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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2006 Sep;57(3):409-19.

Soil bacterial diversity in a loblolly pine plantation: influence of ectomycorrhizas and fertilization.

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Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Ithaca, NY, USA.


We studied the effect of ectomycorrhizas and fertilization on soil microbial communities associated with roots of 10-year-old loblolly pine. Ectomycorrhizas were identified using a combination of community terminal restriction fragment profiling and matching of individual terminal restriction fragments to those produced from ectomycorrhizal clones and sequences recovered from roots and sporocarps. Differences between bacterial communities were initially determined using cluster analysis on community terminal restriction fragment profiles and through subsequent recovery of 16S rDNA clones. Analysis of bacterial clones revealed that terminal restriction fragment length was often shared between taxonomically dissimilar bacterial types. Consequently, we could not reliably infer the identity of peaks in the bacterial community profile with some exceptions, notably chloroplast rDNA that generated an approximate peak size of 80.2 bp. Fertilization increased the frequency of a Piloderma-like ectomycorrhiza. However, we did not detect clear effects of fertilization or the presence of viable ectomycorrhizas on bacterial communities. Bacterial communities seemed to be determined largely by the carbon and nitrogen content of soil. These results suggest that important soil microbial groups respond differently to soil conditions and management practices, with ectomycorrhizal communities reflecting past nutrient conditions and bacterial communities reflecting current environmental conditions of soil microsites.

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