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Effects Of Plant Genotype And Growth Stage On The Betaproteobacterial Communities Associated With Different Potato Cultivars In Two Fields

Özgül İnceoğlu, Joana Falcão Salles, Leo van Overbeek, Jan Dirk van Elsas

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ABSTRACT Bacterial communities in the rhizosphere are dynamic and susceptible to changes in plant conditions. Among the bacteria, the betaproteobacteria play key roles in nutrient cycling and plant growth promotion, and hence the dynamics of their community structures in the rhizosphere should be investigated. Here, the effects of plant cultivar, growth stage, and soil type on the communities associated with potato cultivars Aveka, Aventra, Karnico, Modena, Premiere, and Désirée were assessed for two different fields containing sandy soil with either a high or low organic compound content. Thus, bacterial and betaproteobacterial PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analyses were performed to analyze the effects of plant cultivar and growth on the rhizosphere community structure. The analyses showed that in both fields all cultivars had a rhizosphere effect on the total bacterial and betaproteobacterial communities. In addition, the plant growth stage strongly affected the betaproteobacterial communities in both fields. Moreover, the community structures were affected by cultivar, and cultivars differed in physiology, as reflected in their growth rates, root development, and estimated tuber starch contents. Analyses of betaproteobacterial clone libraries constructed for two selected cultivars (one cultivar that produced low-starch-content tubers and one cultivar that produced high-starch-content tubers), as well as bulk soil, revealed that the rhizospheres of the two cultivars selected for specific bacteria, including plant-growth-promoting bacteria, such as Variovorax and Achromobacter spp. In addition, quantitative PCR-based quantification of the Variovorax paradoxus -specific functional gene asfA (involved in desulfonation) indicated that there were clear potato rhizosphere effects on the abundance of this gene. Interestingly, both cultivar type and plant growth stage affected the community under some circumstances.