Linking rhizoplane pH and bacterial density at the microhabitat scale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • PG Dennis
  • PR Hirsch
  • SJ Smith
  • RG Taylor


Ion-selective microelectrodes and a novel micro-sampling technique were used to investigate the relationship in field soil between Brassica napus rhizoplane pH and bacterial density at a spatial scale approximating a microhabitat. Bacterial densities were observed to increase with decreasing pH, rhizoplane pH measurements varied by up to 1 pH unit over a distance of 1 mm and the mean pH of the rhizoplane at the root base varied by more than 1 pH unit between plants. These findings highlight the appropriateness of investigating the interactions between bacterial communities and their environment at the micro-spatial scale and the utility of the micro-sampling method.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-104
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Microbiological Methods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009