Table_1_Intensified Pulse Rotations Buildup Pea Rhizosphere Pathogens in Cereal and Pulse Based Cropping Systems.DOCX

The association of plants and microbial communities is crucial for crop production, and host plants influence the composition of rhizosphere microbiomes. Pulse crops play an important role in the development of sustainable cropping systems, and producers in the Canadian prairies often increase the frequency of pulses in their cropping systems. In this study, we determined the shifts in the fungal community of pea (Pisum sativum L.) rhizosphere, as influenced by the frequency of pulses in rotation, using high throughput sequencing. Six cropping systems containing pea (P), lentil (Lens culinaris Medik., L), hybrid canola (Brassica napus L., C), wheat (Triticum aestivum L., W), and oat (Avena sativa L., O) in different intensities were tested. The fungal communities were assessed at the flowering stage in the fourth and fifth year of the 4-year rotations. Cropping system had a significant impact on the composition of the rhizosphere fungal community, and the effect of crop rotation sequence was greater and explained more of the variation than the effect of previous crops. The rotation with consecutive pulses (WPLP) decreased fungal evenness and increased the proportion of pathotrophs. Fusarium was a dominant and ubiquitous pathotrophic genus. Olpidium virulentus, Botrytis cinerea, Fusarium solani, F. graminearum, and Alternaria eichhorniae were generally more abundant in pulse intensive rotations (WPLP, WLOP, and WPOP), the exception being F. solani which was not promoted by lentil. Reads of O. virulentus and B. cinerea were most abundant in pea preceded by lentil followed by the reads of Mortierella elongata in pea preceded by wheat. Pea consistently had higher grain yield when grown in diversified rotations including wheat, canola/lentil, and oat than rotations with two repeated crops (canola or pea). Cropping system affected the soil physicochemical properties, and soil pH was the main driver of fungal community shift. No evidence of beneficial microorganisms involvement in plant productivity was observed, but the high abundance of pathotrophs in pulse intensified rotations suggests the possibility of pathogen buildup in the soil with increasing pulse frequency. Diversifying rotation sequences minimized disease risk and increased pea production, in this study. Careful selection of plant species appears as a strategy for the management of rhizosphere fungal communities and the maintenance of crop production system’s health.