The influence of ecological and conventional plant production systems on soil microbial quality under hops (Humulus lupulus)

Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Jun 3;15(6):9907-23. doi: 10.3390/ijms15069907.


The knowledge about microorganisms-activity and diversity under hop production is still limited. We assumed that, different systems of hop production (within the same soil and climatic conditions) significantly influence on the composition of soil microbial populations and its functional activity (metabolic potential). Therefore, we compared a set of soil microbial properties in the field experiment of two hop production systems (a) ecological based on the use of probiotic preparations and organic fertilization (b) conventional-with the use of chemical pesticides and mineral fertilizers. Soil analyses included following microbial properties: The total number microorganisms, a bunch of soil enzyme activities, the catabolic potential was also assessed following Biolog EcoPlates®. Moreover, the abundance of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) was characterized by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (T-RFLP) of PCR ammonia monooxygenase α-subunit (amoA) gene products. Conventional and ecological systems of hop production were able to affect soil microbial state in different seasonal manner. Favorable effect on soil microbial activity met under ecological, was more probably due to livestock-based manure and fermented plant extracts application. No negative influence on conventional hopyard soil was revealed. Both type of production fulfilled fertilizing demands. Under ecological production it was due to livestock-based manure fertilizers and fermented plant extracts application.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ammonia / metabolism
  • Archaea / physiology
  • Fertilizers / analysis
  • Humulus / physiology*
  • Organic Agriculture / methods*
  • Soil
  • Soil Microbiology*


  • Fertilizers
  • Soil
  • Ammonia