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Syst Appl Microbiol. 1999 May;22(2):269-79.

Sulfate-reducing bacteria in rice field soil and on rice roots.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für terrestrische Mikrobiologie, Marburg, Germany.


Rice plants that were grown in flooded rice soil microcosms were examined for their ability to exhibit sulfate reducing activity. Washed excised rice roots showed sulfate reduction potential when incubated in anaerobic medium indicating the presence of sulfate-reducing bacteria. Rice plants, that were incubated in a double-chamber (phylloshpere and rhizosphere separated), showed potential sulfate reduction rates in the anoxic rhizosphere compartment. These rates decreased when oxygen was allowed to penetrate through the aerenchyma system of the plants into the anoxic root compartment, indicating that sulfate reducers on the roots were partially inhibited by oxygen or that sulfate was regenerated by oxidation of reduced S-compounds. The potential activity of sulfate reducers on rice roots was consistent with MPN enumerations showing that H2-utilizing sulfate-reducing bacteria were present in high numbers on the rhizoplane (4.1 x 10(7) g-1 root fresh weight) and in the adjacent rhizosperic soil (2.5 x 10(7) g-1 soil dry weight). Acetate-oxidizing sulfate reducers, on the other hand, showed highest numbers in the unplanted bulk soil (1.9 x 10(6) g-1 soil dry weight). Two sulfate reducing bacteria were isolated from the highest dilutions of the MPN series and were characterized physiologically and phylogenetically. Strain F1-7b which was isolated from the rhizoplane with H2 as electron donor was related to subgroup II of the family Desulfovibrionaceae. Strain EZ-2C2, isolated from the rhizoplane on acetate, grouped together with Desulforhabdus sp. and Syntrophobacter wolinii. Other strains of sulfate-reducing bacteria originated from bulk soil of rice soil microcosms and were isolated using different electron donors. From these isolates, strains R-AcA1, R-IbutA1, R-PimA1 and R-AcetonA170 were Gram-positive bacteria which were affiliated with the genus Desulfotomaculum. The other isolates were members of subgroup II of the Desulfovibrionaceae (R-SucA1 and R-LacA1), were related to Desulforhabdus sp. (strain BKA11), Desulfobulbus (R-PropA1), or culstered between Desulfobotulus sapovorans and Desulfosarcina variabilis (R-ButA1 and R-CaprA1).

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