Bacterial Rhizosphere Biodiversity from Several Pioneer Desert Sand Plants Near Jizan, Saudi Arabia

Jorge R. Osman, Axel de Zelicourt, A.H.J. Bisseling, Rene Geurts, H. Hirt, Michael S. DuBow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Life in arid regions and, in particular, hot deserts is often limited due to their harsh environmental conditions, such as large temperature fluctuations and low amounts of water. These extreme environments can influence the microbial community present on the surface sands and any rhizosphere members surrounding desert plant roots. The Jizan desert area, located in Saudi Arabia, supports particular vegetation that grows in the large sandy flat terrain. We examined five different samples, four from the rhizosphere of pioneer plants plus a surface sand sample, and used pyrosequencing of PCR-amplified V1-V3 regions of 16S rDNA genes from total extracted DNA to reveal and compare the bacterial population diversity of the samples. The results showed a total of 3,530 OTUs in the five samples, calculated using ≥ 97% sequence similarity levels. The Chao1 estimation of the bacterial diversity fluctuated from 637 to 2,026 OTUs for a given sample. The most abundant members found in the samples belong to the Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria phyla. This work shows that the Jizan desert area of Saudi Arabia can contain a diverse bacterial community on the sand and surrounding the roots of pioneer desert plants. It also shows that desert sand microbiomes can vary depending on conditions, with broad implications for sandstone monument bacterial communities
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-79
JournalThe Open Conference Proceedings Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2016


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