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Assessing the effect of litter species on the dynamic of bacterial and fungal communities during leaf decomposition in microcosm by molecular techniques

Assessing the effect of litter species on the dynamic of bacterial and fungal communities during leaf decomposition in microcosm by molecular techniques

Plos one 8(12): E84613

Although bacteria and fungi are well-known to be decomposers of leaf litter, few studies have examined their compositions and diversities during the decomposition process in tropical stream water. Xishuangbanna is a tropical region preserving one of the highest floristic diversity areas in China. In this study, leaf litter of four dominant plant species in Xishuangbanna was incubated in stream water for 42 days during which samples were taken regularly. Following DNA extraction, PCR-DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) and clone-sequencing analyses were performed using bacterial and fungal specific primers. Leaf species have slightly influences on bacterial community rather than fungal community. The richness and diversity of bacteria was higher than that of fungi, which increased towards the end of the 42-day-incubation. The bacterial community was initially more specific upon the type of leaves and gradually became similar at the later stage of decomposition with alpha-proteobacteria as major component. Sequences affiliated to methanotrophs were obtained that indicates potentially occurrence of methane oxidation and methanogenesis. For the fungal community, sequences affiliated to Aspergillus were predominant at the beginning and then shifted to Pleosporales. Our results suggest that the microorganisms colonizing leaf biofilm in tropical stream water were mostly generalists that could exploit the resources of leaves of various species equally well.

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Accession: 051653952

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PMID: 24367682

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084613

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