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Cropping practices modulate the impact of glyphosate on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and rhizosphere bacteria in agroecosystems of the semiarid prairie

Sheng, M., Hamel, C., Fernandez, M.R. (2012). Cropping practices modulate the impact of glyphosate on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and rhizosphere bacteria in agroecosystems of the semiarid prairie, 58(8), 990-1001. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/W2012-080

Abstract

A growing body of evidence obtained from studies performed under controlled conditions suggests that glyphosate use can modify microbial community assemblages. However, few studies have examined the influence of glyphosate in agroecosystems. We examined 4 wheat-based production systems typical of the Canadian prairie over 2 years to answer the following question: Does preseeding of glyphosate impact soil rhizosphere microorganisms? If so, do cropping practices influence this impact? Glyphosate caused a shift in the species dominating the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community in the rhizosphere, possibly through the modification of host plant physiology. Glyphosate stimulated rhizobacterial growth while having no influence on saprotrophic fungi, suggesting a greater abundance of glyphosate-tolerant 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3- phosphate synthase (EPSPS) in bacteria than in fungi. Glyphosate stimulated rhizosphere bacteria in pea but not in urea-fertilized durum wheat, which is consistent with inhibition of EPSPS tolerance to residual glyphosate through high ammonium levels. Mitigation of the effects of glyphosate on rhizosphere bacteria through tillage suggests a reduction in residual glyphosate activity through increased adsorption to soil binding sites upon soil mixing. The influence of glyphosate on Gram-negative bacteria was mitigated under drought conditions in 2007. Our experiment suggests that interactions between soil fertility, tillage, and cropping practices shape the influence of glyphosate use on rhizosphere microorganisms.

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