A1 Journal article (refereed)
Glyphosate residues alter the microbiota of a perennial weed with a minimal indirect impact on plant performance (2022)

Ramula, S., Mathew, S. A., Kalske, A., Nissinen, R., Saikkonen, K., & Helander, M. (2022). Glyphosate residues alter the microbiota of a perennial weed with a minimal indirect impact on plant performance. Plant and Soil, 472(1-2), 161-174. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-021-05196-1

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsRamula, S.; Mathew, S. A.; Kalske, A.; Nissinen, R.; Saikkonen, K.; Helander, M.

Journal or seriesPlant and Soil



Publication year2022

Publication date06/11/2021


Issue number1-2

Pages range161-174

PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication countryNetherlands

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/79048


In cold climates, glyphosate residues may linger in soils, with effects on plant–microbe interactions and, consequently, plant performance. Here, we explore the influence of glyphosate residues on the endophytic microbiota (bacteria and fungi) and performance of the perennial nitrogen-fixing weed Lupinus polyphyllus.

In a common garden, we grew plants from six populations of L. polyphyllus in glyphosate-treated or untreated control soils, with or without additional phosphorus. We sampled plant microbiota (leaves, roots, nodules) and assessed plant performance based on six traits: height, retrogression probability (i.e. shrinkage), biomass, root:shoot ratio, nodule number, and nodule viability.

The richness of plant endophytic microbial communities was determined by soil phosphorus level rather than by glyphosate treatment. However, for bacteria, the composition of these communities differed between glyphosate-treated and control soils across plant tissue types; no difference was observed for fungi. The plant bacterial communities in both soil types were dominated by potential nitrogen-fixing bacteria belonging to family Bradyrhizobiaceae, and particularly so in glyphosate-treated soils. Overall, though, these changes in plant bacterial communities had a minor effect on plant performance: the only difference we detected was that the probability of retrogression was occasionally higher in glyphosate-treated soils than in control soils.

Our findings indicate that glyphosate-based herbicides, when applied at the recommended frequency and concentration, may not have critical effects on the growth of short-lived weeds after the safety period has passed; however, the endophytic microbiota of such weeds may experience longer-lasting shifts in community structure.

Keywordsherbicidesglyphosatepesticide residueslong-term effectssoilsoil biotamicrobiomerhizobiasoil fertility

Free keywordsglyphosate; herbicide; microbiota; plant traits; rhizobia; Roundup

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating3

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 18:06