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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Jun;78(11):3950-7. doi: 10.1128/AEM.08018-11. Epub 2012 Mar 30.

Soil fungal cellobiohydrolase I gene (cbhI) composition and expression in a loblolly pine plantation under conditions of elevated atmospheric CO2 and nitrogen fertilization.

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Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, USA.


The simultaneous increase of atmospheric CO(2) and nitrogen (N) deposition to terrestrial ecosystems is predicted to alter plant productivity and, consequently, to change the amount and quality of above- and belowground carbon entering forest soils. It is not known how such changes will impact the composition and function of soil fungal communities that play a key role in degrading complex carbon. We sequenced the fungal cellobiohydrolase I gene (cbhI) from soil DNA and cDNA to compare the richness and composition of resident and expressed cbhI genes at a U.S. Department of Energy free air-carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE) site (NC), which had been exposed to elevated atmospheric CO(2) and/or N fertilization treatment for several years. Our results provide evidence that the richness and composition of the cellulolytic fungi surveyed in this study were distinct in the DNA- and cDNA-based gene surveys and were dominated by Basidiomycota that have low or no representation in public databases. The surveys did not detect differences in richness or phylum-level composition of cbhI-containing, cellulolytic fungi that correlated with elevated CO(2) or N fertilization at the time of sampling.

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