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ISME J. 2009 Oct;3(10):1127-38. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2009.61. Epub 2009 Jun 25.

Comparison of rhizobacterial community composition in soil suppressive or conducive to tobacco black root rot disease.

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Université de Lyon, Lyon, France.


Work on soils suppressive to Thielaviopsis basicola-mediated tobacco black root rot has focused on antagonistic pseudomonads to date. The role of non-Pseudomonas rhizosphere populations has been neglected, and whether they differ in black root rot-suppressive versus -conducive soils is unknown. To assess this possibility, tobacco was grown in a suppressive and a conducive soil of similar physicochemical properties, and rhizobacterial community composition was compared using a 16S rRNA taxonomic microarray. The microarray contains 1033 probes and targets 19 bacterial phyla. Among them, 398 probes were designed for Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinomycetes, Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidetes genera/species known to include strains relevant for plant protection or plant growth promotion. Hierarchical clustering as well as principal component analysis of microarray data discriminated clearly between black root rot-suppressive and -conducive soils. In contrast, T. basicola inoculation had no impact on rhizobacterial community composition. In addition to fluorescent Pseudomonas, the taxa Azospirillum, Gluconacetobacter, Burkholderia, Comamonas and Sphingomonadaceae, which are known to comprise strains with plant-beneficial properties, were more prevalent in the suppressive soil. Mycobacterium, Bradyrhizobium, Rhodobacteraceae, Rhodospirillum and others were more prevalent in the conducive soil. For selected taxa, microarray results were largely corroborated by quantitative PCR and cloning/sequencing. In conclusion, this work identified novel bacterial taxa that could serve as indicators of disease suppressiveness in soil-quality assessments, and it extends the range of bacterial taxa hypothesized to participate in black root rot suppression.

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