Seasonal variation in nifH abundance and expression of cyanobacterial communities associated with boreal feather mosses
Number of Authors: 6
2016 (English)In: The ISME Journal, ISSN 1751-7362, E-ISSN 1751-7370, Vol. 10, no 9, 2198-2208 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Dinitrogen (N-2)-fixation by cyanobacteria living in symbiosis with pleurocarpous feather mosses (for example, Pleurozium schreberi and Hylocomium splendens) represents the main pathway of biological N input into N-depleted boreal forests. Little is known about the role of the cyanobacterial community in contributing to the observed temporal variability of N-2-fixation. Using specific nifH primers targeting four major cyanobacterial clusters and quantitative PCR, we investigated how community composition, abundance and nifH expression varied by moss species and over the growing seasons. We evaluated N-2-fixation rates across nine forest sites in June and September and explored the abundance and nifH expression of individual cyanobacterial clusters when N-2-fixation is highest. Our results showed temporal and host-dependent variations of cyanobacterial community composition, nifH gene abundance and expression. N2-fixation was higher in September than June for both moss species, explained by higher nifH gene expression of individual clusters rather than higher nifH gene abundance or differences in cyanobacterial community composition. In most cases, 'Stigonema cluster' made up less than 29% of the total cyanobacterial community, but accounted for the majority of nifH gene expression (82-94% of total nifH expression), irrespective of sampling date or moss species. Stepwise multiple regressions showed temporal variations in N-2-fixation being greatly explained by variations in nifH expression of the 'Stigonema cluster'. These results suggest that Stigonema is potentially the most influential N-2-fixer in symbiosis with boreal forest feather mosses.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 10, no 9, 2198-2208 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-135965DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2016.17ISI: 000386664600011PubMedID: 26918665OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-135965DiVA: diva2:1050672