Fungal Genetics and Functional Diversity of Microbial Communities in the Soil under Long-Term Monoculture of Maize Using Different Cultivation Techniques; Gałązka A., Grządziel J.; Frontiers in Microbiology, 2018, 9, 76, doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00076

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Abstract

Fungal diversity in the soil may be limited under natural conditions by inappropriate environmental factors such as: nutrient resources, biotic and abiotic factors, tillage system and microbial interactions that prevent the occurrence or survival of the species in the environment. The aim of this paper was to determine fungal genetic diversity and community level physiological profiling of microbial communities in the soil under long-term maize monoculture. The experimental scheme involved four cultivation techniques: direct sowing (DS), reduced tillage (RT), full tillage (FT), and crop rotation (CR). Soil samples were taken in two stages: before sowing of maize (DSBS-direct sowing, RTBS-reduced tillage, FTBS-full tillage, CRBS-crop rotation) and the flowering stage of maize growth (DSF-direct sowing, RTF-reduced tillage, FTF-full tillage, CRF-crop rotation). The following plants were used in the crop rotation: spring barley, winter wheat and maize. The study included fungal genetic diversity assessment by ITS-1 next generation sequencing (NGS) analyses as well as the characterization of the catabolic potential of microbial communities (Biolog EcoPlates) in the soil under long-term monoculture of maize using different cultivation techniques. The results obtained from the ITS-1 NGS technique enabled to classify and correlate the fungi species or genus to the soil metabolome. The research methods used in this paper have contributed to a better understanding of genetic diversity and composition of the population of fungi in the soil under the influence of the changes that have occurred in the soil under long-term maize cultivation. In all cultivation techniques, the season had a great influence on the fungal genetic structure in the soil. Significant differences were found on the family level (P = 0.032, F = 3.895), genus level (P= 0.026, F = 3.313) and on the species level (P = 0.033, F = 2.718). This study has shown that: (1) fungal diversity was changed under the influence different cultivation techniques; (2) techniques of maize cultivation and season were an important factors that can influence the biochemical activity of soil. Maize cultivated in direct sowing did not cause negative changes in the fungal structure, even making it more stable during seasonal changes; (3) full tillage and crop rotation may change fungal community and soil function.
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