DO FRESHWATER MACROPHYTES INFLUENCE THE COMMUNITY STRUCTURE OF AMMONIA-OXIDIZING AND DENITRIFYING BACTERIA IN THE RHIZOSPHERE? M. Herrmann, A. Schramm Department of Biological Sciences, Microbiology, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark Aquatic macrophytes such as Littorella uniflora and Lobelia dortmanna have been shown to release oxygen from their roots and to stimulate nitrification and coupled nitrification-denitrification in the rhizosphere. Together with the excretion of root exudates, this effect leads to strongly modified microenvironments at the root surface and in the rhizosphere compared to unvegetated sediment, especially with respect to the availability of oxygen, organic carbon, and inorganic nitrogen. We hypothesize that macrophyte species create specific niches for ammonia oxidizing and nitrate-reducing bacteria in their rhizosphere, leading to plant-dependant differences in abundance, activity and composition of these microbial communities between root surface (rhizoplane), rhizosphere and unvegetated sediment. Comparative investigations are carried out focussing on the macrophyte species Littorella uniflora, Juncus bulbosus and Myriophyllum spicatum. Microsensor measurements confirmed the photosynthesis-dependant, species-specific release of oxygen into the rhizosphere; batch incubations indicated a higher nitrification potential in the rhizosphere of Littorella uniflora compared to unvegetated sediment, and will be complemented with the determination of rates of coupled nitrification-denitrification using the 15N isotope pairing technique. Ammonia-oxidizing and nitrate-reducing populations are analyzed based on the ammonia monooxygenase gene (amoA) and the nitrate reductase gene (narG) as functional markers. Preliminary data indicate that there in fact exist differences in the community composition of ammonia oxidizing bacteria between the root surface, the rhizosphere and unvegetated sediment and between plant species, however, differences in the community composition among sampling sites also suggest a strong impact of the chemical properties of the sediment.
Hidden Powers - Microbial Communities in Action. Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology (isme-11), 2006
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11th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology (ISME-11), 2006