In recent years, the role of microorganisms inhabiting rice rhizosphere in promoting arsenic contamination has emerged. However, little is known concerning the species and metabolic properties involved in this phenomenon. In this study, the influence of water management on the rhizosphere microbiota in relation to arsenic dissolution in soil solution was tested. Rice plants were cultivated in macrocosms under different water regimes: continuous flooding, continuous flooding with a 2-week period drainage before flowering, and dry soil watered every 10 days. The active bacterial communities in rhizosphere soil and in rhizoplane were characterized by 16S rRNA pyrosequencing. An in-depth analysis of microbial taxa with direct or indirect effects on arsenic speciation was performed and related contribution was evaluated. Continuous flooding promoted high diversity in the rhizosphere, with the plant strongly determining species richness and evenness. On the contrary, under watering the communities were uniform, with little differences between rhizosphere soil and rhizoplane. Arsenic-releasing and arsenite-methylating bacteria were selected by continuous flooding, where they represented 8% of the total. On the contrary, bacteria decreasing arsenic solubility were more abundant under watering, with relative abundance of 10%. These values reflected arsenic concentrations in soil solution: 135 μg L−1 and negligible in continuous flooding and under watering, respectively. When short-term drainage was applied before flowering, intermediate conditions were achieved. This evidence strongly indicates an active role of the rhizosphere microbiota in driving arsenic biogeochemistry in rice paddies, influenced by water management, explaining amounts and speciation of arsenic often found in rice grains.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 28, 2017
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