Plant root exudates increase nutrient availability and influence microbial communities including archaeal members. We examined the archaeal community inhabiting the rhizoplane of two contrasting vascular plants, Dulichium arundinaceum and Sarracenia purpurea, from an acidic bog in upstate NY. Multiple archaeal 16S rRNA gene libraries showed that methanogenic Archaea were dominant in the rhizoplane of both plants. In addition, the community structure (evenness) of the rhizoplane was found markedly different from the bulk peat. The archaeal community in peat from the same site has been found dominated by the E2 group, meanwhile the rhizoplane communities on both plants were co-dominated by Methanosarcinaceae (MS), rice cluster (RC)-I, and E2. Complementary T-RFLP analysis confirmed the difference between bulk peat and rhizoplane, and further characterized the dominance pattern of MS, RC-I, and E2. In the rhizoplane, MS was dominant on both plants although as a less variable fraction in S. purpurea. RC-I was significantly more abundant than E2 on S. purpurea, while the opposite was observed on D. arundinaceum, suggesting a plant-specific enrichment. Also, the statistical analyses of T-RFLP data showed that although both plants overlap in their community structure, factors such as plant type, patch location, and time could explain nearly a third of the variability in the dataset. Other factors such as water table, plant replicate, and root depth had a low contribution to the observed variance. The results of this study illustrate the general effects of roots and the specific effects of plant types on their nearby archaeal communities which in bog-inhabiting plants were mainly composed by methanogenic groups.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Soil Science