Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

Verrucomicrobial community structure and abundance as indicators for changes in chemical factors linked to soil fertility.

PMID 26184407


Here we show that verrucomicrobial community structure and abundance are extremely sensitive to changes in chemical factors linked to soil fertility. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism fingerprint and real-time quantitative PCR assay were used to analyze changes in verrucomicrobial communities associated with contrasting soil nutrient conditions in tropical regions. In case study Model I ("Slash-and-burn deforestation") the verrucomicrobial community structures revealed disparate patterns in nutrient-enriched soils after slash-and-burn deforestation and natural nutrient-poor soils under an adjacent primary forest in the Amazonia (R = 0.819, P = 0.002). The relative proportion of Verrucomicrobia declined in response to increased soil fertility after slash-and-burn deforestation, accounting on average, for 4 and 2 % of the total bacterial signal, in natural nutrient-poor forest soils and nutrient-enriched deforested soils, respectively. In case study Model II ("Management practices for sugarcane") disparate patterns were revealed in sugarcane rhizosphere sampled on optimal and deficient soil fertility for sugarcane (R = 0.786, P = 0.002). Verrucomicrobial community abundance in sugarcane rhizosphere was negatively correlated with soil fertility, accounting for 2 and 5 % of the total bacterial signal, under optimal and deficient soil fertility conditions for sugarcane, respectively. In nutrient-enriched soils, verrucomicrobial community structures were related to soil factors linked to soil fertility, such as total nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sum of bases, i.e., the sum of calcium, magnesium and potassium contents. We conclude that community structure and abundance represent important ecological aspects in soil verrucomicrobial communities for tracking the changes in chemical factors linked to soil fertility under tropical environmental conditions.