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Microbes Environ. 2014;29(1):74-81. Epub 2014 Feb 7.

Microeukaryotic community and oxygen response in rice field soil revealed using a combined rRNA-gene and rRNA-based approach.

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Graduate School of Bioagricultural Science, Nagoya University.


Irrigated rice field soil is subjected to frequent changes in oxygen status due to the water regime by agricultural management. In this study, the community response of microeukaryotes in rice field soil to the oxygen status was explored in a microcosm experiment under defined conditions. Water-saturated soil was incubated under a two-level factorial design of oxygen and organic enrichment with plant residue. The eukaryotic microbial community composition, which was either present or potentially active in the soils, was analyzed using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) targeting the 18S rRNA gene or reverse-transcribed 18S rRNA. Oxygen availability was a primary factor shaping the microeukaryotic community in both DNA- and RNA-based analyses, revealing a shift within a week of incubation. Plant residue also affected the microeukaryotic community, which was more notable in the active community showing rRNA expression with time. Sequences of amplicons in DGGE bands indicated that protozoa (ciliates, flagellates, and amoebae) were the most prominent microeukaryotes in water-saturated rice field soil both in DNA- and RNA-based analyses. The use of a modified primer for soil protozoa suggested the functional importance of Heterolobosea amoeba in rice field soil, particularly in anoxic soil with organic enrichment.

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