Autochthonous microbial community associated with pine needle forest litterfall influences its degradation under natural environmental conditions
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The slow natural degradation of chir pine (Pinus roxburghii) needle litterfall and its accumulation on forest floors have been attributed to its lignocellulosic complexities of the biomass. The present study offers a microbiological insight into the role of autochthonous microflora associated with pine needle litterfall in its natural degradation. The denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting indicated actinomycetes (Saccharomonospora sp., Glycomyces sp., Agrococcus sp., Leifsonia sp., Blastocatella sp., and Microbacterium sp.) as a dominant microbial community associated with pine needle litterfall with the absence of fungal decomposers. On exclusion of associated autochthonous microflora from pine litterfall resulted in colonization by decomposer fungi identified as Penicillium chrysogenum and Aspergillus sp., which otherwise failed to colonize the litterfall under natural conditions. The results, therefore, indicated that the autochthonous microbial community of pine needle litterfall (dominated by actinomycetes) obstructs the colonization of litter-degrading fungi and subsequently hinders the overall process of natural degradation of litterfall.
KeywordsPine needle litterfall Autochthonous microbial community Actinomycetes
The research is funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, for Indo-Russian collaborative project “Elucidating the linkage between key limiting processes and microorganisms during anaerobic degradation of lignocellulosic waste” INT/RUS/RFBR/P-175.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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