Soil as an Extended Composite Phenotype of the Microbial Metagenome

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Neal, A. L., Bacq-Labreuil, A., Zhang, X., Clark, I. M., Coleman, K., Mooney, S. J., Ritz, K. and Crawford, J. W. 2020. Soil as an Extended Composite Phenotype of the Microbial Metagenome. Scientific Reports. 10, p. 10649. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-67631-0

AuthorsNeal, A. L., Bacq-Labreuil, A., Zhang, X., Clark, I. M., Coleman, K., Mooney, S. J., Ritz, K. and Crawford, J. W.
Abstract

We use a unique set of terrestrial experiments to demonstrate how soil management practises result in emergence of distinct associations between physical structure and biological functions. These associations have a significant effect on the flux, resilience and efficiency of nutrient delivery to plants (including water). Physical structure determining the air-water balance in soil as well as transport rates is influenced by nutrient and physical interventions. Contrasting emergent soil structures exert selective pressures upon the microbiome metagenome. These selective pressures are associated with the quality of organic carbon inputs, the prevalence of anaerobic microsites and delivery of nutrients to microorganisms attached to soil surfaces. This variety results in distinctive gene assemblages characterising each state. The nature of the interactions provide evidence that soil behaves as an extended composite phenotype of the resident microbiome, responsive to the input and turnover of plant-derived organic carbon. We provide new evidence supporting the theory that soil-microbe systems are self-organising states with organic carbon acting as a critical determining parameter. This perspective leads us to propose carbon flux, rather than soil organic carbon content as the critical factor in soil systems, and we present evidence to support this view.

Year of Publication2020
JournalScientific Reports
Journal citation10, p. 10649
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-67631-0
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Natural Environment Research Council
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 1 (WP1) - Optimising nutrient flows and pools in the soil-plant-biota system
The Rothamsted Long Term Experiments [2017-2022]
ASSIST - Achieving Sustainable Agricultural Systems
NE/N018125/1 LTS-M
Publisher's version
Accepted author manuscript
Accepted author manuscript
Supplemental file
Supplemental file
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online30 Jun 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted05 Jun 2020
Publisher
Nature Publishing Group
ISSN2045-2322

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/96wv1/soil-as-an-extended-composite-phenotype-of-the-microbial-metagenome

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