Selection, Succession, and Stabilization of Soil Microbial Consortia

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Soil microorganisms play fundamental roles in cycling of soil carbon, nitrogen, and other nutrients, yet we have a poor understanding of how soil microbiomes are shaped by their nutritional and physical environment. In this study, we investigated the successional dynamics of a soil microbiome during 21 weeks of enrichment on chitin and its monomer, N-acetylglucosamine. We examined succession of the soil communities in a physically heterogeneous soil matrix as well as a homogeneous liquid medium. The guiding hypothesis was that the initial species richness would influence the tendency for the selected consortia to stabilize and maintain a relatively constant community structure over time. We also hypothesized that long-term, substrate-driven growth would result in consortia with reduced species richness compared to the parent microbiome and that this process would be deterministic with relatively little variation between replicates. We found that the initial species richness does influence the long-term community stability in both liquid media and soil and that lower initial richness results in a more rapid convergence to stability. Despite use of the same soil inoculum and access to the same major substrate, the resulting community composition differed greatly in soil from that in liquid medium. Hence, distinct selective pressures in soils relative to homogenous liquid media exist and can control community succession dynamics. This difference is likely related to the fact that soil microbiomes are more likely to thrive, with fewer compositional changes, in a soil matrix than in liquid environments.

 

Projects (1)

The Phenotypic Response of the Soil Microbiome to Environmental Perturbations Project (Soil Microbiome SFA) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a Genomic Sciences Program Science Focus Area (SFA) Project operating under the Environmental Microbiome Science Research Area. The Soil Microbiome...

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People (11)

Washington State University Distinguished Graduate Research Program Program: Chemical Engineering WSU-PNNL Advisor: Aaron Wright

Colin works in microbial ecology, focusing on informatics and visualization. Education: BS - Biology and Informatics - Juniata College

PNNL Publications 2020 Ogden A.J., T.W. Wietsma, T.E. Winkler, Y. Farris, G.L. Myers, and A. Ahkami. 2020. "Dynamics of Global Gene Expression and Regulatory Elements in Growing Brachypodium Root System." Scientific Reports 10. PNNL-SA-145907. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-63224-z 2019 Boiteau R.M., S.J...

Publications: 2018 Stegen JC, TC Johnson, JK Fredrickson, MJ Wilkins, AE Konopka, WC Nelson, EV Arntzen, WB Chrisler, RK Chu, SJ Fansler, EB Graham, DW Kennedy, CT Resch, MM Tfaily, and JM Zachara. 2018. "Influences of organic carbon speciation on hyporheic corridor biogeochemistry and microbial...

As Integrative Research Scientist, Dr. Hofmockel develops the overall science and technology strategy for EMSL in collaboration with the Deputy Directors. Responsible for EMSL’s Strategic Science Area in collaboration with the Deputy Directors. Is the interface with BER and the user community for...

Janet Jansson is Chief Scientist for Biology in the Biological Sciences Division and a Laboratory Fellow at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Jansson has more than 30 years of experience in microbial ecology. Jansson earned an M.S.in Soil Microbiology at Colorado State University...

Aaron Wright leads the Chemical Biology & Exposure Sciences Group in the Biological Sciences Division at PNNL. His highly collaborative and diverse chemical biology research team is focused on gaining an improved functional and mechanistic understanding of biological processes including: (a)...

Earth Scientist Emily Graham is an quantitative ecosystem ecologist in the Biological Sciences Group at PNNL and is part of the Ecosystem Science Team. She is co-principal investigator of the Subsurface Biogeochemical Research Science Focus Area (SFA) and a key member of PNNL’s soil microbiome SFA...

Education: University of California-Berkeley, PhD Plant Biology University of California-Davis, BS Plant Biology Publications: 2020 Naylor D.T., S.J. Fansler, C.J. Brislawn, W.C. Nelson, K.S. Hofmockel, J.K. Jansson, and R.S. McClure. 2020. "Deconstructing the Soil Microbiome into Reduced-Complexity...

Publications: 2018 Khan NE, Y Maezato, RS McClure, CJ Brislawn, JM Mobberley, NG Isern, WB Chrisler, LM Markillie, BM Barney, HS Song, WC Nelson, and HC Bernstein. 2018. "Phenotypic responses to interspecies competition and commensalism in a naturally-derived microbial co-culture." Scientific...

Dr. Bernstein is an Associate Professor in UiT's Arctic Centre for Sustainable Energy (ARC). He specializes in genome-enabled bioengineering with microbes and microbial communities. His research is at the juxtaposition of biotechnology and microbial ecology as applied to the fields of sustainable...