Embracing the unknown: disentangling the complexities of the soil microbiome View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

2017-08-21

AUTHORS

Noah Fierer

ABSTRACT

Key PointsSoils can contain large amounts of microbial biomass, including fungi, protists, viruses, bacteria and archaea. Most of these taxa currently remain undescribed, and have physiological and ecological attributes that are unknown.Soil microbial communities are highly diverse, in part because soil environmental conditions are so heterogeneous. In a single soil there is a wide range of distinct microbial habitats that contain unique microbial assemblages.Spatial variability in the structure of soil microbial communities is typically larger than the temporal variability. The composition of soil bacterial communities and the abundances of specific taxa are often predictable from soil and site characteristics, including soil pH, climate and organic carbon availability.Plants can clearly have important direct or indirect effects on soil microbial communities and vice versa. However, the effects of plant species on microbial taxa are often difficult to predict a priori owing, in part, to plant associations with soil microorganisms being highly context-dependent.Linking specific soil microbial processes to specific microbial taxa remains difficult. One way to tackle this problem is to use genomic data to group microbial taxa according to shared similar life-history strategies and functional attributes.Given recent methodological and conceptual advances, the field is poised to rapidly advance our understanding of the soil microbiome. Promising future research directions include cultivation-based analyses of soil microbial taxa, studies of soil viruses and investigations into the importance of horizontal gene transfer in shaping the soil microbiome. More... »

PAGES

579-590

References to SciGraph publications

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    http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1038/nrmicro.2017.87

    DOI

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    DIMENSIONS

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    PUBMED

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