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Bacteria with Different Assemblages in the Soil Profile Drive the Diverse Nutrient Cycles in the Sugarcane Straw Retention Ecosystem

1
Key Laboratory of Sugarcane Biology and Genetic Breeding, Ministry of Agriculture, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
2
College of Agriculture, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
3
College of Geographical Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2019, 11(10), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11100194
Received: 5 September 2019 / Revised: 14 October 2019 / Accepted: 14 October 2019 / Published: 15 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Diversity and Culture Collections)
Straw retention, an alternative to artificial fertilization, commonly mitigates soil degradation and positively affects soil fertility. In this study, we investigated the succession of soil bacteria during two sugarcane straw retention treatments (control (CK) and sugarcane straw retention (SR)) and at four depths (0–10, 10–20, 20–30, and 30–40 cm) in fallow soil in a sugarcane cropping system. Using an Illumina MiSeq (16S rRNA) and soil enzyme activity, we explored the SR influence on soil bacterial communities and enzyme activities and its inclusive impact on soil fertility, with an emphasis on topsoil (0–10 cm) and subsoil (10–40 cm). Our results show that SR effectively improved soil fertility indicators (C, N, and P), including enzyme activities (C and N cycling), throughout the soil profile: these soil parameters greatly improved in the topsoil compared to the control. Sugarcane straw retention and soil depth (0–10 cm vs. 10–40 cm) were associated with little variation in bacterial species richness and alpha diversity throughout the soil profile. Subsoil and topsoil bacterial communities differed in composition. Compared to the CK treatment, SR enriched the topsoil with Proteobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Nitrospirae, while the subsoil was depleted in Nitrospirae and Acidobacteria. Similarly, SR enriched the subsoil with Proteobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, Gemmatimonadetes, and Bacteroidetes, while the topsoil was depleted in Acidobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes, and Planctomycetes compared to the CK. At the genus level, SR enriched the topsoil with Gp1, Gp2, Gp5, Gp7, Gemmatimonas, Kofleria, Sphingomonas, and Gaiella, which decompose lignocellulose and contribute to nutrient cycling. In summary, SR not only improved soil physicochemical properties and enzyme activities but also enriched bacterial taxa involved in lignocellulosic decomposition and nutrient cycling (C and N) throughout the soil profile. However, these effects were stronger in topsoil than in subsoil, suggesting that SR enhanced fertility more in topsoil than in subsoil in fallow land. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil profile; sugarcane straw retention; soil enzymes; soil fertility; 16S rRNA gene amplicon; bacterial communities soil profile; sugarcane straw retention; soil enzymes; soil fertility; 16S rRNA gene amplicon; bacterial communities
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Zhang, C.; Tayyab, M.; Abubakar, A.Y.; Yang, Z.; Pang, Z.; Islam, W.; Lin, Z.; Li, S.; Luo, J.; Fan, X.; Fallah, N.; Zhang, H. Bacteria with Different Assemblages in the Soil Profile Drive the Diverse Nutrient Cycles in the Sugarcane Straw Retention Ecosystem. Diversity 2019, 11, 194.

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