Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Published in Plant Soil.
DOI 10.1007/s11104-008-9669-2.


Hypotheses in which sorghum seedlings [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] of different genotypes will differentially modify soil microorganisms and will affect subsequent planting of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) seedlings, were tested. Wheat cultivar Lewjain, and sorghum genotypes Redlan and RTx433, were planted into soils previously planted with wheat or sorghum in growth chamber experiments. Total culturable fungi and oomycetes, and fluorescent Pseudomonas spp. numbers (cfu) were determined. Pseudomonads were screened for hydrogen cyanide (HCN) production, for the presence of the phlD gene for 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol production (Phl) and for a region of the operon involved in phenazine-1-carboxylic acid (PCA) production. Pasteurized soils were inoculated with rifampicin-marked strains of Pseudomonas fluorescens then planted with Lewjain, Redlan and RTx433 to assess rhizosphere and soil colonization. Effects of plant species, sorghum genotype and previous crop on culturable fungi and oomycetes, and pseudomonad numbers (cfu g-1 soil) were statistically significant. Soils planted with RTx433 or Lewjain had greater numbers of fungal cfu than soils planted with Redlan. When Lewjain seedlings were grown in soil previously planted with RTx433, there were greater numbers of fungal cfu than when Lewjain was planted into Redlan soil. Wheat planted into wheat soil resulted in statistically significantly fewer numbers of pseudomonads than when planted into sorghum soil. Overall, percentages of HCN-producing pseudomonads increased, especially when wheat seedlings were planted in wheat soil. For most treatments, percent of isolates with Phl declined, except when Redlan was planted into Redlan soil, which resulted in increased Phl isolates. When rifampicin-marked P. fluorescens isolates were applied to pasteurized soil, sorghum seedlings sustained rhizosphere and soil populations similar to those on wheat. Sorghum genotypes may differ in associations with soil microorganisms, suggesting that they may differentially affect numbers of fluorescent pseudomonads in cropping systems.