Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Forming an Amazon Rainforest Microbial Observatory

16.07.2009
The Amazon rainforest may be the largest reservoir of soil microbes on Earth, yet researchers acknowledge that many of these organisms are almost unknown to science, according to University of Massachusetts Amherst microbiologist Klaus Nüsslein. What is clear, he adds, is that the area is under great threat from modern agricultural practices and now is the time to identify, collect and preserve microbe-rich soils before it’s too late.

To accomplish this, UMass Amherst’s Nüsslein, with colleagues from the universities of Texas, Oregon, Michigan State and the University of Sao Paolo recently launched a microbial observatory project to catalog microbial diversity and study effects of local agricultural practices in Brazil’s Rondonia region. The work is funded by an $800,000 four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In addition to serving as a repository for soils in which as many as 38,000 microbial species may be present in one cubic centimeter, the observatory will catalog the baseline bacterial diversity in three target habitats: pristine rainforest, burned-and-cleared grazing areas, and second-growth rainforest at different time stages, Nüsslein says.

After months of planning, Nüsslein and colleagues began the observatory with the first collecting trip to Rondonia at the end of the recent rainy season. They took a total 450 cores from the top 4 inches (10 cm) of soil in a grid pattern at several locations in each of the three habitat types. Because soils were collected from second-growth forests known to have been cut in 1911, 1972, 1987 and 2001, the microbiologist adds, experiments will be able to assess the rainforest soils’ ability to recover from clearing and burning over time.

The Amazon region is greatly threatened by habitat loss from ranching, where old-growth rainforest is routinely cleared and replaced by a monoculture of African grass for cattle grazing, Nüsslein points out. An estimated 17 percent of the original habitat is already gone. And despite years of research on Amazonian plants and animals, the soil microbial ecosystem underfoot is among the least understood, the microbiologist adds. Thus, a conservatory where samples will be available to other investigators worldwide, plus focused experiments to answer soil ecology questions is needed.

Specifically, Nüsslein and colleagues plan to use three measures of genomic variability and biodiversity in two marker species, the so-called “universalist” Burkholderia and the slow growing Acidobacteria, which have different physiological strategies and thus represent different ecological niches. The researchers will use high-throughput genome sequencing to assess 400,000 ribosomal RNA marker genes at the same time, as well as gene chip arrays to evaluate the status and spatial patterns of known functional genes in these two bacteria genera from each of the three different habitats and across time.

Burkholderia is known as a “DNA hog,” according to Nüsslein, because like “the Borg” from Star Trek, upon meeting a new organic compound, it incorporates new DNA. It can thus live on numerous different food sources or acquire antibiotic resistance, for example. For the microbial observatory, it is useful as a marker of diversity because it retains a record of these encounters in its own DNA.

“We’ll assess the genomic variability of Burkholderia species as one measure of diversity, and follow the shift in Burkholderia diversity from native rainforest via the impact of deforestation to agricultural monoculture,” the microbiologist notes.

By contrast, Acidobacteria are “fastidious” eaters. By surveying their numbers in soil samples, the researchers can assess a different ecozone. Preliminary results are expected in the spring of 2010, when the team heads out to sample again.

One other factor adds to the depth of information to be collected for the microbial observatory: Chemists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution funded by the National Science Foundation have for many years studied greenhouse gases in this same Rondonia region in Amazonia. “This will make multiple layers of climate and other ecological data, along with our microbial inventory, available for study,” says Nüsslein. “Altogether we are creating an unusually rich repository of soil ecological information for future research use.”

Klaus Nüsslein
413-545-1356
nusslein@microbio.umass.edu

Klaus Nüsslein | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.umass.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fliegende Intensivstationen: Ultraschallgeräte in Rettungshubschraubern können Leben retten

Etwa 21 Millionen Menschen treffen jährlich in deutschen Notaufnahmen ein. Im Kampf zwischen Leben und Tod zählt für diese Patienten jede Minute. Wenn sie schon kurz nach dem Unfall zielgerichtet behandelt werden können, verbessern sich ihre Überlebenschancen erheblich. Damit Notfallmediziner in solchen Fällen schnell die richtige Diagnose stellen können, kommen in den Rettungshubschraubern der DRF Luftrettung und zunehmend auch in Notarzteinsatzfahrzeugen mobile Ultraschallgeräte zum Einsatz. Experten der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Ultraschall in der Medizin e.V. (DEGUM) schulen die Notärzte und Rettungsassistenten.

Mit mobilen Ultraschallgeräten können Notärzte beispielsweise innere Blutungen direkt am Unfallort identifizieren und sie bei Bedarf auch für Untersuchungen im...

Im Focus: Gigantische Magnetfelder im Universum

Astronomen aus Bonn und Tautenburg in Thüringen beobachteten mit dem 100-m-Radioteleskop Effelsberg Galaxienhaufen, das sind Ansammlungen von Sternsystemen, heißem Gas und geladenen Teilchen. An den Rändern dieser Galaxienhaufen fanden sie außergewöhnlich geordnete Magnetfelder, die sich über viele Millionen Lichtjahre erstrecken. Sie stellen die größten bekannten Magnetfelder im Universum dar.

Die Ergebnisse werden am 22. März in der Fachzeitschrift „Astronomy & Astrophysics“ veröffentlicht.

Galaxienhaufen sind die größten gravitativ gebundenen Strukturen im Universum, mit einer Ausdehnung von etwa zehn Millionen Lichtjahren. Im Vergleich dazu ist...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Auf der Spur des linearen Ubiquitins

Eine neue Methode ermöglicht es, den Geheimcode linearer Ubiquitin-Ketten zu entschlüsseln. Forscher der Goethe-Universität berichten darüber in der aktuellen Ausgabe von "nature methods", zusammen mit Partnern der Universität Tübingen, der Queen Mary University und des Francis Crick Institute in London.

Ubiquitin ist ein kleines Molekül, das im Körper an andere Proteine angehängt wird und so deren Funktion kontrollieren und verändern kann. Die Anheftung...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Lebenswichtige Lebensmittelchemie

23.03.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Die „Panama Papers“ aus Programmierersicht

22.03.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Über Raum, Zeit und Materie

22.03.2017 | Veranstaltungen

 
VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Besser lernen dank Zink?

23.03.2017 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Lebenswichtige Lebensmittelchemie

23.03.2017 | Veranstaltungsnachrichten

Innenraum-Ortung für dynamische Umgebungen

23.03.2017 | Architektur Bauwesen