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Agricultural intensification reduces microbial network complexity and the abundance of keystone taxa in roots

Agricultural intensification reduces microbial network complexity and the abundance of keystone taxa in roots

Banerjee, Samiran ORCID: 0000-0002-1402-0171, Walder, Florian ORCID: 0000-0001-7731-7469, Büchi, Lucie ORCID: 0000-0002-1935-6176, Meyer, Marcel, Held, Alain Y., Gattinger, Andreas, Keller, Thomas, Charles, Raphael and van der Heijden, Marcel G. A. ORCID: 0000-0001-7040-1924 (2019) Agricultural intensification reduces microbial network complexity and the abundance of keystone taxa in roots. The ISME Journal. ISSN 1751-7362 (Print), 1751-7370 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41396-019-0383-2)

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Abstract

Root-associated microbes play a key role in plant performance and productivity, making them important players in agroecosystems. So far, very few studies have assessed the impact of different farming systems on the root microbiota and it is still unclear whether agricultural intensification influences the structure and complexity of microbial communities. We investigated the impact of conventional, no-till, and organic farming on wheat root fungal communities using PacBio SMRT sequencing on samples collected from 60 farmlands in Switzerland. Organic farming harbored a much more complex fungal network with significantly higher connectivity than conventional and no-till farming systems. The abundance of keystone taxa was the highest under organic farming where agricultural intensification was the lowest. We also found a strong negative association (R2 = 0.366; P < 0.0001) between agricultural intensification and root fungal network connectivity. The occurrence of keystone taxa was best explained by soil phosphorus levels, bulk density, pH, and mycorrhizal colonization. The majority of keystone taxa are known to form arbuscular mycorrhizal associations with plants and belong to the orders Glomerales, Paraglomerales, and Diversisporales. Supporting this, the abundance of mycorrhizal fungi in roots and soils was also significantly higher under organic farming. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report mycorrhizal keystone taxa for agroecosystems, and we demonstrate that agricultural intensification reduces network complexity and the abundance of keystone taxa in the root microbiome.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Uncontrolled Keywords: root biome; environmental DNA
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Ecosystem Services Research Group
Last Modified: 01 May 2019 09:49
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 1
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/23204

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