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    Home > Biochemistry News > Biotechnology News >  Researcher Li Xiangzhen's team from Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences reveals life history strategies of grassland soil microbial community to adapt to drought

     Researcher Li Xiangzhen's team from Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences reveals life history strategies of grassland soil microbial community to adapt to drought

    • Last Update: 2022-05-20
    • Source: Internet
    • Author: User
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     Arid and semi-arid ecosystems cover about 41% of the global land area and are mainly characterized by prolonged droughts and pulsed rainfall
    .
    Soil microbial communities are able to adapt to these stresses by adapting their life history strategies, manifested by changes in metabolic levels or trade-offs of physiological / genetic characteristics (investment in one life history strategy will reduce investment in other life history strategies)
    .
    Microbes perform different adaptation strategies under different habitat conditions, namely: optimal life history strategies
    .
    At the community level, optimal life history strategies in a habitat can be used to link soil microbial processes (eg, extracellular enzyme secretion, biomass accumulation, and stress tolerance) to ecosystem carbon flows
    .
    Therefore, changes or trade-offs of traits associated with life history strategies across the drought gradient can be used to dissect the ecological adaptation of soil microbial communities to drought
    .
    In turn, the adaptation of microorganisms to habitat by adjusting life history strategies also determines the ecological functions performed by a community, such as: Microbes investing more resources in survival-related traits will invest less in nutrient cycling and biomass accumulation-related traits.

    .
    However, how adjustments at the level of life history strategies drive ecological adaptation at the level of soil microbial communities in dry grassland ecosystems is not fully understood
    .
     

     According to the previously proposed YAS life history strategy framework, microbial life history strategies are divided into the following three categories: 

     1) Y strategy ( Growth yield strategy ): This type of microorganism can achieve high biomass accumulation by enhancing central metabolism and biosynthesis
    .
     

     2) A strategy (resource acquisition strategy, Resource acquisition strategy ): This type of microorganism can enhance its resource acquisition ability by improving cell movement, competition, and substrate transport and utilization capabilities
    .
    For example: A strategy microbial group can enhance its ability to secrete extracellular enzymes and actively hydrolyze extracellular polymers to obtain nutrients
    .
     

     3) S strategy ( Stress tolerance strategy ): This type of microorganism can maximize its stress tolerance by reducing investment in other metabolic pathways (eg: DNA damage repair, osmotic protection, drought and salt stress) adaptation and maintenance of cellular and genomic integrity)
    .
     

     Microbiomes are characterized by one or several life history strategies
    .
    As aridity changes, microbial community investments in different life history strategies have tradeoff characteristics .

    For the YAS model, the specific performance is that if you invest more in the Y strategy, you will reduce the investment in the A and S strategies; if you invest more in the A strategy, you will reduce the investment in the Y and S strategies; if you invest more in the S strategy, you will reduce the investment in the Y strategy.
    and A strategy investment .
    There is currently insufficient data to demonstrate the applicability of the YAS life history strategy framework, and it is difficult to directly apply the framework to arid ecosystems .
    The main reasons are:

     

     1) The YAS life history strategy framework holds that strategy Y is dominant in a stress-free and resource-rich environment, while strategy A is dominant in a stress-free and resource-poor environment, and the transition between strategy Y and strategy A is regulated by resource availability .
    However, in arid ecosystems, low resource availability is often coupled with strong stress, and even the least arid soils are hardly representative of a less-stressed and resource-rich theoretical environment .


     

     2) Previous studies have shown that DNA metabolism-related traits are relatively enriched in drier soils, which may be a stress tolerance strategy exhibited by soil microbes to maintain genome integrity, or by soil microbes in arid environments.
    The need for rapid response to resource availability caused by pulsed precipitation
    .
    The former can be classified as S strategy, while the latter is difficult to be classified as Y strategy
    .
    This is because a major feature of the Y strategy is the accumulation of biomass, and numerous previous studies have shown that microbial biomass in drier soils is lower than in moist soils
    .
     

     Researchers from researcher Li Xiangzhen's team at the Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences collected 90 topsoil samples along the hydrothermal gradient in the Inner Mongolia steppe and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
    From the perspective of microbial processes, the response patterns and adaptive mechanisms of soil microbial communities in grassland ecosystems to drought in terms of life history strategies were revealed
    .
    In this study, the researchers proposed a new microbial life history strategy: Cellular and high growth potential maintenance strategy ( P strategy for short )
    .
    The P strategy reflects the rapid response of soil microbial communities to transient resource availability by maintaining a high growth potential
    .
    Although the genetic basis of the P strategy is not fully understood, genes related to core metabolic pathways and the synthesis of some important metabolites may be required for the implementation of the P strategy, and microorganisms must invest more in these areas to achieve resource Respond quickly when available, completing their life history
    .
    Based on the YASP life history strategy framework, this study found that both the Y strategy and the A strategy were dominant in relatively moist soils and did not exhibit trade-off characteristics on the drought gradient
    .
    Given that the shift between strategy Y and strategy A is mainly controlled by resource availability, the researchers propose a "? “ Acquiring-expanding ” model
    .
    That is, in the case of limited resources, soil microorganisms acquire more nutrients by strengthening the A strategy ( acquiring scenario), and then satisfy the realization of Y strategy ( expanding scenario) .
    Both the P strategy and the S strategy are in the Predominant in relatively dry soils, you can use " ? Tolerating-reviving ” model to explain this result: when microorganisms face stronger stress, they tolerate the stress through the S strategy (tolerating scenario ), and when resources become available, the microorganism responds rapidly to water and nutrient availability through the P strategy ( reviving scenario ) scene) .
    On the two transects with large differences in climatic conditions, the functional features related to the Y and A strategies were weakened with increasing drought; the functional features related to the P and S strategies were enriched with increasing drought.



    .
    These results suggest that microorganisms in dry soils may have strong stress tolerance and rapid response to resource pulses, while microorganisms in relatively moist soils have strong resource acquisition and biomass accumulation capabilities, and this life cycle The adjustment at the strategic level may be a general ecological strategy for soil microorganisms to adapt to drought in grassland ecosystems
    .
    The results of this study lay the foundation for classifying complex microbial communities into ecological groups based on genetic characteristics and inferring the adaptive mechanisms of microbial communities to climate change
    .
     

      Figure 1 KEGG metabolic pathway ( FDR < 0.
    05 ) ( a ) and marker genes ( |ρ AI | ≥ 0.
    85, FDR < 0.
    001 ) ( b ) enriched and attenuated with increasing drought .
    The histogram in panel (a) represents the absolute value of the Pearson correlation coefficient between the relative abundance of KO and the aridity index .
    IMS: Inner Mongolia steppe; QTP: Qinghai- Tibet Plateau; P: cell and high growth potential maintenance strategy; A: resource acquisition strategy ; S: stress tolerance strategy .
    The metabolic pathways and indicator genes that characterize the Y strategy are unclear .




     

      Figure 2 Variation in soil microbial life history strategies in grassland ecosystems
    .
    Figure ( a ) shows the change pattern of microbial life history strategy with increasing drought and the typical characteristics that characterize the life history strategy; picture ( b ) shows the change pattern of soil microbial community with increasing drought; picture ( c ) shows soil microorganisms on the drought gradient Concept map of ecological adaptation of the community
    .
    Y : Growth yield strategy; P: Cell and high growth potential maintenance strategy ; A: Resource acquisition strategy ; S: Stress tolerance strategy
    .
     

     

     The research results were published in the journal Molecular Ecology under the title "The adjustment of life history strategies drives the ecological adaptations of soil microbiota to aridity" .
    Li Chaonan, a postdoctoral fellow at the Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, is the first author of the paper, and researcher Li Xiangzhen from the Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences and He Nianpeng, a researcher from the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, are the corresponding authors of the paper .
    This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( ? U20A2008 , 32071548 ) and the Second Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Scientific Expedition Research Program ( ? 2019QZKK0302 , 2019QZKK0606 ) .



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