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Assessment of Bacterial Communities and Predictive Functional Profiling in Soils Subjected to Short-Term Fumigation-Incubation

, : Assessment of Bacterial Communities and Predictive Functional Profiling in Soils Subjected to Short-Term Fumigation-Incubation. Microbial Ecology 72(1): 240-251

Previous investigations observed that when soil was fumigated with ethanol-free CHCl3 for 24 h and then incubated under appropriate conditions, after the initial flush of CO2 was over, soil organic carbon (SOC) mineralization continued at the same rate as in the non-fumigated soil. This indicates that, following fumigation, the much diminished microbial population still retained the same ability to mineralize SOC as the much larger non-fumigated population. We hypothesize that although fumigation drastically alters the soil bacterial community abundance, composition, and diversity, it has little influence on the bacterial C-metabolic functions. Here, we conducted a 30-day incubation experiment involving a grassland soil and an arable soil with and without CHCl3 fumigation. At days 0, 7, and 30 of the incubation, the bacterial abundances were determined by quantitative PCR, and the bacterial community composition and diversity were assessed via the 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. PICRUSt was used to predict the metagenome functional content from the sequence data. Fumigation considerably changed the composition and decreased the abundance and diversity of bacterial community at the end of incubation. At day 30, Firmicutes (mainly Bacilli) accounted for 70.9 and 94.6 % of the total sequences in the fumigated grassland and arable soil communities, respectively. The two fumigated soil communities exhibited large compositional and structural differences during incubation. The families Paenibacillaceae, Bacillaceae, and Symbiobacteriaceae dominated the bacterial community in the grassland soil, and Alicyclobacillaceae in the arable soil. Fumigation had little influence on the predicted abundances of KEGG orthologs (KOs) assigned to the metabolism of the main acid esters, saccharides, amino acids, and lipids in the grassland soil community. The saccharide-metabolizing KO abundances were decreased, but the acid ester- and fatty acid-metabolizing KO abundances were elevated by fumigation in the arable soil community. Our study suggests functional redundancy regarding the bacterial genetic potential associated with SOC mineralization.


PMID: 27079454

DOI: 10.1007/s00248-016-0766-0

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