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Vol. 76, No. 24, 2010; Pages: 7903-7909

Effect of Sulfadiazine-Contaminated Pig Manure on the Abundances of Genes and Transcripts Involved in Nitrogen Transformation in the Root-Rhizosphere Complexes of Maize and Clover,+

Julien Ollivier,1,2* Kristina Kleineidam,2 Rüdiger Reichel,3 Sören Thiele-Bruhn,3 Anja Kotzerke,4 Reimo Kindler,4 Berndt-Michael Wilke,4 and Michael Schloter2

Chair of Soil Ecology, Technical University Munich, Ingolstädter Landstraße 1, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany.


The antibiotic sulfadiazine (SDZ) can enter the environment by application of manure from antibiotic-treated animals to arable soil. Because antibiotics are explicitly designed to target microorganisms, they likely affect microbes in the soil ecosystem, compromising important soil functions and disturbing processes in nutrient cycles. In a greenhouse experiment, we investigated the impact of sulfadiazine-contaminated pig manure on functional microbial communities involved in key processes of the nitrogen cycle in the root-rhizosphere complexes (RRCs) of maize (Zea mays) and clover (Trifolium alexandrinum). At both the gene and transcript level, we performed real-time PCR using nifH, amoA (in both ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea), nirK, nirS, and nosZ as molecular markers for nitrogen fixation, nitrification, and denitrification. Sampling was performed 10, 20, and 30 days after the application. SDZ affected the abundance pattern of all investigated genes in the RRCs of both plant species (with stronger effects in the RRC of clover) 20 and 30 days after the addition. Surprisingly, effects on the transcript level were less pronounced, which might indicate that parts of the investigated functional groups were tolerant or resistant against SDZ or, as in the case of nifH and clover, have been protected by the nodules.

Keywords:antibiotic sulfadiazine;Trifolium alexandrinum;ammonia-oxidizing bacteria;archaea;microbes in the soil ecosystem;soil fertility.

Corresponding author: Tel (49) 89 3187 3482, Fax (49) 89 3187 3376.

E-mail: julien.ollivier@helmholtz-muenchen.de


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