• Fatty acid methyl ester;
  • Bacterium;
  • Diversity;
  • Arbuscular mycorrhiza;
  • External mycelium;
  • Paenibacillus


The influences of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus intraradices on the culturable aerobic–heterotrophic bacterial communities in the rhizosphere and hyphosphere of cucumber plants (Cucumis satvius) were investigated. Mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants were grown in compartmentalised growth units, each with a root compartment and two lateral root-free compartments. Samples representing rhizosphere, root-free soil, root-free sand and washed sand extract were collected 52 days after sowing from treatments both with and without mycorrhiza. No significant difference in total bacterial number was observed between the mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal treatment. Fourteen hundred bacterial colonies were isolated and identified by fatty acid methyl ester analysis using the Sherlock system (MIDI Inc.), 87 species within 48 genera were identified with a similarity index >0.30. Pseudomonas, Arthrobacter and Burkholderia were the genera most frequently encountered. Large differences in bacterial community structure were observed between rhizosphere soil, root-free soil/sand and washed sand extract, whereas major differences between mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal treatments were observed for a few bacterial species only. Isolates identified as Paenibacillus spp. were more frequently found in the mycorrhizal treatment and especially in the washed sand extract with mycelium of G. intraradices, indicating that bacteria within this genus may live in close association with mycelium of these fungi.