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Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Vol. 80, No. 20, 2014, Pages: 6437-6445

Different Effects of Transgenic Maize and Nontransgenic Maize on Nitrogen-Transforming Archaea and Bacteria in Tropical Soils

Simone Raposo Cotta, Armando Cavalcante Franco Dias, Ivanildo Evódio Marriel, Fernando Dini Andreote, Lucy Seldin and Jan Dirk van Elsas

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Instituto de Microbiologia Paulo de Góes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


The composition of the rhizosphere microbiome is a result of interactions between plant roots, soil, and environmental conditions. The impact of genetic variation in plant species on the composition of the root-associated microbiota remains poorly understood. This study assessed the abundances and structures of nitrogen-transforming (ammonia-oxidizing) archaea and bacteria as well as nitrogen-fixing bacteria driven by genetic modification of their maize host plants. The data show that significant changes in the abundances (revealed by quantitative PCR) of ammonia-oxidizing bacterial and archaeal communities occurred as a result of the maize host being genetically modified. In contrast, the structures of the total communities (determined by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) were mainly driven by factors such as soil type and season and not by plant genotype. Thus, the abundances of ammonia-oxidizing bacterial and archaeal communities but not structures of those communities were revealed to be responsive to changes in maize genotype, allowing the suggestion that community abundances should be explored as candidate bioindicators for monitoring the possible impacts of cultivation of genetically modified plants.


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