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Exploiting the potential of bioreactors for creating spatial organization in the soil microbiome: A strategy for increasing sustainable agricultural practices

Gutiérrez, C.F., Rodríguez-Romero, N., Egan, S.ORCID: 0000-0003-4395-4069, Holmes, E. and Sanabria, J. (2022) Exploiting the potential of bioreactors for creating spatial organization in the soil microbiome: A strategy for increasing sustainable agricultural practices. Microorganisms, 10 (7). Article 1464.

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Abstract

Industrial production of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and their crop application have caused considerable environmental impacts. Some eco-friendly alternatives try to solve them but raise some restrictions. We tested a novel method to produce a nitrogen bioinoculant by enriching a soil microbial community in bioreactors supplying N2 by air pumping. The biomass enriched with diazotrophic bacteria was diluted and applied to N-depleted and sterilized soil of tomato plants. We estimated microbial composition and diversity by 16S rRNA metabarcoding from soil and bioreactors at different run times and during plant uprooting. Bioreactors promoted the N-fixing microbial community and revealed a hided diversity. One hundred twenty-four (124) operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were assigned to bacteria with a greater Shannon diversity during the reactor’s steady state. A total of 753 OTUs were found in the rhizospheres with higher biodiversity when the lowest concentration of bacteria was applied. The apparent bacterial abundance in the batch and continuous bioreactors suggested a more specific functional ecological organization. We demonstrate the usefulness of bioreactors to evidence hidden diversity in the soil when it passes through bioreactors. By obtaining the same growth of inoculated plants and the control with chemical synthesis fertilizers, we evidence the potential of the methodology that we have called directed bioprospecting to grow a complex nitrogen-fixing microbial community. The simplicity of the reactor’s operation makes its application promising for developing countries with low technological progress.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Australian National Phenome Centre
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2022 by the authors
United Nations SDGs: Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/65635
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