Soil bacterial communities associated with natural and commercial Cyclopia spp.

  • Postma A
  • Slabbert E
  • Postma F
 et al. 
  • 3


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


The commercially important plants in the genus Cyclopia spp. are indigenous to the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa and are used to manufacture an herbal tea known as honeybush tea. Growing in the low nutrient fynbos soils, these plants are highly dependent on symbiotic interactions with soil microorganisms for nutrient acquisition. The aim of this study was to investigate the soil bacterial communities associated with two commercially important Cyclopia species, namely C. subternata and C. longifolia. Specific interest was the differences between rhizosphere and bulk soil collected from natural sites and commercially grown plants. Samples were collected on two occasions to include a dry summer and wet winter season. Results showed that the dominant bacterial taxa associated with these plants included Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. Commercial and natural as well as rhizosphere and bulk soil samples were highly similar in bacterial diversity and species richness. Significant differences were detected in bacterial community structures and co-occurrence patterns between the wet and dry seasons. The results of this study improved our knowledge on what effect commercial Cyclopia plantations and seasonal changes can have on soil bacterial communities within the endemic fynbos biome.

Author-supplied keywords

  • biodiversity
  • communities
  • community ecology
  • diversity
  • dry season
  • ecology
  • ecosystems
  • fynbos
  • interactions
  • microbiology
  • microorganisms
  • plantations
  • rhizosphere
  • ribosomal RNA
  • seasonal variation
  • seasons
  • soil
  • soil bacteria
  • soil flora
  • species diversity
  • structures
  • summer
  • winter

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • A Postma

  • E Slabbert

  • F Postma

  • K Jacobs

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free