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Title: Forest floor community metatranscriptomes identify fungal and bacterial responses to N deposition in two maple forests

Anthropogenic N deposition alters patterns of C and N cycling in temperate forests, where forest floor litter decomposition is a key process mediated by a diverse community of bacteria and fungi. To track forest floor decomposer activity we generated metatranscriptomes that simultaneously surveyed the actively expressed bacterial and eukaryote genes in the forest floor, to compare the impact of N deposition on the decomposers in two natural maple forests in Michigan, USA, where replicate field plots had been amended with N for 16 years. Site and N amendment responses were compared using about 74,000 carbohydrate active enzyme transcript sequences (CAZymes) in each metatranscriptome. Parallel ribosomal RNA (rRNA) surveys of bacterial and fungal biomass and taxonomic composition showed no significant differences in either biomass or OTU richness between the two sites or in response to N. Site and N amendment were not significant variables defining bacterial taxonomic composition, but they were significant for fungal community composition, explaining 17 and 14% of the variability, respectively. The relative abundance of expressed bacterial and fungal CAZymes changed significantly with N amendment in one of the forests, and N-response trends were also identified in the second forest. Although the two ambient forests were similar inmore » community biomass, taxonomic structure and active CAZyme profile, the shifts in active CAZyme profiles in response to N-amendment differed between the sites. One site responded with an over-expression of bacterial CAZymes, and the other site responded with an over-expression of both fungal and different bacterial CAZymes. Both sites showed reduced representation of fungal lignocellulose degrading enzymes in N-amendment plots. The metatranscriptome approach provided a holistic assessment of eukaryote and bacterial gene expression and is applicable to other systems where eukaryotes and bacteria interact.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Microbiology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 1664-302X
Frontiers Research Foundation
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; metatranscriptomics; nitrogen deposition; soil fungal community; soil bacterial community; carbohydrate active enzymes; soil RNA
OSTI Identifier: