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Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America
Vol. 21, No: 5, 2011, Pages: 1696 - 707

Different farming and water regimes in Italian rice fields affect arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal soil communities

Lumini E, Vallino M, Alguacil MM, Romani M, Bianciotto V

Istituto per la Protezione delle Piante (IPP) del CNR - Sezione Torino, V.le Mattioli 25, 10125 Torino, Italy.


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) comprise one of the main components of soil microbiota in most agroecosystems. These obligate mutualistic symbionts colonize the roots of most plants, including crop plants. Many papers have indicated that different crop management practices could affect AMF communities and their root colonization. However, there is little knowledge available on the influence of conventional and low-input agriculture on root colonization and AMF molecular diversity in rice fields. Two different agroecosystems (continuous conventional high-input rice monocropping and organic farming with a five-year crop rotation) and two different water management regimes have been considered in this study. Both morphological and molecular analyses were performed. The soil mycorrhizal potential, estimated using clover trap cultures, was high and similar in the two agroecosystems. The diversity of the AMF community in the soil, calculated by means of PCR-RFLP (polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism) and 18S rDNA sequencing on clover trap cultures roots, was higher for the organic cultivation. The rice roots cultivated in the conventional agrosystem or under permanent flooding showed no AMF colonization, while the rice plants grown under the organic agriculture system showed typical mycorrhization patterns. Considered together, our data suggest that a high-input cropping system and conventional flooding depress AMF colonization in rice roots and that organic managements could help maintain a higher diversity of AMF communities in soil.

Keywords:Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi,polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism) and 18S rDNA sequencing on clover trap cultures roots.


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