Acidification suppresses the natural capacity of soil microbiome to fight pathogenic Fusarium infections

Xiaogang Li, Dele Chen, Víctor J. Carrión, Daniel Revillini, Shan Yin, Yuanhua Dong, Taolin Zhang, Xingxiang Wang* (Corresponding author), Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo* (Corresponding author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Soil-borne pathogens pose a major threat to food production worldwide, particularly under global change and with growing populations. Yet, we still know very little about how the soil microbiome regulates the abundance of soil pathogens and their impact on plant health. Here we combined field surveys with experiments to investigate the relationships of soil properties and the structure and function of the soil microbiome with contrasting plant health outcomes. We find that soil acidification largely impacts bacterial communities and reduces the capacity of soils to combat fungal pathogens. In vitro assays with microbiomes from acidified soils further highlight a declined ability to suppress Fusarium, a globally important plant pathogen. Similarly, when we inoculate healthy plants with an acidified soil microbiome, we show a greatly reduced capacity to prevent pathogen invasion. Finally, metagenome sequencing of the soil microbiome and untargeted metabolomics reveals a down regulation of genes associated with the synthesis of sulfur compounds and reduction of key traits related to sulfur metabolism in acidic soils. Our findings suggest that changes in the soil microbiome and disruption of specific microbial processes induced by soil acidification can play a critical role for plant health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5090
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Acidification suppresses the natural capacity of soil microbiome to fight pathogenic Fusarium infections'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this