Mixed-cropping between field pea varieties alters root bacterial and fungal communities

Horner, A, Browett, SS and Antwis, RE ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8849-8194 2019, 'Mixed-cropping between field pea varieties alters root bacterial and fungal communities' , Scientific Reports, 9 (16953) .

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Modern agricultural practices have vastly increased crop production but negatively affected soil health. As such, there is a call to develop sustainable, ecologically-viable approaches to food production. Mixed-cropping of plant varieties can increase yields, although impacts on plant-associated microbial communities are unclear, despite their critical role in plant health and broader ecosystem function. We investigated how mixed-cropping between two field pea (Pisum sativum L.) varieties (Winfreda and Ambassador) influenced root-associated microbial communities and yield. The two varieties supported significantly different fungal and bacterial communities when grown as mono-crops. Mixed-cropping caused changes in microbial communities but with differences between varieties. Root bacterial communities of Winfreda remained stable in response to mixed-cropping, whereas those of Ambassador became more similar to Winfreda. Conversely, root fungal communities of Ambassador remained stable under mixed-cropping, and those of Winfreda shifted towards the composition of Ambassador. Microbial co-occurrence networks of both varieties were stronger and larger under mixed-cropping, which may improve stability and resilience in agricultural soils. Both varieties produced slightly higher yields under mixed-cropping, although overall Ambassador plants produced higher yields than Winfreda plants. Our results suggest that variety diversification may increase yield and promote microbial interactions.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Scientific Reports
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
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Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2019 08:46
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 03:04
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/52907

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