Metagenomic insights into soil microbial communities involved in carbon cycling along an elevation climosequences

Diversity and community composition of soil microorganisms along the elevation climosequences have been widely studied, while the microbial metabolic potential, particularly in regard to carbon (C) cycling, remains unclear. Here, a metagenomic analysis of C related genes along five elevations ranging from 767 to 4190 m at Mount Kilimanjaro was analysed to evaluate the microbial organic C transformation capacities in various ecosystems. The highest gene abundances for decomposition of moderate mineralizable compounds, i.e. carbohydrate esters, chitin and pectin were found at the mid-elevations with hump-shaped pattern, where the genes for decompositions of recalcitrant C (i.e. lignin) and easily mineralizable C (i.e. starch) showed the opposite trend (i.e. U-shaped pattern), due to high soil pH and seasonality in both low and high elevations. Notably, the gene abundances for the decompositions of starch, carbohydrate esters, chitin and lignin had positive relationships with corresponding C compounds, indicating the consistent responses of microbial functional profiles and metabolites to elevation climosequences. Understanding of adaptation of microbial communities, potential function and metabolites to elevation climosequences and their influencing factors provided a new insight for the regulation of terrestrial C storage. © 2021 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Dai Z.1, 2, 3 , Zang H.4 , Chen J. 5 , Fu Y.1, 2 , Wang X. 1, 2 , Liu H.1, 2 , Shen C.6 , Wang J. 7 , Kuzyakov Y. 8, 9, 10 , Becker J.N.11 , Hemp A.12 , Barberán A.13 , Gunina A.14 , Chen H. 15 , Luo Y.1, 2 , Xu J.1, 2, 3
Blackwell Publishing Ltd
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  • 1 Institute of Soil and Water Resources and Environmental Science, College of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou, 310058, China
  • 2 Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Agricultural Resources and Environment, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou, 310058, China
  • 3 The Rural Development Academy at Zhejiang University, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058, China
  • 4 College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, 100193, China
  • 5 Research Institute of Tropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Longdong, Guangzhou, 510520, China
  • 6 State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100085, China
  • 7 State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, 210008, China
  • 8 Department of Soil Science of Temperate Ecosystems and Department of Agricultural Soil Science, University of Gottingen, Gottingen, Germany
  • 9 Agro-Technological Institute, RUDN University, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
  • 10 Institute of Environmental Sciences, Kazan Federal University, Kazan, 420049, Russian Federation
  • 11 Department of Soil Science of Temperate Ecosystems, Georg August University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
  • 12 Department of Plant Systematics, University of Bayreuth, Universitӓtsstraße 30, Bayreuth, 95440, Germany
  • 13 Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United States
  • 14 Department of Environmental Chemistry, University of Kassel, Nordbahnhof Strasse, 1a, Witzenhausen, 37213, Germany
  • 15 Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99354, United States
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