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Effects of the biological nitrification inhibitor 1,9-decanediol on nitrification and ammonia oxidizers in three agricultural soils

Lu, Yufang, Zhang, Xiaonan, Jiang, Jiafeng, Kronzucker, Herbert J., Shen, Weishou, Shi, Weiming
Soil biology & biochemistry 2019 v.129 pp. 48-59
Archaea, Nitrosomonas, Nitrosospira, agricultural soils, alpha-linolenic acid, ammonia, ammonium, bioassays, community structure, dicyandiamide, greenhouse gas emissions, nitrification, nitrification inhibitors, nitrifying bacteria, nitrogen, nitrous oxide, oxidants, paddy soils, propionic acid, rice, root exudates
The application of biological nitrification inhibitors (BNIs) is considered an important new strategy to mitigate nitrogen losses from agricultural soils. 1,9-decanediol was recently identified as a new BNI in rice root exudates and was shown to inhibit nitrification in bioassays using Nitrosomonas. However, the effect of this compound on nitrification and ammonia oxidizers in soils remained unknown. In this study, three typical agriculture soils were collected to investigate the impact of 1,9-decanediol on nitrification and ammonia oxidizers in a 14-day microcosm incubation. High doses of 1,9-decanediol showed strong soil nitrification inhibition in all three agricultural soils, with the highest inhibition of 58.1% achieved in the acidic red soil, 37.0% in the alkaline fluvo-aquic soil, and 35.7% in the neutral paddy soil following 14 days of incubation. Moreover, the inhibition of 1,9-decanediol was superior to the widely used synthetic nitrification inhibitor, dicyandiamide (DCD) and two other BNIs, methyl 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl) propionate (MHPP) and α-linolenic acid (LN), in all three soils. The abundance of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) was significantly inhibited by 1,9-decanediol addition across the three soils. All AOB sequences fell within the Nitrosospira group, and the dominant AOA sequences belonged to the Nitrososphaera cluster in all three soils. Changes in the community composition of AOB were more pronounced than AOA after the application of 1,9-decanediol. The AOB community structure shifted from Nitrosospira cluster 2 and cluster 3a toward Nitrosospira clusters 8a and 8b. As for AOA, no significant impact on the proportion of the dominant Nitrososphaera cluster was observed in the fluvo-aquic soil and paddy soil while only the Nitrosopumilus cluster decreased in the red soil. 1,9-decanediol could also significantly reduce soil N2O emissions, especially in acidic red soil. Our results provide evidence that 1,9-decanediol is capable of suppressing nitrification in agricultural soils through impeding both AOA and AOB rather than affecting soil NH4+ availability. 1,9-decanediol holds promise as an effective biological nitrification inhibitor for soil ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea.