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Front Microbiol. 2014 Jun 12;5:271. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00271. eCollection 2014.

Land-use influences the distribution and activity of high affinity CO-oxidizing bacteria associated to type I-coxL genotype in soil.

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1
Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique-Institut Armand-Frappier Laval, QC, Canada.

Abstract

Soil carboxydovore bacteria are the biological sink of atmospheric carbon monoxide (CO). The initial oxidation of CO is catalyzed by a CO-dehydrogenase (CODH), and the gene coxL encodes the large subunit of the enzyme. Only a few carboxydovore isolates were shown to oxidize atmospheric CO and little is known about the potential impact of global change on the ecophysiology of this functional group. The main objective of this study was to assess the impact of land-use and soil properties on coxL gene diversity and identify molecular indicators for the soil uptake of atmospheric CO. Soil samples were collected in three neighboring sites encompassing different land-use types, namely deciduous forest, larch plantation and maize field. CO uptake activity was related to total carbon and nitrogen content in soil, with the highest activity observed in deciduous forest. An extensive coxL database was assembled to optimize a PCR detection assay targeting sequences belonging to functional type I-CODH and hypothetical type II-CODH. Fully replicated coxL gene libraries unveiled a unique molecular signature in deciduous forest soil, with enrichment of type I sequences. Genetic profiles of larch and maize monocultures were not statistically different and showed higher level of coxL gene richness than deciduous forest. Soil water content and CO uptake activity explained 38% of the variation of coxL gene profiles in a canonical ordination analysis, leading to the identification of sequences belonging to the δ-Proteobacteria cluster as indicator for high affinity CO uptake activity. Enrichment of type I and δ-Proteobacteria coxL sequences in deciduous forest were confirmed by qPCR in an independent soil survey. CO uptake activity in model carboxydovore bacteria suggested that a significant fraction of detected putative high affinity CO oxidizers were active in soil. Land-use was a driving force separating coxL diversity in deciduous forest from monocultures.

KEYWORDS:

atmosphere; gas exchanges; global change; soil uptake; trace gas

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