Microbial Diversity in the Root Zone of Sage at Different Growth Stages

Greg Howard
5th June, 2024

Microbial Diversity in the Root Zone of Sage at Different Growth Stages

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Linyi University studied the soil and microbial changes around Salvia miltiorrhiza over three years
  • As the plant grew, soil nutrients like phosphorus, potassium, pH, nitrate, and ammonium nitrogen significantly decreased
  • Changes in ammonium and nitrate nitrogen levels had a greater impact on bacterial communities than on fungal communities
Salvia miltiorrhiza, a medicinal plant known for its pharmacological properties, has been the subject of a recent study by researchers at Linyi University[1]. This study aimed to uncover the changes in soil physicochemical properties and the composition and diversity of rhizosphere microbial communities at different growth stages of Salvia miltiorrhiza, particularly in soil that has been continuously planted for three years. The study utilized Illumina NovaSeq sequencing technology to analyze the bacterial 16S rRNA gene and the fungal ITS region in the rhizosphere soil. The results indicated that the dominant bacterial phyla in the rhizosphere were Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi. For fungi, the predominant phyla were Ascomycota, Mortierellomycota, Basidiomycota, and Rozellomycota. As Salvia miltiorrhiza grew, notable changes in soil properties were observed. Specifically, the content of available phosphorus, available potassium, pH, nitrate nitrogen, and ammonium nitrogen significantly decreased. Among these, ammonium nitrogen and nitrate nitrogen had a more substantial impact on the bacterial community structure than on the fungal community structure. This study's findings align with earlier research on the importance of the seed microbiome in plant growth and health. A previous study on Salvia miltiorrhiza seeds identified a core microbiome composed of various microbial phyla and classes that are crucial for seed germination and plant growth[2]. The overlap of bacterial genera such as Pantoea, Pseudomonas, and Sphingomonas in both seed and rhizosphere microbiomes underscores the significance of these microbes throughout different plant stages. Moreover, the study's focus on the continuous planting of Salvia miltiorrhiza ties in with research on the impact of soil microbial communities on crop sustainability. For example, the cultivation of ginseng has shown that soilborne diseases, driven by variations in soil microbial communities, limit consecutive planting[3]. The Salvia miltiorrhiza study contributes to this understanding by highlighting how soil properties and microbial communities evolve over multiple growing seasons. Additionally, the influence of drought stress on plant-microbe interactions has been well-documented[4]. While the current study did not specifically address drought conditions, the observed changes in soil nutrients and microbial community structure could provide insights into how Salvia miltiorrhiza might adapt to such stressors, given the mutual regulation between plants and their root-associated microbiomes. Finally, the importance of microbial evolution in plant health and productivity has been emphasized in recent literature[5]. This study on Salvia miltiorrhiza adds to this body of knowledge by showing how microbial communities in the rhizosphere adapt over different growth stages, potentially influencing plant health and resilience. In summary, the research conducted by Linyi University offers valuable insights into the dynamic interactions between Salvia miltiorrhiza and its rhizosphere microbiome. By understanding these interactions, we can better appreciate the role of microbial communities in plant growth and health, paving the way for more sustainable agricultural practices.

BiochemEcologyPlant Science


Main Study

1) Analysis of microbial community composition and diversity in the rhizosphere of Salvia miltiorrhiza at different growth stages.

Published 4th June, 2024


Related Studies

2) Core Microbiome of Medicinal Plant Salvia miltiorrhiza Seed: A Rich Reservoir of Beneficial Microbes for Secondary Metabolism?


3) Diversity and structure of the rhizosphere microbial communities of wild and cultivated ginseng.


4) Current Studies of the Effects of Drought Stress on Root Exudates and Rhizosphere Microbiomes of Crop Plant Species.


5) Microbial eco-evolutionary dynamics in the plant rhizosphere.


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