Agronomy and Horticulture Department



Sajjad Asaf

Date of this Version



Microorganisms 2020, 8, 213


© 2020 the authors.

Open access



Revealing the unexplored rhizosphere microbiome of plants in arid environments can help in understanding their interactions between microbial communities and plants during harsh growth conditions. Here, we report the first investigation of rhizospheric fungal and bacterial communities of Adenium obesum, Aloe dhufarensis and Cleome austroarabica using next-generation sequencing approaches. A. obesum and A. dhufarensis grows in dry tropical and C. austroarabica in arid conditions of Arabian Peninsula. The results indicated the presence of 121 fungal and 3662 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) whilst microbial diversity was significantly high in the rhizosphere of A. obesum and A. dhufarensis and low in C. austroarabica. Among fungal phyla, Ascomycota and Basidiomycota were abundantly associated within rhizospheres of all three plants. However, Mucoromycota was only present in the rhizospheres of A. obesum and A. dhufarensis, suggesting a variation in fungal niche on the basis of host and soil types. In case of bacterial communities, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Planctomycetes, Acidobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia were predominant microbial phyla. These results demonstrated varying abundances of microbial structure across different hosts and locations in arid environments. Rhizosphere’s extracellular enzymes analysis revealed varying quantities, where, glucosidase, cellulase, esterase, and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase were significantly higher in the rhizosphere of A. dhufarensis, while phosphatase and indole-acetic acid were highest in the rhizosphere of A. obesum. In conclusion, current findings usher for the first time the core microbial communities in the rhizospheric regions of three arid plants that vary greatly with location, host and soil conditions, and suggest the presence of extracellular enzymes could help in maintaining plant growth during the harsh environmental conditions.