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Title: Linking Microbial Community Structure to β-Glucosidic Function in Soil Aggregates

To link microbial community 16S structure to a measured function in a natural soil we have scaled both DNA and β-glucosidase assays down to a volume of soil that may approach a unique microbial community. β-glucosidase activity was assayed in 450 individual aggregates which were then sorted into classes of high or low activities, from which groups of 10 or 11 aggregates were identified and grouped for DNA extraction and pyrosequencing. Tandem assays of ATP were conducted for each aggregate in order to normalize these small groups of aggregates for biomass size. In spite of there being no significant differences in the richness or diversity of the microbial communities associated with high β-glucosidase activities compared with the communities associated with low β-glucosidase communities, several analyses of variance clearly show that the communities of these two groups differ. The separation of these groups is partially driven by the differential abundances of members of the Chitinophagaceae family. It may be that observed functional differences in otherwise similar soil aggregates can be largely attributed to differences in resource availability, rather than to presence or absence of particular taxonomic groups.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: The ISME Journal, 7(10):2044-2053
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
microbial community; soil aggregates; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory