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Experimental evidence of soil bacteria abundance as the primary driver of rhizosphere priming effect

Ma YP1,2,3#, ZJ Zhang1,2#, TQ Su1#, CA Busso4, ER Johnston5, XG Han1,6, XM Zhang2*

1 Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China.
2 Key Laboratory of Dryland Agriculture, MOA, Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing100081, China.
3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.
4 Departamento de Agronomía-CERZOS (CONICET), Universidad Nacional del Sur, San Andrés 800, 8000 Bahía Blanca, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
5 School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA. 6 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China.
# These authors contributed equally to this article.
* Address correspondence to: Ximei Zhang, e-mail: This research was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program (2016YFC0500702) and Central Public-interest Scientific Institution Basal Research Fund of China (BSRF201714).

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2018, 87(all), 286-291.


Soil microbial communities are thought to be responsible for the rhizosphere priming effect (RPE). However, because soil microbial communities are comprised of diverse components, very little is known about which component plays the critical role. In this study, soybean and cottonwood were grown at two latitudinal locations with different temperature and light conditions in-situ. We quantified RPE using a natural δ13C method, and measured the abundance, richness and composition of bacteria and fungi communities with DNA-based molecular methods. Among all potential variables, including the three aforementioned indexes of bacteria and fungi communities and soil physicochemical and plant indexes, bacterial abundance was found to explain a large proportion of the variation in RPE. Our study identified the biological mechanism underlying this important ecological process.


Cite This Article

YP, M., Zhang, Z., Su, T., Busso, C., Johnston, E. et al. (2018). Experimental evidence of soil bacteria abundance as the primary driver of rhizosphere priming effect. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 87(all), 286–291.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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