Comparison of Soil Bacterial Communities of Pinus Patula of Nilgiris, Western Ghats With Other Biogeographically Distant Pine Forest Clone Libraries

Microb Ecol. 2013 Jul;66(1):132-44. doi: 10.1007/s00248-012-0167-y. Epub 2012 Dec 30.


The bacterial community structure of the rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere soil of Pinus patula, found in the Nilgiris region of Western Ghats, was studied by constructing 16S rRNA gene clone libraries. In the rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere soil clone libraries constructed, 13 and 15 bacterial phyla were identified, respectively. The clone libraries showed the predominance of members of culturally underrepresented phyla like Acidobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. The Alphaproteobacteria and Acidobacteria clones were predominant in rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere soil samples, respectively. In rhizosphere, amongst Alphaproteobacteria members, Bradyrhizobium formed the significant proportion, whereas in non-rhizosphere, members of subdivision-6 of phylum Acidobacteria were abundant. The diversity analysis of P. patula soil libraries showed that the phylotypes (16S rRNA gene similarity cutoff, ≥97 %) of Acidobacteria and Bacteroidetes were relatively predominant and diverse followed by Alphaproteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. The diversity indices estimated higher richness and abundance of bacteria in P. patula soil clone libraries than the pine forest clone libraries retrieved from previous studies. The tools like principal co-ordinate analysis and Jackknife cluster analysis, which were under UniFrac analysis indicated that variations in soil bacterial communities were attributed to their respective geographical locations due to the phylogenetic divergence amongst the clone libraries. Overall, the P. patula rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere clone libraries were found significantly unique in composition, evenly distributed and highly rich in phylotypes, amongst the biogeographically distant clone libraries. It was finally hypothesised that the phylogenetic divergence amongst the bacterial phylotypes and natural selection plays a pivotal role in the variations of bacterial communities across the geographical distance.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Biodiversity
  • Gene Library
  • India
  • Phylogeny
  • Pinus / microbiology*
  • Soil Microbiology*
  • Trees / microbiology*