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Portrait of Tomas Johansson. Photo.

Tomas Johansson

Research engineer

Portrait of Tomas Johansson. Photo.

Archaeal abundance in relation to root and fungal exudation rates

Author

  • Anna Sterngren
  • Tomas Johansson
  • Per Bengtson

Summary, in English

Archaea are ubiquitous in forest soils, but little is known about the factors regulating their abundance and distribution. Low molecular weight organic compounds represent an important energy source for archaea in marine environments, and it is reasonable to suspect that archaeal abundance is dependent on such compounds in soils as well, represented by, for example, plant and fungal exudates. To test this hypothesis, we designed a microcosm experiment in which we grew ponderosa pine, sitka spruce, and western hemlock in forest soil. Root and mycorrhizal exudation rates were estimated in a 13C pulse-chase experiment, and the number of archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA genes was determined by qPCR. Archaeal abundance differed among plant species, and the number of archaeal 16S rRNA genes was generally lower in soil receiving high concentration of exudates. The mycorrhizal fungi of ponderosa pine seemed to favor archaea, while no such effect was found for mycorrhized sitka spruce or western hemlock. The low abundance of archaea in the proximity of roots and mycorrhiza may be a result of slow growth rates and poor competitive ability of archaea vs. bacteria and does not necessarily reflect a lack of heterotrophic abilities of the archaeal community.

Department/s

  • MEMEG
  • Microbial Ecology
  • BECC - Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate

Publishing year

2012

Language

English

Pages

305-311

Publication/Series

FEMS Microbiology Ecology

Volume

80

Issue

2

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Topic

  • Biological Sciences

Keywords

  • archaea
  • bacteria
  • mycorrhiza
  • rhizosphere
  • root exudation
  • soil

Status

Published

Research group

  • Microbial Ecology

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1574-6941