Microbial composition, potential functional roles and genetic novelty in gypsum-rich and hypersaline soils of Monegros and Gallocanta (Spain)

Menéndez, MateuTriadó-Margarit, Xavier Castañeda del Álamo, Carmen Herrero Isern, Juan Casamayor, Emilio O. Science of the Total Environment 650 : 343-353 (2019)  DIGITAL CSIC

Soil microbial communities (both Bacteria and Archaea) were studied after 16S rRNA genes massive sequencing in two hypersaline and gypsum-rich contrasted sites located in NE Spain. Soilmicrobial communitieswere also locally analysed according to environmental variables, including geological, physico-chemical, biogeochemically, and climatic data. Typical soil characteristics, climate data, and plant composition clearly split the two sites andmajor differences among the microbial communities for the areas were initially expected. Overall, high values of microbial species richness (up to 2300 taxa) and ecological diversity was detected in both sites. High genetic novelty levels were found mostly to environmental sequences, highlighting the high potential for microbiological studies. In contrast to the initial expectations, a substantial overlapping betweenMonegros andGallocantamicrobeswas observed, indicating a high similarity despite of the geographical, botanical and environmental distances between sites, in agreement with both high dispersal and local selection inherent to the microbial world. The potential biogeochemical cycling showed small differences between sites, with presence of photosynthetic green and purple sulfur bacteria, cyanobacteria and aerobic and anaerobic chemolitotrophs. Potential for aerobic methane oxidation and anaerobic methanogenesis was observed in both sites, with predominance of potential nitrification mostly by ammonia-oxidizing archaea, nitrite oxidation and denitrification, and minor contribution for nitrate reduction and nitrate ammonification. The predicted functions based on the taxonomic composition showed high overlapping between the two studied regions, despite their difference in gypsum richness.