The electric rhizosphere of aquatic plants

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In marine and freshwater sediments aquatic plants can release oxygen into the rhizosphere, which protects the roots from toxic sulfide by biotic and abiotic oxidation of sulfide. Therefore, the rhizosphere could be an ideal environment for long-distance electron transport, mediated by cable bacteria, which indeed have recently been found associated with seagrass roots. Our results revealed high cable bacteria densities at the oxic-anoxic transition zone next to roots of the freshwater plants Littorella uniflora and Lobelia cardinalis using a combination of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and oxygen sensitive planar optodes. Scanning electron microscopy showed cable bacteria along root hairs. Electric potential measurements showed an electric field over centimeters from the roots indicating active sulfide oxidation and oxygen reduction by the cable bacteria. Cable bacteria were also found in the rhizosphere of rice, seagrass and Salicornia europaea implying that the plant root - cable bacteria interaction is a generic property in the rhizosphere of aquatic plants, thus turning the rhizosphere into an electric environment. What are the benefits and how far does the relationship between plant and cable bacteria go?
Original languageEnglish
Publication year21 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2019
EventElectromicrobiology 2019 - Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 21 Mar 201922 Mar 2019


ConferenceElectromicrobiology 2019

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ID: 158096104