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Successive phytoextraction alters ammonia oxidation and associated microbial communities in heavy metal contaminated agricultural soils

Luo, Jipeng, Liu, Yuying, Tao, Qi, Hou, Qiong, Wu, Keren, Song, Yuchao, Liu, Yuankun, Guo, Xinyu, Li, Jinxing, Hashmi, Muhammad Laeeq ur Rehman, Liang, Yongchao, Li, Tingqiang
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.664 pp. 616-625
Archaea, Nitrosospira, Sedum, agricultural soils, ammonia, biochemical pathways, biogeochemical cycles, cadmium, exudation, genes, heavy metals, least squares, messenger RNA, microbial communities, models, nitrification, nitrifying bacteria, nitrogen, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, oxidation, phylogeny, phytoaccumulation, planting date, polluted soils, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, rhizosphere, ribosomal RNA, root exudates, soil nutrients, zinc
Phytoextraction is an attractive strategy for remediation of soils contaminated by heavy metal (HM), yet the effects of this practice on biochemical processes involved in soil nutrient cycling remain unknown. Here we investigated the impact of successive phytoextraction with a Cd/Zn co-hyperaccumulator Sedum alfredii (Crassulaceae) on potential nitrification rates (PNRs), abundance and composition of nitrifying communities and functional genes associated with nitrification using archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA gene profiling and quantitative real-time PCR. The PNRs in rhizosphere were significantly (P < 0.05) lower than in the unplanted soils, and decreased markedly with planting time. The decrease of PNR was more paralleled by changes in numbers of copy and transcript of archaeal amoA gene than the bacterial counterpart. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that phytoextraction induced shifts in community structure of soil group 1.1b lineage-dominated ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), Nitrosospira cluster 3-like ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and Nitrospira-like nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB). A strong positive correlation was observed between amoA gene transcript numbers and PNRs, whereas root exudates showed negative effect on PNR. This effect was further corroborated by incubation test with the concentrated root exudates of S. alfredii. Partial least squares path model demonstrated that PNR was predominantly controlled by number of AOA amoA gene transcripts which were strongly influenced by root exudation and HM level in soil. Our result reveals that successive phytoextraction of agricultural soil contaminated by HMs using S. alfredii could inhibit ammonia oxidation and thereby reduce nitrogen loss.