Improving soil bacterial taxa–area relationships assessment using DNA meta-barcoding

Abstract : The evaluation of the taxa-area relationship (TAR) with molecular fingerprinting data demonstrated the spatial structuration of soil microorganisms and provided insights into the processes shaping their diversity. The increasing use of massive sequencing technologies in biodiversity investigations has now raised the question of the advantages of such technologies over the fingerprinting approach for elucidation of the determinism of soil microbial community assembly in broad-scale biogeographic studies. Our objectives in this study were to compare DNA fingerprinting and meta-barcoding approaches for evaluating soil bacterial TAR and the determinism of soil bacterial community assembly on a broad scale. This comparison was performed on 392 soil samples from four French geographic regions with different levels of environmental heterogeneity. Both molecular approaches demonstrated a TAR with a significant slope but, because of its more sensitive description of soil bacterial community richness, meta-barcoding provided significantly higher and more accurate estimates of turnover rates. Both approaches were useful in evidencing the processes shaping bacterial diversity variations on a broad scale. When different taxonomic resolutions were considered for meta-barcoding data, they significantly influenced the estimation of turnover rates but not the relative importance of each component process. Altogether, DNA meta-barcoding provides a more accurate evaluation of the TAR and may lead to re-examination of the processes shaping soil bacterial community assembly. This should provide new insights into soil microbial ecology in the context of sustainable use of soil resources.
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Sebastien Terrat, Samuel Dequiedt, W Horrigue, Mélanie Lelievre, C. Cruaud, et al.. Improving soil bacterial taxa–area relationships assessment using DNA meta-barcoding. Heredity, Nature Publishing Group, 2015, 114 (5), pp.468 - 475. ⟨10.1038/hdy.2014.91⟩. ⟨hal-01831578⟩

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