JUL 01, 2020 12:45 PM SGT

Understanding long-term microbial community development using capillary electrophoresis



Long-term succession of microbial communities in bulk soil is ecosystem dependent. We have learnt this by studying microbial communities from different ecosystems using Sanger Sequencing of their 16S rRNA genes. In sand dunes, communities undergo continuous maintenance (overlap) accompanied by a concomitant replacement (turnover) during 77,000 years of ecosystem development or as the soil ages. While microbial diversity increases with soil developmental age during natural succession, it has a non-linear correlation with the intensity of disturbance in agricultural soils. Upon restoration of disturbed soils, transitional microbial communities are formed that differ significantly from those in disturbed and native soils. In fact, land-use history has a stronger impact on soil microbial communities than aboveground vegetation or soil properties. Further, research from glacial retreats in New Zealand suggests that succession of microbial communities is closely aligned with ecosystem development, pedogenesis and vegetative succession. We are now investigating soils from Lonar crater to understand whether this ecosystem dependence in general bulk soils is also reflected in the compaction zones at the crater.

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