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Annu Rev Phytopathol. 2004;42:243-70.

Microbial diversity in soil: selection microbial populations by plant and soil type and implications for disease suppressiveness.

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Netherlands Institute of Ecology, NIOO-KNAW, Center for Terrestrial Ecology, Heteren, The Netherlands.


An increasing interest has emerged with respect to the importance of microbial diversity in soil habitats. The extent of the diversity of microorganisms in soil is seen to be critical to the maintenance of soil health and quality, as a wide range of microorganisms is involved in important soil functions. This review focuses on recent data relating how plant type, soil type, and soil management regime affect the microbial diversity of soil and the implication for the soil's disease suppressiveness. The two main drivers of soil microbial community structure, i.e., plant type and soil type, are thought to exert their function in a complex manner. We propose that the fact that in some situations the soil and in others the plant type is the key factor determining soil microbial diversity is related to the complexity of the microbial interactions in soil, including interactions between microorganisms and soil and microorganisms and plants. A conceptual framework, based on the relative strengths of the shaping forces exerted by plant and soil versus the ecological behavior of microorganisms, is proposed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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