Effects of long-term straw incorporation on lignin accumulation and its association with bacterial laccase-like genes in arable soils

  • Shuzhen Feng
  • Yirong Su
  • Xunyang He
  • Yajun Hu
  • Zhenhua Zhang
  • Hongbo He
  • Khalil Kariman
  • Jinshui Wu
  • Xiangbi ChenEmail author
Environmental biotechnology


In this study, we aimed to investigate lignin accumulation and its relationship with the composition of bacterial laccase-like genes in three arable lands (i.e., upland limestone soil (UL), upland red soil (UR), and upland-paddy rotation red soil (UPR)), which are subjected to long-term straw incorporation. After 9–13 years of straw incorporation, the lignin content significantly increased from 337.1, 414.5, and 201.6 mg/kg soil to 2096.5, 2092.4, and 1972.2 mg/kg soil in UL, UR, and UPR, respectively. The dominant lignin monomer changed from vanillyl (V)-type to cinnamyl (C)-type in UR. Both V- and C-types were the dominant monomers in UPR, and V-type monomer remained the dominant monomer in UL. Compared with the treatment without straw, straw incorporation significantly promoted the activity of laccase enzyme and the abundance of bacterial laccase-like genes in all soils. The redundancy analysis showed that the main influencing factors on lignin accumulation patterns with straw incorporation were the laccase enzyme activity, nitrogen availability, and some specific bacterial communities possessing the laccase-like genes (e.g., Thermotogae and Acidobacteria). The variation partitioning analysis confirmed that the strongest influencing factor on lignin accumulation was the composition of bacterial laccase-like genes (explained 31.4% of variance). The present study provides novel insights into the importance of bacterial laccase-like genes in shaping lignin monomer accumulation with straw incorporation in arable soils.


Lignin accumulation Bacterial laccase-like genes Straw incorporation Arable soil 



This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant numbers 41301298 and 41430860), Natural Science Foundation of Guangxi (017JJA150086y), and National Key R&D Program of China (grant numbers 2016YFD0200106 and 2016YFC0502404).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

253_2018_9563_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (394 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 394 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shuzhen Feng
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yirong Su
    • 1
    • 3
  • Xunyang He
    • 1
    • 3
  • Yajun Hu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Zhenhua Zhang
    • 4
  • Hongbo He
    • 5
  • Khalil Kariman
    • 6
  • Jinshui Wu
    • 1
  • Xiangbi Chen
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical RegionInstitute of Subtropical Agriculture, the Chinese Academy of SciencesChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Guangxi University of Science and TechnologyLiuzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Huanjiang Observation and Research Station for Karst EcosystemsHuanjiangPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Southern Regional Collaborative Innovation Center for Grain and Oil Crops in ChinaHunan Agricultural UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Key Laboratory of Terrestrial Ecological ProcessInstitute of Applied Ecology, The Chinese Academy of SciencesShenyangPeople’s Republic of China
  6. 6.School of Agriculture and EnvironmentThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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