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

Carolyn F Weber, Monica Moya Balasch, Zachary Gossage, Andrea Porras-Alfaro, Cheryl R Kuske
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2012, 78 (11): 3950-7
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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