Plant and soil effects on bacterial communities associated with Miscanthus × giganteus rhizosphere and rhizomes

Dongfang Li, Thomas B. Voigt, Angela D. Kent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bacterial assemblages, especially diazotroph assemblages residing in the rhizomes and the rhizosphere soil of Miscanthus × giganteus, contribute to plant growth and nitrogen use efficiency. However, the composition of these microbial communities has not been adequately explored nor have the potential ecological drivers for these communities been sufficiently studied. This knowledge is needed for understanding and potentially improving M. × giganteus - microbe interactions, and further enhancing sustainability of M. × giganteus production. In this study, cultivated M. × giganteus from four sites in Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, and New Jersey were collected to examine the relative influences of soil conditions and plant compartments on assembly of the M. × giganteus-associated microbiome. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer (ARISA) and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) targeting the nifH gene were applied to examine the total bacterial communities and diazotroph assemblages that reside in the rhizomes and the rhizosphere. Distinct microbial assemblages were detected in the endophytic and rhizosphere compartments. Site soil conditions had strong correlation with both total bacterial and diazotroph assemblages, but in different ways. Nitrogen treatments showed no significant effect on the composition of diazotroph assemblages in most sites. Endophytic compartments of different M. × giganteus plants tended to harbor similar microbial communities across all sites, whereas the rhizosphere soil of different plant tended to harbor diverse microbial assemblages that were distinct among sites. These observations offer insight into better understanding of the associative interactions between M. × giganteus and diazotrophs, and how this relationship is influenced by agronomic and edaphic factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-193
Number of pages11
JournalGCB Bioenergy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Bacterial community composition
  • Bioenergy feedstock
  • Diazotroph
  • Endophytic compartment
  • Miscanthus × giganteus
  • Rhizosphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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