A novel baiting microcosm approach used to identify the bacterial community associated with Penicillium bilaii hyphae in soil

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It is important to identify and recover bacteria associating with fungi under natural soil conditions to enable eco-physiological studies, and to facilitate the use of bacterial-fungal consortia in environmental biotechnology. We have developed a novel type of baiting microcosm, where fungal hyphae interact with bacteria under close-to-natural soil conditions; an advantage compared to model systems that determine fungal influences on bacterial communities in laboratory media. In the current approach, the hyphae are placed on a solid support, which enables the recovery of hyphae with associated bacteria in contrast to model systems that compare bulk soil and mycosphere soil. We used the baiting microcosm approach to determine, for the first time, the composition of the bacterial community associating in the soil with hyphae of the phosphate-solubilizer, Penicillium bilaii. By applying a cultivation-independent 16S rRNA gene-targeted amplicon sequencing approach, we found a hypha-associated bacterial community with low diversity compared to the bulk soil community and exhibiting massive dominance of Burkholderia OTUs. Burkholderia is known be abundant in soil environments affected by fungi, but the discovery of this massive dominance among bacteria firmly associating with hyphae in soil is novel and made possible by the current bait approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0187116
Issue number10
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2017

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