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Primary succession of soil Crenarchaeota across a receding glacier foreland

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor T. Martin Embley FMedSci FRS


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The development of soil archaeal community structures in relation to primary succession in bulk and rhizosphere soil was examined across the forefield of the receding Rotmoosferner glacier in Austria. Using cloning and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) products of extracted 16S rRNA, archaeal community structure was compared over a chronosequence representing approximately 150 years of soil development and to reference sites outside the glacier forefield, representing soil exposed for approximately 9500 years. Archaeal community composition was found to be dominated by members of the non-thermophilic or Group 1 Crenarchaeota, where a dramatic yet highly structured successional sequence was observed. Succession over the 150 years sequence could be identified as occurring in three stages, each of which had a phylogenetically distinct 1.1 b crenarchaea community with those organisms present in pioneering and intermediate stages belonging to a lineage distinct from those in developed soils. Climax communities also contained organisms belonging to three other major non-thermophilic crenarchaeal lineages. Comparison of archaeal communities in the rhizosphere indicated that plant species composition was not the major driver of specific crenarchaeal populations. These results indicate the potential role of soil crenarchaea in the development of soil substrates, as well as ecological diversity within and between major Group 1 lineages. © 2005 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nicol GW, Tscherko D, Embley TM, Prosser JI

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Microbiology

Year: 2005

Volume: 7

Issue: 3

Pages: 337-347

Print publication date: 01/03/2005

ISSN (print): 1462-2912

ISSN (electronic): 1462-2920

Publisher: Wiley


DOI: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2005.00698.x

PubMed id: 15683394


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