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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

Print version ISSN 0100-0683


BRASIL, Edilson Carvalho et al. Rhizosphere properties of maize genotypes with contrasting phosphorus efficiency. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2011, vol.35, n.1, pp.171-181. ISSN 0100-0683.

An experiment was conducted in a growth chamber to evaluate characteristics of the rhizosphere of maize genotypes contrasting in P-use efficiency, by determining length and density of root hairs, the rhizosphere pH and the functional diversity of rhizosphere bacteria. A sample of a Red Oxisol was limed and fertilized with N, K and micronutrients. In the treatment with the highest P level, 174 mg kg-1 P was added. Each experimental unit corresponded to a PVC rhizobox filled with 2.2 dm-3 soil. The experiment was completely randomized with three replications in a 5 x 2 factorial design, corresponding to five genotypes (H1, H2 and H3 = P-efficient hybrids, H4 and H5 = P-inefficient hybrids) and two P levels (low = 3 mg dm-3, high = 29 mg dm-3). It was found that 18 days after transplanting, the nodal roots of the hybrids H3 and H2 had the longest root hairs. In general, the pH in the rhizosphere of the different genotypes was higher than in non-rhizosphere soil, irrespective of the P level. The pH was higher in the rhizosphere of lateral than of nodal roots. At low P levels, the pH variation of the hybrids H2, H4 and H5 was greater in rhizospheric than in non-rhizospheric soil. The functional microbial activity in the rhizosphere of the hybrids H3 and H5 was highest. At low soil P levels, the indices of microbial functional diversity were also higher. The microbial metabolic profile in the rhizosphere of hybrids H1, H2, H3, and H5 remained unaltered when the plants were grown at low P. The variations in the rhizosphere properties could not be related to patterns of P-use efficiency in the tested genotypes.

Keywords : P-acquisition; mechanisms; rizobox.

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