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Article Dans Une Revue Microbiome Année : 2023

Stable functional structure despite high taxonomic variability across fungal communities in soils of old-growth montane forests

Résumé

Background: Major advances over the past decade in molecular ecology are providing access to soil fungal diversity in forest ecosystems worldwide, but the diverse functions and metabolic capabilities of this microbial community remain largely elusive. We conducted a field survey in montane old-growth broadleaved and conifer forests, to investigate the relationship between soil fungal diversity and functional genetic traits. To assess the extent to which variation in community composition was associated with dominant tree species (oak, spruce, and fir) and environmental variations in the old-growth forests in the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Yunnan Province, we applied rDNA metabarcoding. We also assessed fungal gene expression in soil using mRNA sequencing and specifically assessed the expression of genes related to organic matter decomposition and nutrient acquisition in ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic fungi. Results Our taxonomic profiling revealed striking shifts in the composition of the saprotrophic and ectomycorrhizal guilds among the oak-, fir-, and spruce-dominated forests. The core fungal microbiome comprised only ~ 20% of the total OTUs across all soil samples, although the overlap between conifer-associated communities was substantial. In contrast, seasonality and soil layer explained only a small proportion of the variation in community structure. However, despite their highly variable taxonomic composition, fungal guilds exhibited remarkably similar functional traits for growth-related and core metabolic pathways across forest associations, suggesting ecological redundancy. However, we found that the expression profiles of genes related to polysaccharide and protein degradation and nutrient transport notably varied between and within the fungal guilds, suggesting niche adaptation. Conclusions Overall, our metatranscriptomic analyses revealed the functional potential of soil fungal communities in montane old-growth forests, including a suite of specialized genes and taxa involved in organic matter decomposition. By linking genes to ecological traits, this study provides insights into fungal adaptation strategies to biotic and environmental factors, and sheds light on the importance of understanding functional gene expression patterns in predicting ecosystem functioning.
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Origine : Publication financée par une institution
licence : CC BY - Paternité

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hal-04225226 , version 1 (02-10-2023)

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Qingchao Zeng, Annie Lebreton, Lucas Auer, Xiaowu Man, Liukun Jia, et al.. Stable functional structure despite high taxonomic variability across fungal communities in soils of old-growth montane forests. Microbiome, 2023, 11 (1), pp.217. ⟨10.1186/s40168-023-01650-7⟩. ⟨hal-04225226⟩
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