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Effects of transgenic potatoes with an altered starch composition on the diversity of soil and rhizosphere bacteria and fungi

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The aim of this study was to investigate potential effects on the composition of the bacterial and fungal diversity in rhizosphere and soil of a transgenic potato line (SIBU S1) which was modified in its starch composition by RNA anisensing, compared to the non-transgenic parental cultivar (SIBU) at the flowering stage in 2000. Furthermore a second non-transgenic cultivar (SOLANA) was included in the study. To avoid artefacts derived from cultivation depending approaches, molecular techniques based on 16S-(bacteria) and 18S-(fungi) rDNA respectively were used to describe the microbial community structure. Comparing 16S- and 18S-rDNA DGGE fingerprints from the different bulk soil samples, it could be shown that no significant differences between the two cultivars and the transgenic line were found. Similar results were obtained for the rhizosphere samples using the eubacterial, -and -proteobacterial and fungal specific primers with the exception of, the eubacterial DGGE patterns obtained for the rhizosphere of SOLANA. These patterns revealed that the relative abundance of one band was enhanced compared with the patterns of SIBU and SIBU S1 and the sequence of the differentiating band showed the highest similarity with Enterobacter amnigenus. When Pseudomonas specific primers were used, relevant differences were found between the rhizosphere patterns of the transgenic potato line (SIBU S1) and the parental cultivar (SIBU). However, clear effects of the cultivar SOLANA on the structure of the Pseudomonas community compared to SIBU were also detected.

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