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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1999 Aug;65(8):3622-6.

Soil bacterial community shift correlated with change from forest to pasture vegetation in a tropical soil.

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Center for Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1325, USA.


The change in vegetative cover of a Hawaiian soil from forest to pasture led to significant changes in the composition of the soil bacterial community. DNAs were extracted from both soil habitats and compared for the abundance of guanine-plus-cytosine (G+C) content, by analysis of abundance of phylotypes of small-subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) amplified from fractions with 63 and 35% G+C contents, and by phylogenetic analysis of the dominant rDNA clones in the 63% G+C content fraction. All three methods showed differences between the forest and pasture habitats, providing evidence that vegetation had a strong influence on microbial community composition at three levels of taxon resolution. The forest soil DNA had a peak in G+C content of 61%, while the DNA of the pasture soil had a peak in G+C content of 67%. None of the dominant phylotypes found in the forest soil were detected in the pasture soil. For the 63% G+C fraction SSU rDNA sequence analysis of the three most dominant members revealed that their phyla changed from Fibrobacter and Syntrophomonas assemblages in the forest soil to Burkholderia and Rhizobium-Agrobacterium assemblages in the pasture soil.

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