Soil biodiversity is essential for ecosystems and plant health. Understanding soil microbiome is becoming more and more relevant for supporting plant productivity and health. However, the vast majority of soil microorganisms remain unknown, and their variability at regional and temporal seasonal scale is still unexplored.
In Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019, scientists sampled the soils associated with the rhizosphere of three olive varieties in three olive orchards. The orchards were in Jaén, Córdoba, and Málaga, in Andalusia, Southern Spain. Those are areas presenting differences in physicochemical soil characteristics and climate. Researchers carried out an analysis of bacterial and fungal populations to determine the structure and diversity of soil microbial communities and how environmental factors may affect them.
The results suggest that the main differences in bacterial and fungal communities on olive crops are mainly due to geographical scales and environmental conditions and depend to a lesser extent on plant genotype or season.
The information collected in the study aims to generate new knowledge that may improve soil biodiversity and control olive diseases. The final goal is cumulating sufficient knowledge to select highly specific bacteria to contrast diseases, adapted to the various olive genotypes, and with the potential to survive under different climatic conditions.