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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00352

Macro and Microelements Drive Diversity and Composition of Prokaryotic and Fungal Communities in Hypersaline Sediments and Saline-Alkaline Soils

  • 1School of Biological Science and Engineering, Shaanxi University of Technology, China
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology (CAS), China
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol and Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, School of life Sciences -Sun yat-sen University, China
  • 4Environmental Microbiome Research Center and School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, China
  • 5School of Minerals Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University, China

Understanding the effects of environmental factors on microbial communities is critical for microbial ecology, but it remains challenging. In this study, we examined the diversity (alpha diversity) and community compositions (beta diversity) of prokaryotes and fungi in hypersaline sediments and salinized soils from northern China. Environmental variables were highly correlated, but they differed significantly between the sediments and saline soils. The compositions of prokaryotic and fungal communities in the hypersaline sediments were different from those in adjacent saline-alkaline soils, indicating a habitat-specific microbial distribution pattern. The macroelements (S, P, K, Mg and Fe) and Ca were respectively correlated closely with the alpha diversity of prokaryotes and fungi, while the macronutrients (e.g., Na, S, P and Ca) were correlated with the prokaryotic and fungal beta-diversity (P ≤ 0.05). And, the nine microelements (e.g., Al, Ba, Co, Hg and Mn) and micronutrients (Ba, Cd and Sr) individually shaped the alpha diversity of prokaryotes and fungi, while the six microelements (e.g., As, Ba, Cr and Ge) and only the trace elements (Cr and Cu) respectively influenced the beta diversity of prokaryotes and fungi (P < 0.05). Variation-partitioning analysis (VPA) showed that environmental variables jointly explained 55.49% and 32.27% of the total variation for the prokaryotic and fungal communities respectively. Together, our findings demonstrate that the diversity and community composition of the prokaryotes and fungi were driven by different macro and microelements in saline habitats, and that geochemical elements could more widely regulate the diversity and community composition of prokaryotes than these of fungi.

Keywords: Prokaryotic and fungal community, soils and saline sediments, Macroelement, Microelement, high-throughput sequencing, Variance partitioning analysis

Received: 03 Dec 2017; Accepted: 14 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Nils-Kaare Birkeland, University of Bergen, Norway

Reviewed by:

James A. Coker, University of Maryland University College, United States
Juan M. Gonzalez, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Spain
Jian Yang, China University of Geosciences Wuhan, China  

Copyright: © 2018 Kai-Hui, Xiaowei, Xiaofei, Jianjun, Wenjun, Qingyun and Zhenghua. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Liu Kai-Hui, Shaanxi University of Technology, School of Biological Science and Engineering, Hanzhong, China, kaihhui168@hotmail.com