We investigated the effects of the water status (flooded or non-flooded) and presence of the nosZ gene in bradyrhizobia on the bradyrhizobial community structure in a factorial experiment that examined three temperature levels (20°C, 25°C, and 30°C) and two soil types (andosol and gray lowland soil) using microcosm incubations. All microcosms were inoculated with Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA6T, B. japonicum USDA123, and B. elkanii USDA76T, which do not possess the nosZ gene, and then half received B. diazoefficiens USDA110Twt (wt for the wild-type) and the other half received B. diazoefficiens USDA110ΔnosZ. USDA110Twt possesses the nosZ gene, which encodes N2O reductase; 110ΔnosZ, a mutant variant, does not. Changes in the community structure after 30- and 60-d incubations were investigated by denaturing-gradient gel electrophoresis and an image analysis. USDA6T and 76T strains slightly increased in non-flooded soil regardless of which USDA110T strain was present. In flooded microcosms with the USDA110Twt strain, USDA110Twt became dominant, whereas in microcosms with the USDA110ΔnosZ, a similar change in the community structure occurred to that in non-flooded microcosms. These results suggest that possession of the nosZ gene confers a competitive advantage to B. diazoefficiens USDA110T in flooded soil. We herein demonstrated that the dominance of B. diazoefficiens USDA110Twt within the soil bradyrhizobial population may be enhanced by periods of flooding or waterlogging systems such as paddy–soybean rotations because it appears to have the ability to thrive in moderately anaerobic soil.
- Community structure
- Flooded condition