Noah Rosenzweig, Department of Plant Pathology,
James M. Tiedje, Department of Crop and Soil Science and Center for Microbial Ecology,
John F. Quensen, III, Department of Crop and Soil Science and Center for Microbial Ecology,
Qingxiao Meng, Department of Plant Pathology, and
Jianjun J. Hao, Department of Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824
Potato common scab, caused by Streptomyces spp., is an annual production problem for potato growers, and not effectively controlled by current methods. A field with naturally occurring common scab suppression has been identified in Michigan, and confirmed to have a biological basis for this disease suppression. This field and an adjacent scab nursery conducive to disease were studied using pyrosequencing to compare the two microbial communities. Total DNA was extracted from both the disease-conducive and -suppressive soils. A phylogenetically taxon-informative region of the 16S rRNA gene was used to establish operational taxonomic units (OTUs) to characterize bacterial community richness and diversity. In total, 1,124 OTUs were detected and 565 OTUs (10% dissimilarity) were identified in disease-conducive soil and 859 in disease-suppressive soil, including 300 shared both between sites. Common phyla based on relative sequence abundance were Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Firmicutes. Sequences of Lysobacter were found in significantly higher numbers in the disease-suppressive soil, as were sequences of group 4 and group 6 Acidobacteria. The relative abundance of sequences identified as the genus Bacillus was significantly higher by an order of magnitude in the disease-conducive soil.