Special Issue "Advances in Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant–Soil Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2023 | Viewed by 4702

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Shuo Jiao
E-Mail
Guest Editor
College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
Interests: soil microbiome; microbial ecology; microbial biogeography; plant microbiome; community assembly

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plants provide niches for the growth and proliferation of a variety of soil microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, protists, and viruses, and these microorganisms form a complex co-correlation with plants. Soil microorganisms can give plant hosts health advantages, including growth promotion, nutrient absorption, stress tolerance, and resistance to pathogens. Plants secrete secondary metabolites to recruit soil microorganisms, and rhizosphere microorganisms have the ability to be manipulated or designed to be beneficial to plants due to their co-evolution capabilities. In addition, the environment has a great influence on the genetic, biochemical, and metabolic interactions of the plant–rhizosphere microbial community. Therefore, it is essential to clarify how the interaction between plant–rhizosphere soil–microorganism shapes the assembly of plant-related microbiome and regulates its beneficial properties, such as nutrient acquisition and plant health. It is an important scientific task to reveal the mechanism of plant–rhizosphere soil–microorganism interaction. This Special Issue aims to collect research on plant–soil–microbial interactions, which are related to community assembly, nutrient regulation, secretion of secondary metabolites, and regulation mechanisms.

Dr. Shuo Jiao
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • plant health
  • rhizosphere microorganisms
  • promoting growth
  • root exudates
  • nutrient absorption
  • regulation mechanism

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
The Effect of Wool Mulch on Plant Development in the Context of the Physical and Biological Conditions in Soil
Plants 2023, 12(3), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12030684 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 174
Abstract
Mulching techniques can comprise a solution that better utilizes precipitation and irrigation water in such a manner that mitigates soil degradation and drought damage; however, there are still gaps in the literature with regard to the effect of the use of mulch materials [...] Read more.
Mulching techniques can comprise a solution that better utilizes precipitation and irrigation water in such a manner that mitigates soil degradation and drought damage; however, there are still gaps in the literature with regard to the effect of the use of mulch materials on the development of plant–soil–microbe interactions. Waste fibers, as alternative biodegradable mulch materials, are becoming increasingly prominent. The effect of wool mulch (WM) on water use efficiency, with regard to pepper seedlings, was investigated in different soil types (sand, clay loam, peat) in a pot experiment. Two semi-field experiments were also set up to investigate the effect of WM–plant interactions on sweet pepper yields, as compared with agro textiles and straw mulches. Soil parameters (moisture, temperature, DHA, β-glucosidase enzymes, permanganate-oxidizable carbon) were measured during the growing season. The effect of WM on yield and biomass was more significant with the less frequent irrigation and the greater water-holding capacity of soils. Microbiological activity was significantly higher in the presence of plants, and because of the water retention of WM, the metabolic products of roots and the more balanced soil temperature were caused by plants. In the sandy soil, the straw mulch had a significantly better effect on microbiological parameters and yields than the agro textiles and WM. In soils with a higher water capacity, WM is a sustainable practice for improving the biological parameters and water use efficiency of soil. The effect of WM on yields cannot solely be explained by the water retention of the mulch; indeed, the development of biological activity and plant–soil–microbe interactions in the soil are also contributing factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions)
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Article
Nitrogen Fertilizer Type and Genotype as Drivers of P Acquisition and Rhizosphere Microbiota Assembly in Juvenile Maize Plants
Plants 2023, 12(3), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12030544 - 25 Jan 2023
Viewed by 348
Abstract
Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for plant growth and development, as well as an important factor limiting sustainable maize production. Targeted nitrogen (N) fertilization in the form of ammonium has been shown to positively affect Pi uptake under P-deficient conditions compared to [...] Read more.
Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for plant growth and development, as well as an important factor limiting sustainable maize production. Targeted nitrogen (N) fertilization in the form of ammonium has been shown to positively affect Pi uptake under P-deficient conditions compared to nitrate. Nevertheless, its profound effects on root traits, P uptake, and soil microbial composition are still largely unknown. In this study, two maize genotypes F160 and F7 with different P sensitivity were used to investigate phosphorus-related root traits such as root hair length, root diameter, AMF association, and multiple P efficiencies under P limitation when fertilized either with ammonium or nitrate. Ammonium application improved phosphorous acquisition efficiency in the F7 genotype but not in F160, suggesting that the genotype plays an important role in how a particular N form affects P uptake in maize. Additionally, metabarcoding data showed that young maize roots were able to promote distinct microbial taxa, such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, when fertilized with ammonium. Overall, the results suggest that the form of chemical nitrogen fertilizer can be instrumental in selecting beneficial microbial communities associated with phosphorus uptake and maize plant fitness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions)
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Article
Cyanobacteria Application Ameliorates Floral Traits and Outcrossing Rate in Diverse Rice Cytoplasmic Male Sterile Lines
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3411; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243411 - 07 Dec 2022
Viewed by 565
Abstract
In rice, cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) represents an irreplaceable strategy for producing high-yielding hybrid rice based on the commercial exploitation of heterosis. Thereupon, enhancing floral traits and outcrossing rates in CMS lines increase hybrid seed production and ensure global food security. The exogenous [...] Read more.
In rice, cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) represents an irreplaceable strategy for producing high-yielding hybrid rice based on the commercial exploitation of heterosis. Thereupon, enhancing floral traits and outcrossing rates in CMS lines increase hybrid seed production and ensure global food security. The exogenous application of cyanobacteria could enhance outcrossing rates in CMS lines and, accordingly, hybrid rice seed production. In the present study, we aimed at exploring the impact of cyanobacteria implementation such as Anabaena oryzae, Nostoc muscorum, and their mixture to promote the floral traits, outcrossing rates, and seed production in hybrid rice. The impact of cyanobacteria (Anabaena Oryza (T2), Nostoc muscorum (T3), and their combination (T4) versus the untreated control (T1) was investigated for two years on the growth, floral, and yield traits of five diverse CMS lines, namely IR69625A (L1), IR58025A (L2), IR70368A (L3), G46A (L4), and K17A(L5). The evaluated CMS lines exhibited significant differences in all measured floral traits (days to heading (DTH), total stigma length (TSL), stigma width (SW), duration of spikelet opening (DSO), spikelet opening angle (SOA)). Additionally, L4 displayed the uppermost total stigma length and stigma width, whereas L1 and L5 recorded the best duration of spikelet opening and spikelet opening angle. Notably, these mentioned CMS lines exhibited the highest plant growth and yield traits, particularly under T4 treatment. Strong positive relationships were distinguished between the duration of the spikelet opening, panicle exertion, panicle weight, seed set, grain yield, total stigma length, spikelet opening angle, stigma width, and number of fertile panicles per hill. Cyanobacteria is a potential promising tool to increase floral traits and seed production in hybrid rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions)
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Article
Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Support Plant Sulfur Supply through Organosulfur Mobilizing Bacteria in the Hypho- and Rhizosphere
Plants 2022, 11(22), 3050; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11223050 - 11 Nov 2022
Viewed by 530
Abstract
This study aimed to elucidate the role of bacteria colonising mycorrhizal hyphae in organically bound sulfur mobilisation, the dominant soil sulfur source that is not directly plant available. The effect of an intact mycorrhizal symbiosis with access to stable isotope organo-34S [...] Read more.
This study aimed to elucidate the role of bacteria colonising mycorrhizal hyphae in organically bound sulfur mobilisation, the dominant soil sulfur source that is not directly plant available. The effect of an intact mycorrhizal symbiosis with access to stable isotope organo-34S enriched soils encased in 35 µm mesh cores was tested in microcosms with Agrostis stolonifera and Plantago lanceolata. Hyphae and associated soil were sampled from static mesh cores with mycorrhizal ingrowth and rotating mesh cores that exclude mycorrhizal ingrowth as well as corresponding rhizosphere soil, while plant shoots were analysed for 34S uptake. Static cores increased uptake of 34S at early stages of plant growth when sulfur demand appeared to be high and harboured significantly larger populations of sulfonate mobilising bacteria. Bacterial and fungal communities were significantly different in the hyphospheres of static cores when compared to rotating cores, not associated with plant hosts. Shifts in bacterial and fungal communities occurred not only in rotated cores but also in the rhizosphere. Arylsulfatase activity was significantly higher in the rhizosphere when cores stayed static, while atsA and asfA gene diversity was distinct in the microcosms with static and rotating cores. This study demonstrated that AM symbioses can promote organo-S mobilization and plant uptake through interactions with hyphospheric bacteria, enabling AM fungal ingrowth into static cores creating a positive feedback-loop, detectable in the microbial rhizosphere communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions)
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Article
Effects of Two Kinds of Commercial Organic Fertilizers on Growth and Rhizosphere Soil Properties of Corn on New Reclamation Land
Plants 2022, 11(19), 2553; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11192553 - 28 Sep 2022
Viewed by 575
Abstract
Due to the development of urbanization and industrialization, a large amount of cultivated land resources has been occupied, while new reclamation land could expand the supply of usable land for food security. Organic fertilizers, such as crop residues, biosolids, sheep manure, mushroom residue, [...] Read more.
Due to the development of urbanization and industrialization, a large amount of cultivated land resources has been occupied, while new reclamation land could expand the supply of usable land for food security. Organic fertilizers, such as crop residues, biosolids, sheep manure, mushroom residue, and biogas liquid, have been considered as an effective amendment in immature soil to improve its quality. Recently, two kinds of commercial organic fertilizers, pig manure and mushroom residue organic fertilizer (PMMR-OF), and sheep manure organic fertilizer (SM-OF), have been more regularly applied in agriculture production. However, the information available on effect of the two kinds of fertilizers on plant growth and rhizosphere soil properties in immature field is very limited. In order to evaluate PMMR-OF and SM-OF on immature soil, the soil quality and microbial community structure of corn rhizosphere soil samples under the two kinds of organic fertilizers at different concentrations was investigated. The results revealed a significant difference between commercial organic fertilizers (especially SM-OF) and chemical compound fertilizers (CCF) in soil properties and microbial community structure. Indeed, compared with the control based on16S and ITS amplicon sequencing of soil microflora, SM-OF caused a 10.79–19.52%, 4.33–4.39%,and 14.58–29.29% increase in Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Ascomycota, but a 5.82–20.58%, 0.53–24.06%, 10.87–16.79%, 2.69–10.50%, 44.90–59.24%, 8.88–10.98%, and 2.31–21.98% reduction in Acidobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes, Bacteroidetes, Verrucomicrobia, Basidiomycota, Mortierellomycota, and Chytridiomycota, respectively. CCF caused a 24.11%, 23.28%, 38.87%, 19.88%, 18.28%, and 13.89% reduction in Acidobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes, Bacteroidetes, Verrucomicrobia, Basidiomycota, Chytridiomycota, but a 22.77%, 41.28%, 7.88%, and 19.39% increase in Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Ascomycota, and Mortierellomycota, respectively. Furthermore, redundancy discriminant analysis of microbial communities and soil properties of PMMR-OF, SM-OF, CCF, and the control treatments indicated that the main variables of bacterial and fungal communities included organic matter content, available P, and available K. Overall, the results of this study revealed significant changes under different fertilizer conditions (PMMR-OF, SM-OF, CCF, under different concentrations) in microbiota and chemical properties of corn soil. Commercial organic fertilizers, particularly SM-OF, can be used as a good amendment for the new reclamation land. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions)
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Article
Planting Systems Affect Soil Microbial Communities and Enzymes Activities Differentially under Drought and Phosphorus Addition
Plants 2022, 11(3), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11030319 - 25 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1677
Abstract
The use of phosphorus (P) to alleviate soil nutrient deficiency alters resources in plant and microbial communities, but it remains unknown how mixed and monospecific planting of forest tree species shape soil microbial structure and functions in response to drought and its interplay [...] Read more.
The use of phosphorus (P) to alleviate soil nutrient deficiency alters resources in plant and microbial communities, but it remains unknown how mixed and monospecific planting of forest tree species shape soil microbial structure and functions in response to drought and its interplay with phosphorus addition. We investigated the microbial structure and chemical properties of forest soils planted with P. zhennan monoculture, A. cremastogyne monoculture, and their mixed cultures. The three planting systems were exposed to drought (30–35% water reduction) and the combination of drought with P. A well-watered treatment (80–85% water addition) of similar combinations was used as the control. Planting systems shaped the effects of drought on the soil microbial properties leading to an increase in nitrate nitrogen, urease activity, and microbial biomass carbon in the monocultures, but decrease in mixed cultures. In the monoculture of P. zhennan, addition of P to drought-treated soil increased enzyme activities, the concentration of dissolved organic nitrogen, and carbon, leading to increase in the total bacteria, G+ bacteria, and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Except in the drought with P addition treatment, the impact of admixing on total phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs), bacterial PLFA, and fungi PLFA was synergistic in all treatments. Our findings indicated that in monoculture of P. zhennan and its mixed planting with A. cremastogyne, greater biological activities could be established under drought conditions with the addition of P. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: The Effect of Wool Mulch on Plant Development in the Light of Soil Physical and Soil Biological Conditions
Authors: Andrea Veres; Enikő Papp; Vasileios P. Vasileiadis; Katalin Juhos
Affiliation: Department of Agro-Environmental Studies, Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Villányi str. 29-43, H-1118 Budapest, Hungary; Biodiversity & Agronomy Lead, Sustainable & Responsible Business EAME, Syngenta Crop Protection, 4058 Basel, Switzerland
Abstract: The extreme weather conditions that are lately experienced globally cause severe drought and heat stress for plants in agricultural production. The effect of this stress on plant development depends on abiotic and biotic factors. The solution to this problem can be various soil cover techniques, which help to preserve soil moisture and soil biological activity, thereby increasing crop yield. First, the impact of drought stress on the evapotranspiration (ET) efficiency of sweet pepper plants was tested on soils with different water capacities (clay, sand and peat-based substrate) in greenhouse pot trials. Then the effect of drought on sweet pepper yield (Capsicum annuum L.), biomass and plant- microbiological interactions were tested in semi-field trials. Two drought stress levels were established through wool mulch mats and uncovered control plots and monitored with digital soil moisture and soil temperature sensors. Results showed that at lower stress levels (using wool mulch) plants on clay were more efficient in ET than on sandy soil, however, there was no difference in ET between these two soil types on uncovered plots at higher stress levels. ET was most efficient at lower stress levels on peat which is a substrate with high water capacity and organic matter content. In semi-field trials, a significant difference in soil moisture and soil temperature resulted in smaller pepper bells, reduced plant biomass and symptoms of lack of mineral elements. Microbiological activity measured as active carbon (permanganate oxidizable C) in the soil showed a significant difference due to the level of drought stress independent from the presence of the plant. However, if the plant was present, there was no difference in ß-glycosidase enzyme activity among the treatments. Our results indicate that drought stress and mulching affect both plant performance and soil microorganisms along the season, however, the actual microbiological activity depends on soil-plant-microbial interactions.

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