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Soil bacterial phoD gene abundance and expression in response to applied phosphorus and long-term management

Fraser, T. D., Lynch, D. H., Bent, E., Entz, M. H. and Dunfield, K. E. (2015) Soil bacterial phoD gene abundance and expression in response to applied phosphorus and long-term management. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 88. pp. 137-147. ISSN 0038-0717

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2015.04.014


Bacterial transformation of phosphorus (P) compounds in soil is largely dependent on soil microbial community function, and is therefore sensitive to anthropogenic disturbances such as fertilization or cropping systems. However, the effect of soil management on the transcription of bacterial genes that encode phosphatases, such as phoD, is largely unknown. This greenhouse study examined the effect of long-term management and P amendment on potential alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and phoD gene (DNA) and transcript (RNA) abundance. Soil samples (0–15 cm) were collected from the Glenlea Long-term Rotation near Winnipeg, Manitoba, to compare organic, conventional and prairie management systems. In the greenhouse, pots of soil from each management system were amended with P as either soluble mineral fertilizer or cattle manure and then planted with Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiforum). Soils from each pot were sampled for analysis immediately and after 30 and 106 days. Significant differences among the soil/P treatments were detected for inorganic P, but not the organic P in NaHCO3-extracts. At day 0, ALP activity was similar among the soil/P treatments, but was higher after 30 days for all P amendments in soil from organically managed plots. In contrast, ALP activity in soils under conventional and prairie management responded to increasing rates of manure only, with significant effects from medium and high manure application rates at 30 and 106 days. Differences in ALP activity at 30 days corresponded to the abundance of bacterial phoD genes, which were also significantly higher in soils under organic management. However, this correlation was not significant for transcript abundance. Next-generation sequencing allowed the identification of 199 unique phoD operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from the metagenome (soil DNA) and 35 unique OTUs from the metatranscriptome (soil RNA), indicating that a subset of phoD genes was being transcribed in all soils.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:62706

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