Bacterial carbon use plasticity, phylogenetic diversity and the priming of soil organic matter

Ember M. Morrissey, Rebecca L. Mau, Egbert Schwartz, Theresa A. McHugh, Paul Dijkstra, Benjamin J. Koch, Jane C Marks, Bruce A Hungate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microorganisms perform most decomposition on Earth, mediating carbon (C) loss from ecosystems, and thereby influencing climate. Yet, how variation in the identity and composition of microbial communities influences ecosystem C balance is far from clear. Using quantitative stable isotope probing of DNA, we show how individual bacterial taxa influence soil C cycling following the addition of labile C (glucose). Specifically, we show that increased decomposition of soil C in response to added glucose (positive priming) occurs as a phylogenetically diverse group of taxa, accounting for a large proportion of the bacterial community, shift toward additional soil C use for growth. Our findings suggest that many microbial taxa exhibit C use plasticity, as most taxa altered their use of glucose and soil organic matter depending upon environmental conditions. In contrast, bacteria that exhibit other responses to glucose (reduced growth or reliance on glucose for additional growth) clustered strongly by phylogeny. These results suggest that positive priming is likely the prototypical response of bacteria to sustained labile C addition, consistent with the widespread occurrence of the positive priming effect in nature.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 7 April 2017; doi:10.1038/ismej.2017.43.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalISME Journal
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 7 2017

Fingerprint

plasticity
soil organic matter
glucose
Soil
Carbon
phylogenetics
Glucose
carbon
phylogeny
Ecosystem
Growth
decomposition
Bacteria
soil
bacterium
degradation
ecosystems
ecosystem
bacteria
Phylogeny

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Bacterial carbon use plasticity, phylogenetic diversity and the priming of soil organic matter. / Morrissey, Ember M.; Mau, Rebecca L.; Schwartz, Egbert; McHugh, Theresa A.; Dijkstra, Paul; Koch, Benjamin J.; Marks, Jane C; Hungate, Bruce A.

In: ISME Journal, 07.04.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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