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Chitin is a promising soil amendment for improving soil quality, plant growth, and plant resilience. The objectives of this study were twofold. First, to study the effect of chitin mixed in potting soil on lettuce growth and on the survival of two zoonotic bacterial pathogens, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica on the lettuce leaves. Second, to assess the related changes in the microbial lettuce rhizosphere, using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis and amplicon sequencing of a bacterial 16S rRNA gene fragment and the fungal ITS2. As a result of chitin addition, lettuce fresh yield weight was significantly increased. S. enterica survival in the lettuce phyllosphere was significantly reduced. The E. coli O157:H7 survival was also lowered, but not significantly. Moreover, significant changes were observed in the bacterial and fungal community of the lettuce rhizosphere. PLFA analysis showed a significant increase in fungal and bacterial biomass. Amplicon sequencing showed no increase in fungal and bacterial biodiversity, but relative abundances of the bacterial phyla Acidobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria and the fungal phyla Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and Zygomycota were significantly changed. More specifically, a more than 10-fold increase was observed for operational taxonomic units belonging to the bacterial genera Cellvibrio, Pedobacter, Dyadobacter, and Streptomyces and to the fungal genera Lecanicillium and Mortierella. These genera include several species previously reported to be involved in biocontrol, plant growth promotion, the nitrogen cycle and chitin degradation. These results enhance the understanding of the response of the rhizosphere microbiome to chitin amendment. Moreover, this is the first study to investigate the use of soil amendments to control the survival of S. enterica on plant leaves.
Ruttink, T., Cnops, G., De Campeneere, S., De Loose, M., Debode, J., Goossens, K., Haegeman, A., Heyndrickx, M., Muylle, H., Peiren, N., Rasschaert, G., Robbens, J., Roldán-Ruiz, I., Taverniers, I., Van Coillie, E., Van Glabeke, S., Vandaele, L., De Tender, C., Devriese, L., De Mulder, T., Verwimp, C., Veeckman, E. & Maes, M.
1/10/13 → 31/08/19