To assess potential effects of genetically modified (GM) potatoes on the abundance and diversity of rhizobacteria with in vitro antagonistic activity in relation to natural variability among cultivars, two GM potato lines accumulating the carotenoid zeaxanthin in their tubers, the parental cultivar and four additional commercial cultivars were planted at two field sites in Germany. Rhizosphere samples were taken at three developmental stages of the plants. A total of 3,985 bacteria isolated from the rhizosphere were screened for their in vitro antagonistic activity towards Rhizoctonia solani, Verticillium dahliae and Phytophthora infestans using a dual-culture assay. Genotypic characterisation, 16S rRNA gene sequencing and antifungal metabolite analysis was performed to characterize the 595 antagonists obtained. The 16S rRNA gene-based identification of in vitro antagonists revealed strong site-dependent differences in their taxonomic composition. This study showed that the site was the overriding factor determining the proportion and diversity of antagonists from the rhizosphere of potato while the effect of the genetic modification on the proportion of antagonists obtained did not exceed natural variability among the five commercial cultivars tested.
|Journal||Plant and soil|
|Publication status||Published - 5 Jun 2009|