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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2016, Vol. 15 Issue (8): 1892-1902    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(15)61147-9
Soil & Fertilization﹒Irrigation﹒Plant Nutrition﹒ Agro-Ecology & Environment Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Wheat, maize and sunflower cropping systems selectively influence bacteria community structure and diversity in their and succeeding crop’s rhizosphere
WEN Xin-ya1, 2, Eric Dubinsky3, WU Yao1, 2, Yu Rong4, CHEN Fu1, 2
1 College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, P.R.China
2 Key Laboratory of Farming System, Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100193, P.R.China
3 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Earth Sciences Division, Berkeley, California 94720, USA
4 Institute for the Control of Agrochemicals, Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100125, P.R.China
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Abstract      Wheat and maize are increasingly used as alternative crops to sunflower monocultures that dominate the Hetao Irrigation District in China. Shifts from sunflower monocultures to alternate cropping systems may have significant effects on belowground microbial communities which control nutrient cycling and influence plant productivity. In this research, rhizosphere bacterial communities were compared among sunflower, wheat and maize cropping systems by 454 pyrosequencing. These cropping systems included 2 years wheat (cultivar Yongliang 4) and maize (cultivar Sidan 19) monoculture, more than 20 years sunflower (cultivar 5009) monoculture, and wheat-sunflower and maize-sunflower rotation. In addition, we investigated rhizosphere bacterial communities of healthy and diseased plants at maturity to determine the relationship between plant health and rotation effect. The results revealed taxonomic information about the overall bacterial community. And significant differences in bacterial community structure were detected among these cropping systems. Eight of the most abundant groups including Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Acidobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes, Chloroflexi, Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes and Firmicutes accounted for more than 85% of the sequences in each treatment. The wheat-wheat rhizosphere had the highest proportion of Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes and the lowest proportion of unclassified bacteria. Wheat-sunflower cropping system showed more abundant Acidobacteria than maize-sunflower and sunflower monoculture, exhibiting some influences of wheat on the succeeding crop. Maize-maize rhizosphere had the highest proportion of γ- Proteobacteria, Pseudomonadales and the lowest proportion of Acidobacteria. Sunflower rotation with wheat and maize could increase the relative abundance of the Acidobacteria while decrease the relative abundance of the unclassified phyla, as was similar with the health plants. This suggests some positive impacts of rotation with wheat and maize on the bacterial communities within a single field. These results demonstrate that different crop rotation systems can have significant effects on rhizosphere microbiomes that potentially alter plant productivities in agricultural systems.
Keywords:  bacterial community structure and diversity        rhizosphere        cropping system        454 pyrosequencing  
Received: 30 June 2015   Accepted:

This work was supported by the Special Fund for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest in China (201103001).

Corresponding Authors:  CHEN Fu, Tel/Fax: +86-10-62733316, E-mail:    
About author:  WEN Xin-ya, E-mail:,

Cite this article: 

WEN Xin-ya, Eric Dubinsky, WU Yao, Yu Rong, CHEN Fu. 2016. Wheat, maize and sunflower cropping systems selectively influence bacteria community structure and diversity in their and succeeding crop’s rhizosphere. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 15(8): 1892-1902.

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