Computational improvements reveal great bacterial diversity and high metal toxicity in soil.

Bioscience Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87501, USA.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.2). 09/2005; 309(5739):1387-90. DOI: 10.1126/science.1112665
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The complexity of soil bacterial communities has thus far confounded effective measurement. However, with improved analytical methods, we show that the abundance distribution and total diversity can be deciphered. Reanalysis of reassociation kinetics for bacterial community DNA from pristine and metal-polluted soils showed that a power law best described the abundance distributions. More than one million distinct genomes occurred in the pristine soil, exceeding previous estimates by two orders of magnitude. Metal pollution reduced diversity more than 99.9%, revealing the highly toxic effect of metal contamination, especially for rare taxa.

1 Bookmark
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Impacts of management and land use on soil bacterial diversity have not been well documented. Here we present the application of the bacterial tag encoded FLX amplicon pyrosequencing (bTEFAP) diversity method, which will promote studies in soil microbiomes. Using this modified FLX pyrosequencing approach we evaluated bacterial diversity of a soil (Pullman soil; fine, mixed, thermic Torrertic Paleustolls) with 38% clay and 34% sand (0–5 cm) under four systems. Two non-disturbed grass systems were evaluated including a pasture monoculture (Bothriochloa bladhii (Retz) S.T. Blake) [P] and a diverse mixture of grasses in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Two agricultural systems were evaluated including a cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) -winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-corn (Zea mays L.) rotation [Ct–W–Cr] and the typical practice of the region, which is continuous monoculture cotton (Ct–Ct). Differences due to land use and management were observed in soil microbial biomass C (CRP > P = Ct–W–Cr > Ct–Ct). Using three estimators of diversity, the maximum number of unique sequences operational taxonomic units (OTU; roughly corresponding to the species level) never exceeded 4500 in these soils at the 3% dissimilarity level. The following trend was found using the most common estimators of bacterial diversity: Ct–W–Cr > P = CRP > Ct–Ct. Predominant phyla in this soil were Actinobacteria, Bacteriodetes and Fermicutes. Bacteriodetes were more predominant in soil under agricultural systems (Ct–W–Cr and Ct–Ct) compared to the same soil under non-disturbed grass systems (P and CRP). The opposite trend was found for the Actinobacteria, which were more predominant under non-disturbed grass systems (P and CRP). Higher G− bacteria and lower G+ bacteria were found under Ct–W–Cr rotation and highest abundance of actinomycetes under CRP. The bTEFAP technique proved to be a powerful method to characterize the bacterial diversity of the soil studied under different management and land use in terms not only on the presence or absence, but also in terms of distribution.
    Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 01/2008;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Soil microbial communities contain the highest level of prokaryotic diversity of any environment, and metagenomic approaches involving the extraction of DNA from soil can improve our access to these communities. Most analyses of soil biodiversity and function assume that the DNA extracted represents the microbial community in the soil, but subsequent interpretations are limited by the DNA recovered from the soil. Unfortunately, extraction methods do not provide a uniform and unbiased subsample of metagenomic DNA, and as a consequence, accurate species distributions cannot be determined. Moreover, any bias will propagate errors in estimations of overall microbial diversity and may exclude some microbial classes from study and exploitation. To improve metagenomic approaches, investigate DNA extraction biases, and provide tools for assessing the relative abundances of different groups, we explored the biodiversity of the accessible community DNA by fractioning the metagenomic DNA as a function of (i) vertical soil sampling, (ii) density gradients (cell separation), (iii) cell lysis stringency, and (iv) DNA fragment size distribution. Each fraction had a unique genetic diversity, with different predominant and rare species (based on ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis [RISA] fingerprinting and phylochips). All fractions contributed to the number of bacterial groups uncovered in the metagenome, thus increasing the DNA pool for further applications. Indeed, we were able to access a more genetically diverse proportion of the metagenome (a gain of more than 80% compared to the best single extraction method), limit the predominance of a few genomes, and increase the species richness per sequencing effort. This work stresses the difference between extracted DNA pools and the currently inaccessible complete soil metagenome.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 02/2011; 77(4):1315-24. · 3.95 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Metagenomics has accelerated the process of discovery of novel biocatalysts by enabling scientists to tap directly into the entire diversity of enzymes held within natural microbial populations. Their characterization has revealed a great deal of valuable information about enzymatic activity in terms of factors which influence their stability and activity under a wide range of conditions. Many of the biocatalysts have particular properties making them suitable for biotechnological applications. A diverse array of strategies has been developed to optimize each step of the process of generating and screening metagenomic libraries for novel biocatalysts. This review covers the diversity of metagenome-derived enzymes characterized to date, and the strategies currently being developed to optimize discovery of novel metagenomic biocatalysts.
    Journal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology 02/2009; 16(1-2):25-37. · 1.95 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 22, 2014