root-derived C, whereas Gram-positive microorganisms became relatively more important in the bulk soil. The active populations apparently differed between up- and down-layer soil and in particular changed with distance to the roots, demonstrating systematic changes in the activity of the soil microbiota surrounding roots.