Use of an artificial root to examine the influence of 8-hydroxyquinoline on soil microbial activity and bacterial community structure
Watkins, A. J., Nicol, G. W. and Shaw, L. J. (2009) Use of an artificial root to examine the influence of 8-hydroxyquinoline on soil microbial activity and bacterial community structure. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 41 (3). pp. 580-585. ISSN 0038-0717
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2008.12.019
Invasive plant species have been shown to alter the microbial community composition of the soils they invade and it is suggested that this below-ground perturbation of potential pathogens, decomposers or symbionts may feedback positively to allow invasive success. Whether these perturbations are mediated through specific components of root exudation are not understood. We focussed on 8-hydroxyquinoline, a putative allelochemical of Centaurea diffusa (diffuse knapweed) and used an artificial root system to differentiate the effects of 8-hydroxyquinoline against a background of total rhizodeposition as mimicked through supply of a synthetic exudate solution. In soil proximal (0-10 cm) to the artificial root, synthetic exudates had a highly significant (P < 0.001) influence on dehydrogenase, fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis and urease activity. in addition, 8-hydroxyquinoline was significant (p = 0.003) as a main effect on dehydrogenase activity and interacted with synthetic exudates to affect urease activity (p = 0.09). Hierarchical cluster analysis of 16S rDNA-based DGGE band patterns also identified a primary affect of synthetic exudates and a secondary affect of 8-hydroxyquinoline on bacterial community structure. Thus, we show that the artificial rhizosphere produced by the synthetic exudates was the predominant effect, but, that the influence of the 8-hydroxyquinoline signal on the activity and structure of soil microbial communities could also be detected. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.