Pedosphere 33(3): 521--533, 2023
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2023 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Integrated analysis of changes in soil microbiota and metabolites following long-term fertilization in a subtropical maize-wheat agroecosystem
Guiru ZHAO1, Kaixian WU2, Tongxin AN1, Lu WEN3, Shuhui ZI1, Zhiwei FAN4, Feng ZHOU1, Chengren OUYANG1, Youqiong YANG1, Bozhi WU1, Michael A. FULLEN5
1 Faculty of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming 650201(China)
2 Department of Resources and Environment, Moutai Institute, Renhuai 564507(China)
3 Soil and Fertilizer Station, Puer 665000(China)
4 College of Agronomy and Life Science, Kunming University, Kunming 650214(China)
5 School of Architecture and the Built Environment Springfield Campus, The University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton WV10 0JP(UK)
      Although the application of inorganic fertilizer is a widespread agronomic practice used to boost soil productivity and crop yields, the effects on soil microbiome and the metabolic mechanisms involved in the high-yield response of crops to long-term fertilization remain poorly described. In this study, combined metagenomic and metabolomic analyses were used to explore the mechanism of crop yield response to the 20-year application of nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium fertilizers in a subtropical agroecosystem in Southwest China. Soil bacterial and fungal communities were monitored using 16S rRNA (bacteria) and internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) full-length gene (fungi) amplicon sequencing technologies, and metabolites were detected using a liquid chromatograph mass spectrometer. The results revealed that, in addition to providing nutrients, long-term fertilization shaped the compositions of bacteria and fungi to increase crop yields. Long-term fertilization significantly increased the relative abundances of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and promoted the secretion of soil metabolites such as carbohydrates, organic acids, and organic nitrogen compounds, which were primarily enriched in amino acid metabolism pathways. The increases in carbon and nitrogen sources and bioactive substances in soil promoted the increases in plant biomass and thereby maintained soil quality and production capacity. The findings highlighted the importance of soil metabolites in maintaining soil productivity as well as crop yields, and suggested that regulating key metabolites could increase crop yields in agroecosystems.
Key Words:  carbohydrate,crop yield,metabolomics,metagenomics,organic acid,organic nitrogen compound,plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria,soil fertility
Citation: Zhao G R, Wu K X, An T X, Wen L, Zi S H, Fan Z W, Zhou F, Ouyang C R, Yang Y Q, Wu B Z, Fullen M A. 2023. Integrated analysis of changes in soil microbiota and metabolites following long-term fertilization in a subtropical maize-wheat agroecosystem. Pedosphere. 33(3): 521-533.
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