The Date Palm Tree Rhizosphere Is a Niche for Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria in the Oasis Ecosystem

Raoudha Ferjani, Ramona Marasco, Eleonora Rolli, Hanene Cherif, Ameur Cherif, Maher Gtari, Abdellatif Boudabous, Daniele Daffonchio, Hadda-Imene Ouzari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

In arid ecosystems environmental factors such as geoclimatic conditions and agricultural practices are of major importance in shaping the diversity and functionality of plant-associated bacterial communities. Assessing the influence of such factors is a key to understand (i) the driving forces determining the shape of root-associated bacterial communities and (ii) the plant growth promoting (PGP) services they provide. Desert oasis environment was chosen as model ecosystem where agriculture is possible by the microclimate determined by the date palm cultivation. The bacterial communities in the soil fractions associated with the root system of date palms cultivated in seven oases in Tunisia were assessed by culture-independent and dependent approaches. According to 16S rRNA gene PCR-DGGE fingerprinting, the shapes of the date palm rhizosphere bacterial communities correlate with geoclimatic features along a north-south aridity transect. Despite the fact that the date palm root bacterial community structure was strongly influenced by macroecological factors, the potential rhizosphere services reflected in the PGP traits of isolates screened in vitro were conserved among the different oases. Such services were exerted by the 83% of the screened isolates. The comparable numbers and types of PGP traits indicate their importance in maintaining the plant functional homeostasis despite the different environmental selection pressures.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBioMed Research International
Volume2015
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 20 2015

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