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Phylogenetic diversity of soil microbes is a hot topic at the moment. However, the molecular tools for the assessment of functional diversity in the fungal community are less developed than tools based on genes encoding the ribosomal operon. Here 20 sets of primers targeting genes involved mainly in carbon cycling were designed and/or validated and the functioning of soil fungal communities along a chronosequence of land abandonment from agriculture was evaluated using them. We hypothesized that changes in fungal community structure during secondary succession would lead to difference in the types of genes present in soils and that these changes would be directional. We expected an increase in genes involved in degradation of recalcitrant organic matter in time since agriculture. Out of the investigated genes, the richness of the genes related to carbon cycling was significantly higher in fields abandoned for longer time. The composition of six of the genes analyzed revealed significant differences between fields abandoned for shorter and longer time. However, all genes revealed significant variance over the fields studied, and this could be related to other parameters than the time since agriculture such as pH, organic matter, and the amount of available nitrogen. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, the genes significantly different between fields were not related to the decomposition of more recalcitrant matter but rather involved in degradation of cellulose and hemicellulose.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberfmicb.2016.01897
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Volume7
DOI
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • NIOO

ID: 2768119