Investigation of Rhizospheric Microbial Communities in Wheat, Barley, and Two Rice Varieties at the Seedling Stage

The plant rhizosphere microbiota plays multiple roles in plant growth. We investigated the taxonomic and functional variations in the rhizosphere microbial community, examining both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, of four crops at the seedling stage: wheat, barley, and two rice varieties (indica and japonica) seeded in paddy soil. The diversity of rhizosphere communities in these four species was determined. Results showed that wheat and barley had much stronger selection effects than rice for the rhizosphere microbial community. Functional metagenomic profiling indicated that a series of sequences related to glycan, limonene, and pinene degradation pathways as well as some relatively rare functions related to N or S metabolism were enriched in the rhizosphere soil. We conclude that the four tested crops induced the formation of the microbial community with specific features that may influence the plant growth but stochastic processes also appreciably influenced the functional selection.