Aims: This work addresses the relevant effects that one single compound, used as model herbicide, provokes on the activity/survival of a suitable herbicide degrading model bacterium and on a plant that hosts this bacterium and its bacterial rhizospheric community. Methods: The effects of the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), on Acacia caven hosting the 2,4-D degrading bacterium Cupriavidus pinatubonensis JMP134, and its rhizospheric microbiota, were simultaneously addressed in plant soil microcosms, and followed by culture dependent and independent procedures, herbicide removal tests, bioprotection assays and use of encapsulated bacterial cells. Results: The herbicide provokes deleterious effects on the plant, which are significantly diminished by the presence of the plant associated C. pinatubonensis, especially with encapsulated cells. This improvement correlated with increased 2,4-D degradation rates. The herbicide significantly changes the structure of the A. caven bacterial rhizospheric community; and it also diminishes the preference of C. pinatubonensis for the A. caven rhizosphere compared with the surrounding bulk soil. Conclusions: The addition of an herbicide to soil triggers a complex, although more or less predictable, suite of effects on rhizobacterial communities, herbicide degrading bacteria and their plant hosts that should be taken into account in fundamental studies and design of bio(phyto)remediation procedures.
- 2,4-D herbicide
- Acacia caven
- Cupriavidus pinatubonensis JMP134
- Plant soil microcosms