Microbial Ecology

, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp 734–743

The Influence of Different Land Uses on the Structure of Archaeal Communities in Amazonian Anthrosols Based on 16S rRNA and amoA Genes

Soil Microbiology


Soil from the Amazonian region is usually regarded as unsuitable for agriculture because of its low organic matter content and low pH; however, this region also contains extremely rich soil, the Terra Preta Anthrosol. A diverse archaeal community usually inhabits acidic soils, such as those found in the Amazon. Therefore, we hypothesized that this community should be sensitive to changes in the environment. Here, the archaeal community composition of Terra Preta and adjacent soil was examined in four different sites in the Brazilian Amazon under different anthropic activities. The canonical correspondence analysis of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms has shown that the archaeal community structure was mostly influenced by soil attributes that differentiate the Terra Preta from the adjacent soil (i.e., pH, sulfur, and organic matter). Archaeal 16S rRNA gene clone libraries indicated that the two most abundant genera in both soils were Candidatus nitrosphaera and Canditatus nitrosocaldus. An ammonia monoxygenase gene (amoA) clone library analysis indicated that, within each site, there was no significant difference between the clone libraries of Terra Preta and adjacent soils. However, these clone libraries indicated there were significant differences between sites. Quantitative PCR has shown that Terra Preta soils subjected to agriculture displayed a higher number of amoA gene copy numbers than in adjacent soils. On the other hand, soils that were not subjected to agriculture did not display significant differences on amoA gene copy numbers between Terra Preta and adjacent soils. Taken together, our findings indicate that the overall archaeal community structure in these Amazonian soils is determined by the soil type and the current land use.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Energia Nuclear na AgriculturaUniversidade de São PauloPiracicabaBrazil

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