Microbial community structure as an indicator of soil health in apple orchards

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dc.contributor.advisor Jacobs, K.
dc.contributor.advisor Du Plessis, K.
dc.contributor.author Caleb, Oluwafemi James
dc.contributor.other University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Science. Dept. of Microbiology.
dc.date.accessioned 2010-02-20T14:02:40Z en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2010-08-13T14:59:24Z
dc.date.available 2010-02-20T14:02:40Z en_ZA
dc.date.available 2010-08-13T14:59:24Z
dc.date.issued 2010-03
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/4133
dc.description Thesis (MSc (Microbiology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.
dc.description.abstract ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The relationship between various land management practices, soil properties and the soil microbial communities are complex and little is known about the effect of these interactions on plant productivity in agricultural systems. Although it would be advantageous to have a single organism or property that can be used as a measure of soil health, it may not be possible. Soil organisms which include both the microorganisms as well as soil fauna are subjected to the effect of their immediate environment. This microenvironment in turn is determined by the soil properties as well as above ground flora and their interactions. Most soil indicators interact with each other, and these interactions can modify or influence the soil properties. The complexities of the interactions between critical soil indicator values often preclude its practical use by land managers and policy makers. However, soil microbial communities (e.g. diversity and structural stability) may serve as a relative indicator of soil quality. These communities are sensitive to land management practices and changes in the microenvironment. The objective of this study was to gain an understanding of the complex relationships by investigating the effect of conventional, integrated and organic apple production systems on the physical, chemical and biological (particularly soil microbial diversity) properties of the soil. Automated Ribosomal Intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) was used to characterise fungal (F-ARISA) and bacterial (B-ARISA) communities from soil samples obtained from an experimental apple orchard in Elgin, Grabouw. The intergenic spacer (ITS) region from the fungal rRNA operon was amplified using ITS4 and fluorescently FAM (6- carboxylfluorescein) labelled ITS5 primers. Similarly, the 16S-23S intergenic spacer region from the bacterial rRNA operon was amplified using ITSR and FAM-labelled ITSF primers. The sensitivity of the technique allowed us to discriminate between the soil microbial communities of the different treatments. From our results we observed significant increase (p < 0.05) in the fungal community diversity between the February and April samples, while the bacterial community diversity was consistent (p > 0.05). Also, treatments with mulch showed a significantly higher microbial diversity than the other treatments at a 5 % significance level. Fungal communities showed significant correlation with the potassium concentration in the soil, while bacterial communities depicted a significant correlation with the soil phosphorous concentration. Based on the results we concluded that different management practices have a significant effect on the soil microbial communities and that these communities are particularly sensitive to small changes in the environment. However, there is still a need to determine what the composition of the soil microbial communities are to be able to correlate our observations with soil health. en
dc.description.abstract AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die verhouding tussen verskillende landboubestuurspraktyke, grondeienskappe en die mikrobiese gemeenskappe in grond is kompleks en weinig is bekend oor die uitwerking van hierdie interaksies op die produktiwiteit van landboustelsels. Alhoewel dit voordelig sou wees om ‘n enkele organisme of eienskap te kan hê wat die gesondheid van grond kan meet, sal dit dalk nie moontlik wees nie. Grondorganismes wat die mikroörganismes sowel as die grondfauna insluit, is onderworpe aan die invloed van hulle onmiddelike omgewings. Hierdie mikro-omgewings op hulle beurt word weer beïnvloed deur die grondeienskappe sowel as die die oppervlak flora en hulle wisselwerkinge. Meeste van die grondaanwysers toon ook wisselwerkinge met mekaar, en hierdie wisselwerkinge kan die grondeienskappe beïnvloed or selfs verander. Die kompleksiteit van die wisselwerkinge tussen kritiese grond aanwysers is meestal die rede waarom dit nie deur grondbestuurders en beleidsmakers gebruik word nie. Dit is ongeag die feit dat grond mikrobiese gemeenskappe (bv. diversiteit en stukturele stabiliteit) mag dien as ‘n relatiewe aanwyser van grondkwaliteit. Hierdie gemeenskappe is sensitief vir bestuurspraktyke en veranderinge in die mikro-omgewing. Die doel van die studie was om die ingewikkelde verhoudings in die grondgemeenskappe te bestudeer en die uitwerking van konventionele, geïntegreerde en organiese appel produksie sisteme op die fisiese, chemiese en biologiese eienskappe (veral die grond mikrobiologiese diversiteit) te bepaal. Geoutomatiseerde Ribosomale Intergeniese Spasie Analise (ARISA) is gebruik om die fungus (F-ARISA) en bakteriese (B-ARISA) gemeenskappe van grondmonsters wat vanaf ‘n proef appelboord in Elgin (Grabouw) verkry is, te bepaal. Die intergeenspasie (ITS) area van die fungus rDNA operon is vermeerder deur die ITS4 en fluoresserende FAM (6-karboxylfluorescein) gemerkte ITS5 inleiers te gebruik. Soortgelyk is die 16S-23S intergeenspasie area van die bakteriese rDNA operon vermeerder deur ITSR en FAM-gemerkte ITSF inleiers te gebruik. Die sensitiwiteit van die tegniek laat ons toe om te onderskei tussen die grond mikrobiese gemeenskappe vanaf verskillende grondbehandelings. Vanuit die resultate kon ons aflei dat daar ‘n toename (p < 0.05) in die fungus gemeenskap diversiteit vanaf Februarie to April was terwyl die bakteriese gemeenskap ‘n konstante diversteit getoon het (p > 0.05). Behandelings met grondbedekking het ook ‘n beduidend hoër mikrobiese diversiteit getoon as ander behandelings. Fungus gemeenskappe het beduidende korrelasies getoon met kalium konsentrasies in die grond, terwyl bakteriese gemeenskappe ‘n beduidende korrelasie getoon het met grond fosfor konsentrasies. Gebaseer op die resultate kon ons aflei dat verskillende bestuurspraktyke ‘n uitwerking kan hê op die grond mikrobiese gemeenskappe en dat hierdie gemeenskappe sensitief is vir klein veranderinge in die omgewing. Dit sal egter nog nodig wees om die spesifieke samestelling van die grond mikrobiese gemeenskappe te bepaal voor ons hierdie waarnemings kan korreleer met grondgesondheid. af
dc.format.extent 131 p. : ill.
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch
dc.subject Soil health en
dc.subject Soil quality indicators en
dc.subject Culture-dependent techniques en
dc.subject Culture-independent techniques en
dc.subject Apple production en
dc.subject Dissertations -- Microbiology en
dc.subject Theses -- Microbiology en
dc.subject Soil microbiology en
dc.subject Orchards -- Soils en
dc.title Microbial community structure as an indicator of soil health in apple orchards en
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.holder University of Stellenbosch


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