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Phylogenetic and functional diversity of soil prokaryotic communities in temperate deciduous forests with different tree species

dc.contributor.advisorDaniel, Rolf Prof. Dr.
dc.contributor.authorDukunde, Amélie
dc.titlePhylogenetic and functional diversity of soil prokaryotic communities in temperate deciduous forests with different tree speciesde
dc.contributor.refereeDaniel, Rolf Prof. Dr.
dc.description.abstractengForest ecosystems provide an important contribution to global carbon storage through processes mediated by trees. As the dominant forest vegetation, trees largely drive primary productivity and mediate the flow of aboveground and belowground carbon stocks. Subsequently, microbial communities rely on trees to carry out important ecosystem processes, such as nutrient cycling, through the decomposition of organic matter and metabolism of root exudates (Figure 1.3, page 12). Therefore, understanding how trees shape microbial community structure can improving the ability to predict ecosystem responses to environmental disturbance. Metagenomics remains a powerful tool for describing the ecology of microbial communities as it is possible to access taxonomic and functional information at the level of individual taxa. The following thesis examined the taxonomic structure and functional potential of soil bacterial communities in a temperate deciduous forest by employing a metagenomic approach. In chapter 2, soil samples were collected from the A horizon of mono and mixed stands of beech, hornbeam, lime, and oak in spring, summer and autumn. Subsequently, amplicon-based analysis of 16S rRNA genes and transcripts revealed that the total (DNA-based) and potentially active (RNA-based) soil bacterial communities significantly responded to tree species identity (mono stands) and to a lesser extent, to tree species richness (mixed stands) (Figure 2.2, page 26). Members of Rhizobiales and Rhodospirillales (Proteobacteria), Gaiellales, Frankiales, and Solirubrobacterales (Actinobacteria) and Bacteroidetes were more abundant in nutrient-enriched lime and hornbeam mono stands. In contrast, Acidobacteriales and Solibacterales (Acidobacteria), and Xanthomonadales (Proteobacteria) exhibited a strong association for nutrient-reduced soils under beech and oak mono stands (Figure 2.4 and Figure S2.3, pages 31 and 41, respectively). Moreover, soil C/N ratio, pH and P content exhibited significant impact on soil bacterial communities and were attributed to direct and indirect effects of forest stands. Trees possess several species-dependent traits, including leaf litter quality and fine root biomass, which bring out changes in soil chemistry. Prediction of metabolic functions with Tax4Fun revealed that metabolic functions related to C fixation and degradation, and N metabolism responded significantly to seasonality, rather than tree species (Figure 2.6, page 33). Both processes were significantly abundant in spring, while C degradation gene abundances increased from summer to autumn, corresponding to periods of increased litterfall and decomposition. Forests also generate several ecosystem services that are important to society and in chapter 3, activity-based functional screening of metagenomic libraries was conducted. Short insert plasmid libraries were constructed successfully using environmental DNA derived from forest soils screened for lignocellulolytic activity (Table 3.1, page 59). Two clones, Lip3 and Lip49, exhibited lipolytic activity on nutrient agar supplemented with tributyrin. Sequence analyses showed that Lip3 and Lip49 genes share 54 % and 63 % similarity, respectively, with closely related esterase genes (Table 3.3, page 63). The results indicate that Lip 3 and Lip49 encode potentially novel lipolytic proteins. Conserved sequence blocks both genes include residues forming the catalytic triad (Ser, His and Asp) and possible oxyanion holes (Figure 3.5, page 64). Lip3 has a conserved GHSQG motif, which is commonly found in true lipases of Family I. However, Lip 49 has GFSQG motif and reveals it to belong to Family VI carboxylesterases. In chapter 4, purification and characterisation of a metagenome-derived esterase, Est06, was conducted. Est06 is a novel 31 kDa carboxylesterase from Family IV, or hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) family (Fig. 1, page 70). As all bacterial HSL esterases, Est06 showed high affinity for acyl esters with short-chain fatty acids. Est06 exhibited optimum enzymatic activity at 50 °C and pH 7 with p-nitrophenyl valerate (C5) substrate. Interestingly, Est06 retained most of its activity below 30 °C over 13 days and showed high catalytic stability between pH 5 and pH 9 (Fig. 4, page 72). This is considerably higher stability than reported for other Family IV carboxyl esterases. Additionally, Est06 was not inhibited by metal ions (Fig. 5, page 73). These properties make Est06 an desirable candidate in low temperature industrial applications, such as detergent manufacture and bioremediation. The results of this work highlight soil bacterial community responses to forest stands and provide potential tools to recover bacterial-derived biocatalysts with industrial
dc.contributor.coRefereeHoppert, Michael PD Dr.
dc.contributor.thirdRefereeCommichau, Fabian Prof. Dr.
dc.contributor.thirdRefereeHeimel, Kai Prof. Dr.
dc.contributor.thirdRefereeMeier, Ina Christin PD Dr.
dc.contributor.thirdRefereePöggeler, Stefanie Prof. Dr.
dc.subject.engsoil bacterial diversityde
dc.subject.engtree species diversityde
dc.subject.engdeciduous forestde
dc.subject.engHainich national parkde
dc.subject.eng16S rRNA analysesde
dc.subject.eng454 pyrosequencingde
dc.subject.engacid-tolerant esterasede
dc.subject.engFamily IV (HSL) esterasesde
dc.subject.engsoil bacterial association networkde
dc.subject.engsoil bacteria functional diversityde
dc.subject.engshort-insert plasmid librariesde
dc.affiliation.instituteBiologische Fakultät für Biologie und Psychologiede
dc.subject.gokfullBiologie (PPN619462639)de

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