Jingjing Chang

Dr. Jingjing Chang

PhD Student
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Visiting Address

Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

+31 (0) 317 47 34 00

The Netherlands


I majored in microbial ecology with a strong interest in rice domestication with a focus on the community structure and function of the rhizomicrobes involved. My special attention goes to rhizomicrobes involved in nutrient metabolism.


2018- 2022
PhD in Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences Changchun, China

2021- to date
PhD in Microbial Ecology, the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, the Netherlands

2018- to date
PhD in Ecology, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

2015- 2018
MSc in Soil Science, Jilin Agricultural University, China

2011- 2015
BSc in Soil and water conservation and desertification control, Jilin Agricultural University, China

Research groups



  • 2015–2018
    Mater Jilin Agricultural University, China
  • 2015–2017
    Joint Master Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, China
  • 2018–2022
    PhD Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, CAS, China
  • 2021–2022
    Joint PhD Netherlands Institute of Ecology


Key publications


    Rational land-use types in the karst regions of China: Insights from soil organic matter composition and stability

    Jingjing Chang, Jianxing Zhu, Li Xu, Hongxin Su, Yang Gao, Xianli Cai, Tao Peng, Xuefa Wen, Jinjing Zhang, Nianpeng He
    Composition and stability of soil organic matter (SOM) affect the sustenance and productivity of soil over the long-term. This issue is particularly important for karst regions in China where the water supply and fertilizer use are limiting factors. Here, we used four indicators to evaluate changes in the composition and stability of SOM quantitatively in five main land-use types in karst area, including primary forest [PF], 15-year secondary forest [SF], grazing secondary forest [GF], abandoned farmland [AF] and farmland [FL]. We collected soil samples at a depth of 0–20 cm to conduct the analyses. Four indicators were used: soil physical and chemical properties, active organic carbon (C), humus C composition, and SOM functional groups. Our results showed that the content of SOM, total nitrogen, and easily oxidized organic C at 0–20 cm soil depth differed among the five land-use types (P < 0.05). For humic acid C concentration, the land-use types were ordered as: SF > PF > GF > FL > AF. Solid-state 13C NMR spectra showed that the highest ratio of Alkyl C/O-alkyl C was in AF, while the lowest was in SF. Overall, the comprehensive quality of SOM in different land-use types was PF (setting 100%) > SF (83.1%) > GF (58%) > AF (30.9%) > FL (29.9%). For karst areas, we suggest that farmlands in sloping area should be converted back to forests, with only moderate grazing being permitted, whereas farmlands in the plains should implement grain-forage rotation and grain-soybean rotation to meet the needs of the growing population and economic development. In conclusion, our findings provide a scientific basis from which to delineate rational land-use types for different land (geographical and geological) formations.
  • Frontiers in Microbiology

    The structure of rhizosphere fungal communities of wild and domesticated rice: changes in diversity and co-occurrence patterns

    Jingjing Chang, Yu Sun, Lei Tian, Li Ji, Shasha Luo, Fahad Nasir, Eiko E. Kuramae, Chunjie Tian
    The rhizosphere fungal community affects the ability of crops to acquire nutrients and their susceptibility to pathogen invasion. However, the effects of rice domestication on the diversity and interactions of rhizosphere fungal community still remain largely unknown. Here, internal transcribed spacer amplicon sequencing was used to systematically analyze the structure of rhizosphere fungal communities of wild and domesticated rice. The results showed that domestication increased the alpha diversity indices of the rice rhizosphere fungal community. The changes of alpha diversity index may be associated with the enrichment of Acremonium, Lecythophora, and other specific rare taxa in the rhizosphere of domesticated rice. The co-occurrence network showed that the complexity of wild rice rhizosphere fungal community was higher than that of the domesticated rice rhizosphere fungal community. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and soilborne fungi were positively and negatively correlated with more fungi in the wild rice rhizosphere, respectively. For restructuring the rhizomicrobial community of domesticated crops, we hypothesize that microbes that hold positive connections with AMF and negative connections with soilborne fungi can be used as potential sources for bio-inoculation. Our findings provide a scientific basis for reshaping the structure of rhizomicrobial community and furthermore create potential for novel intelligent and sustainable agricultural solutions.
  • Microorganisms

    Self-crossing leads to weak co-variation of the bacterial and fungal communities in the rice rhizosphere

    Jingjing Chang, Shaohua Shi, Lei Tian, Marcio F. A. Leite, Chunling Chang, Li Ji, Lina Ma, Chunjie Tian
    The rhizomicrobial community is influenced by plant genotype. However, the potential differences in the co-assembly of bacterial and fungal communities between parental lines and different generations of rice progenies have not been examined. Here we compared the bacterial and fungal communities in the rhizomicrobiomes of female parent Oryza rufipogon wild rice; male parent Oryza sativa cultivated rice; their F1 progeny; and the F2, F3 and F4 self-crossing generations. Our results showed that the bacterial and fungal α-diversities of the hybrid F1 and self-crossing generations (F2, F3, F4) were closer to one of the two parental lines, which may indicate a role of the parental line in the diversity of the rhizosphere microbial community assembly. Self-crossing from F1 to F4 led to weak co-variation of the bacterial and fungal communities and distinct rhizosphere microbiomes. In the parental and self-crossing progenies, the reduction of community dissimilarity was higher for the fungal community than for the bacterial community.
  • Science of the total environment

    Comparison of methane metabolism in the rhizomicrobiomes of wild and related cultivated rice accessions reveals a strong impact

    Lei Tian, Jingjing Chang, Shaohua Shi, Li Ji, Jianfeng Zhang, Yu Sun, Xiaojie Li, Xiujun Li, Hongwei Xie, Yaohui Cai
    Microbial communities from rhizosphere (rhizomicrobiomes) have been significantly impacted by domestication as evidenced by a comparison of the rhizomicrobiomes of wild and related cultivated rice accessions. While there have been many published studies focusing on the structure of the rhizomicrobiome, studies comparing the functional traits of the microbial communities in the rhizospheres of wild rice and cultivated rice accessions are not yet available. In this study, we used metagenomic data from experimental rice plots to analyze the potential functional traits of the microbial communities in the rhizospheres of wild rice accessions originated from Africa and Asia in comparison with their related cultivated rice accessions. The functional potential of rhizosphere microbial communities involved in alanine, aspartate and glutamate metabolism, methane metabolism, carbon fixation pathways, citrate cycle (TCA cycle), pyruvate metabolism and lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis pathways were found to be enriched in the rhizomicrobiomes of wild rice accessions. Notably, methane metabolism in the rhizomicrobiomes of wild and cultivated rice accessions clearly differed. Key enzymes involved in methane production and utilization were overrepresented in the rhizomicrobiome samples obtained from wild rice accessions, suggesting that the rhizomicrobiomes of wild rice maintain a different ecological balance for methane production and utilization compared with those of the related cultivated rice accessions. A novel assessment of the impact of rice domestication on the primary metabolic pathways associated with microbial taxa in the rhizomicrobiomes was performed. Results indicated a strong impact of rice domestication on methane metabolism; a process that represents a critical function of the rhizosphere microbial community of rice. The findings of this study provide important information for future breeding of rice varieties with reduced methane emission during cultivation for sustainable agriculture.
  • Science of the total environment

    A review on the impact of domestication of the rhizosphere of grain crops and a perspective on the potential role of the rhizosp

    Jingjing Chang, Johannes A. van Veen, Chunjie Tian, Eiko E. Kurama
    The rhizosphere-associated microbiome impacts plant performance and tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses. Despite increasing recognition of the enormous functional role of the rhizomicrobiome on the survival of wild plant species growing under harsh environmental conditions, such as nutrient, water, temperature, and pathogen stresses, the utilization of the rhizosphere microbial community in domesticated rice production systems has been limited. Better insight into how this role of the rhizomicrobiome for the performance and survival of wild plants has been changed during domestication and development of present domesticated crops, may help to assess the potential of the rhizomicrobial community to improve the sustainable production of these crops. Here, we review the current knowledge of the effect of domestication on the microbial rhizosphere community of rice and other crops by comparing its diversity, structure, and function in wild versus domesticated species. We also examine the existing information on the impact of the plant on their physico-chemical environment. We propose that a holobiont approach should be explored in future studies by combining detailed analysis of the dynamics of the physicochemical microenvironment surrounding roots to systematically investigate the microenvironment–plant–rhizomicrobe interactions during rice domestication, and suggest focusing on the use of beneficial microbes (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and Nitrogen fixers), denitrifiers and methane consumers to improve the sustainable production of rice.

Projects & collaborations


  • Succession of microbial functions in degraded saline soil restoration

    Project Present
    The global saline-alkali land area has already exceeded 1.1 billion hectares. China has about 100 million hectares. Rice cultivation has been used as an effective strategy to amend saline-alkaline lands in northeastern Songnen Plain in China since the 1950s. However, it is not known the role of microbial functions during succession of soil restoration. The aim of this project is to fundamental understanding the microbial functions succession during the saline soil restoration.
    rice in salt soil
  • Farming microbial community for plant probiotic - MicroProFarm

    Project 2020–Present
    A current challenge for modern agriculture is to meet the food production needs for an increasing global population while improving resource use efficiency and attenuating impacts on human health and environment. In order to maximize reliability and stability in agriculture, optimization of crop management and resource use efficiency have been considered the best approaches for a sustainable increase of crop yields under variable agro-ecological conditions, environments and years. For this purpose, one interesting and sustainable method is the use of natural plant biostimulants, a diverse class of products and microorganisms that enhance plant growth and other plant parameters, such as flowering, fruit set, crop productivity and nutrient use efficiency. In this context, several studies already demonstrated that plant biostimulants can induce morpho-anatomical, biochemical, physiological and molecular plant responses, not only improving crop productivity but also promoting protection against abiotic stresses, such as drought and salinity. Among the different biostimulant classes there are protein hydrolysates (PH), mixtures of polypeptides, oligopeptides and aminoacids originated from partially hydrolyzed animal and vegetal tissues. Even though the effect of PH were already observed in diverse crops, the mechanisms and behind their action are still scarcely studied, and their action can vary depending on their origin, characteristics, crop species, cultivars, growing conditions, time and mode of applications, among other parameters. The objective of this project is to evaluate the effect of protein hydrolysates in the growth, nutrient content and microbial communities of crops, if microbes are responsible for these effects, which are the mechanisms and if such effects are long-lasting.
    Impact of protein biostimulants in a variety of crops