Effect of chemical fertilization and green manure on the abundance and community structure of ammonia oxidizers in a paddy soil

Yu Fang1, Zhi-Lei Yan1, Ji-Chen Chen1, Fei Wang1, Ming-Kuang Wang1, and Xin-Jian Lin1*
Ammonia oxidization is a critical step in the soil N cycle and can be affected by the fertilization regimes.Chinese milk-vetch(Astragalus sinicus L., MV) is a major green manure of rice (Oryza sativa L.) fields in southern China, which is recommended as an important agronomic practice to improve soil fertility. Soil chemical properties, abundance and community structures of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) in a MV-rice rotation field under different fertilization regimes were investigated. The field experiment included six treatments: control, without MV and chemical fertilizer (CK); 100% chemical fertilizer (NPK); 18000 kg MV ha-1 plus 100% chemical fertilizer (NPKM1); 18000 kg MV ha-1 plus 60% chemical fertilizer (NPKM2); 18000 kg MV ha-1 alone (MV); and 18000 kg MV ha-1 plus 40% chemical fertilizer plus straw (NPKMS). Results showed that NPKMS treatment could improve the soil fertility greatly although the application of 60% chemical fertilizer. The abundance of AOB only in the MV treatment had significant difference with the control; AOA were more abundant than AOB in all corresponding treatments. The NPKMS treatment had the highest AOA abundance (1.19 × 108 amoA gene copies g-1) and the lowest abundance was recorded in the CK treatment (3.21 × 107 amoA gene copies g-1). The abundance of AOA was significantly positively related to total N, available N, NH4+-N, and NO3--N. The community structure of AOA exhibited little variation among different fertilization regimes, whereas the community structure of AOB was highly responsive. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all AOB sequences were affiliated with Nitrosospira or Nitrosomonas and all AOA denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) bands belonged to the soil and sediment lineage. These findings could be fundamental to improve our understanding of AOB and AOA in the N cycle in the paddy soil.
Keywords: Abundance, ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), Astragalus sinicus, community structure, Chinese milk vetch, soil chemical properties.
1Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Soil and Fertilizer Institute, Fuzhou, Fujian 350003, China. *Corresponding author (xinjianlin@vip.tom.com).