The interaction between iron nutrition, plant species and soil type shapes the rhizosphere microbiome
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Plant-associated microorganisms can stimulate plants growth and influence both crops yield and quality by nutrient mobilization and transport. Therefore, rhizosphere microbiome appears to be one of the key determinants of plant health and productivity. The roots of plants have the ability to influence its surrounding microbiology, the rhizosphere microbiome, through the creation of specific chemical niches in the soil mediated by the release of phytochemicals (i.e. root exudates) that depends on several factors, such as plants genotype, soil properties, plant nutritional status, climatic conditions. In the present research, two different crop species, namely barley and tomato, characterized by different strategies for Fe acquisition, have been grown in the RHIZOtest system using either complete or Fe-free nutrient solution to induce Fe starvation. Afterward, plants were cultivated for 6 days on two different calcareous soils. Total DNA was extracted from rhizosphere and bulk soil and 454 pyrosequencing technology was applied to V1–V3 16S rRNA gene region. Approximately 5000 sequences were obtained for each sample. The analysis of the bacterial population confirmed that the two bulk soils showed a different microbial community. The presence of the two plant species, as well as the nutritional status (Fe-deficiency and Fe-sufficiency), could promote a differentiation of the rhizosphere microbiome, as highlighted by non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analysis. Alphaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Chloracidobacteria, Thermoleophilia, Betaproteobacteria, Saprospirae, Gemmatimonadetes, Gammaproteobacteria, Acidobacteria were the most represented classes in all the samples analyzed even though their relative abundance changed as a function of the soil, plant species and nutritional status. To our knowledge, this research demonstrate for the first time that different plants species with a diverse nutritional status can promote the development of a peculiar rhizosphere microbiome, depending on the growth substrate.