FEMS microbiology ecology

Mineral composition and charcoal determine the bacterial community structure in artificial soils.

PMID 23289489


To study the influence of the clay minerals montmorillonite (M) and illite (I), the metal oxides ferrihydrite (F) and aluminum hydroxide (A), and charcoal (C) on soil bacterial communities, seven artificial soils with identical texture provided by quartz (Q) were mixed with sterilized manure as organic carbon source before adding a microbial inoculant derived from a Cambisol. Bacterial communities established in artificial soils after 90 days of incubation were compared by DGGE analysis of bacterial and taxon-specific 16S rRNA gene amplicons. The bacterial community structure of charcoal-containing soils highly differed from the other soils at all taxonomic levels studied. Effects of montmorillonite and illite were observed for Bacteria and Betaproteobacteria, but not for Actinobacteria or Alphaproteobacteria. A weak influence of metal oxides on Betaproteobacteria was found. Barcoded pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons done for QM, QI, QIF, and QMC revealed a high bacterial diversity in the artificial soils. The composition of the artificial soils was different from the inoculant, and the structure of the bacterial communities established in QMC soil was most different from the other soils, suggesting that charcoal provided distinct microenvironments and biogeochemical interfaces formed. Several populations with discriminative relative abundance between artificial soils were identified.