Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria on root biofilms and their possible contribution to N use efficiency of different rice cultivars uri icon

abstract

  • Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) populations were studied on the root surface of different rice cultivars by PCR coupled with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). PCR-DGGE of the ammonium monooxygenase gene (amoA) showed a generally greater diversity on root samples compared to rhizosphere and unplanted soil. Sequences affiliated with Nitrosomonas spp. tended to be associated with modern rice hybrid lines. Root-associated AOB observed by FISH were found within a discrete biofilm coating the root surface. Although the total abundance of AOB on root biofilms of different rice cultivars did not differ significantly, there were marked contrasts in their population structure, indicating selection of Nitrosomonas spp. on roots of a hybrid cultivar. Observations by FISH on the total bacterial community also suggested that different rice cultivars support different bacterial populations even under identical environmental conditions. The presence of active AOB in the root environment predicts that a significant proportion of the N taken up by certain rice cultivars is in the form of NO3--N produced by the AOB. Measurement of plant growth of hydroponically grown plants showed a stronger response of hybrid cultivars to the co-provision of NH4+ and NO3-. In soil-grown plants, N use efficiency in the hybrid was improved during ammonium fertilization compared to nitrate fertilization. Since ammonium-fertilized plants actually receive a mixture of NH4+ and NO3- with ratios depending on root-associated nitrification activity, these results support the advantage of co-provision of ammonium and nitrate for the hybrid cultivar.

publication date

  • 2003
  • 2003