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Environ Microbiol. 2006 Dec;8(12):2136-49.

Cultivation-independent analysis of Pseudomonas species in soil and in the rhizosphere of field-grown Verticillium dahliae host plants.

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  • 1Federal Biological Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry (BBA), Messeweg 11/12, D-38104 Braunschweig, Germany.


Despite their importance for rhizosphere functioning, rhizobacterial Pseudomonas spp. have been mainly studied in a cultivation-based manner. In this study a cultivation-independent method was used to determine to what extent the factors plant species, sampling site and year-to-year variation influence Pseudomonas community structure in bulk soil and in the rhizosphere of two Verticillium dahliae host plants, oilseed rape and strawberry. Community DNA was extracted from bulk and rhizosphere soil samples of flowering plants collected at three different sites in Germany in two consecutive years. Pseudomonas community structure and diversity were assessed using a polymerase chain reaction denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) system to fingerprint Pseudomonas-specific 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified from community DNA. Dominant and differentiating DGGE bands were excised from the gels, cloned and sequenced. The factors sampling site, plant species and year-to-year variation were shown to significantly influence the community structure of Pseudomonas in rhizosphere soils. The composition of Pseudomonas 16S rRNA gene fragments in the rhizosphere differed from that in the adjacent bulk soil and the rhizosphere effect tended to be plant-specific. The clone sequences of most dominant bands analysed belonged to the Pseudomonas fluorescens lineage and showed closest similarity to culturable Pseudomonas known for displaying antifungal properties. This report provides a better understanding of how different factors drive Pseudomonas community structure and diversity in bulk and rhizosphere soils.

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