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In Frontiers in plant science

Companion planting is one of the most common and effective planting methods in modern agriculture. White clover (Trifolium repens L.) and orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata L.) are two typical pastures planted together to promote each other's growth. However, the detailed biological foundations of companion planting remain unclear. In this study, we screened typical microbiome profiles under separate and combination planting conditions using 16s RNA gene sequencing techniques. We identified the typical distinctive microorganism subtypes based on the microbiome profiles and recognized the enriched functions of top abundant microorganisms in soil using different planting strategies with the help of Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes and Clusters of Orthologous Groups annotation. This analysis confirmed that the optimal microorganisms and screened functional annotations are correlated with nitrogen fixation; thus, companion planting may improve the yield and efficacy of plants by improving the efficiency of nitrogen fixation.

Chen Lijuan, Li Daojie, Shao Ye, Adni Jannati, Wang Hui, Liu Yuqing, Zhang Yunhua


16s RNA gene sequencing, Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs), companion planting, machine learning models, microbiome, multiple variables analysis, operational taxonomic unit classification