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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2014;21(16):9809-18. doi: 10.1007/s11356-014-2981-x. Epub 2014 May 8.

Spatial variability of bacteria in the rhizosphere of Elsholtzia splendens under Cu contamination.

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Department of Environmental Engineering, Zijingang Campus, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, 310058, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.


Elsholtzia splendens is a well-known Cu-tolerant plant; yet, the impact of Cu-contaminated soil on bacterial community in its rhizosphere is not known. We studied the spatial variability of bacteria in the rhizosphere using Cu-contaminated soil with polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) and real-time PCR. In the uncontaminated soil, the content of the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and bacterial diversity gradually increased in the rhizosphere soil along the root growth direction (from the interface zone to the meristematic zone), while for the Cu-contaminated soil, the highest DOC content and the strongest potential bioavailability of Cu were found in the interface zone, which also had the lowest bacteria diversity. Bacteria diversity was positively correlated with DOC in the uncontaminated soil (pā€‰<ā€‰0.01) but not in the contaminated soil. Compared with uncontaminated soil, some species such as Firmicutes only existed in the rhizosphere of contaminated soil, while the very small amount (if any) of some species exists such as Deinococcus-Thermus, indicating that the contaminated environment altered the bacterial composition. Moreover, spatial variation of the bacterial community was found among different soil zones. Real-time PCR confirmed the spatial variation via the gene expression of flagellin (fliC) and chemotaxis gene (cheA). The spatial characteristics of cheA expression were consistent with that of DOC and bacterial diversity. In conclusion, we demonstrated that the spatial variation of the bacterial community in the rhizosphere was present, independent of Cu contamination. DOC and Cu toxicity may affect specific gene expressions such as fliC and cheA, resulting in bacterial spatial variation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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