Biological nitrification inhibition in the rhizosphere:

Pierfrancesco Nardi, Hendrikus J. Laanbroek, Graeme W. Nicol, Giancarlo Renella, Massimiliano Cardinale, Giacomo Pietramellara, Wolfram Weckwerth, Alessandra Trinchera, Arindam Ghatak, Paolo Nannipieri

Nitrification is the microbial conversion of reduced forms of nitrogen (N) to nitrate (NO3-), and in fertilized soils it can lead to substantial N losses via NO3- leaching or nitrous oxide (N2O) production. To limit such problems, synthetic nitrification inhibitors have been applied but their performance differs between soils. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the occurrence of biological nitrification inhibition (BNI), a natural phenomenon according to which certain plants can inhibit nitrification through the release of active compounds in root exudates. Here, we synthesize the current state of research but also unravel knowledge gaps in the field. The nitrification process is discussed considering recent discoveries in genomics, biochemistry and ecology of nitrifiers. Secondly, we focus on the 'where' and 'how' of BNI. The N transformations and their interconnections as they occur in, and are affected by, the rhizosphere, are also discussed. The NH4+ and NO3- retention pathways alternative to BNI are reviewed as well. We also provide hypotheses on how plant compounds with putative BNI ability can reach their targets inside the cell and inhibit ammonia oxidation. Finally, we discuss a set of techniques that can be successfully applied to solve unresearched questions in BNI studies.

Large-Instrument Facility for Mass Spectrometry in Life Sciences, Functional and Evolutionary Ecology
External organisation(s)
Consiglio Ric & Anal Econ Agr, Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e L'analisi Dell'economia Agraria (CREA), Res Ctr Agr & Environm CREA AA, Netherlands Inst Ecol NIOO KNAW, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Dept Microbial Ecol, Utrecht University, Univ Lyon, Ecole Centrale de Lyon, Institut National des Sciences Appliquees de Lyon - INSA Lyon, Lab Ampere, Ecole Cent Lyon, Università degli Studi di Padova, Università del Salento, Università degli Studi di Firenze
FEMS Microbiology Reviews
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Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
106031 Plant physiology, 106030 Plant ecology, 106002 Biochemistry, 106022 Microbiology
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