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Long- and short-term effects of mercury pollution on the soil microbiome

Frossard, Aline; Donhauser, Johanna; Mestrot, Adrien; Gygax, Sebastien; Bååth, Erland LU and Frey, Beat (2018) In Soil Biology and Biochemistry 120. p.191-199
Abstract

Despite the toxicity of mercury (Hg) for organisms in the environment, little is known on its impact on the soil microbiome, especially its chronic effect. Here, we assessed the effects of a long-term contamination of Hg in soils on the bacterial and fungal communities along a gradient of contamination from no to high contamination. Short-term reactions (30 days) of the microbial communities in these soils having different levels of historic Hg contamination were further evaluated in microcosm experiments where soils were either spiked with dissolved HgCl2 or not. Results show a clear impact of a long-term Hg contamination on both bacterial and fungal community structures and diversity but only a weak effect was observed on... (More)

Despite the toxicity of mercury (Hg) for organisms in the environment, little is known on its impact on the soil microbiome, especially its chronic effect. Here, we assessed the effects of a long-term contamination of Hg in soils on the bacterial and fungal communities along a gradient of contamination from no to high contamination. Short-term reactions (30 days) of the microbial communities in these soils having different levels of historic Hg contamination were further evaluated in microcosm experiments where soils were either spiked with dissolved HgCl2 or not. Results show a clear impact of a long-term Hg contamination on both bacterial and fungal community structures and diversity but only a weak effect was observed on their activities (basal respiration and growth rates). No short-term effects of Hg were observed on the microbial community structures and activities. Taxa from the Chthoniobacteraceae (bacteria) and Trichosporon sp. (fungi) were associated with high Hg contaminated soils, implying they possess capabilities to tolerate Hg in soils. Abundance of mercury reductase (merA) gene copies increased with higher Hg concentrations in soils both during short and long-term exposure to Hg pointing to potential mechanisms within microbial cells to tolerate higher amounts of Hg in soils.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Bacteria, Fungi, Mercury, Mercury reductase, Soil
in
Soil Biology and Biochemistry
volume
120
pages
9 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85042348886
ISSN
0038-0717
DOI
10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.01.028
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
cdc0b977-8a9a-4974-91a9-93d5bf8edfff
date added to LUP
2018-03-05 08:43:15
date last changed
2018-05-29 10:03:48
@article{cdc0b977-8a9a-4974-91a9-93d5bf8edfff,
  abstract     = {<p>Despite the toxicity of mercury (Hg) for organisms in the environment, little is known on its impact on the soil microbiome, especially its chronic effect. Here, we assessed the effects of a long-term contamination of Hg in soils on the bacterial and fungal communities along a gradient of contamination from no to high contamination. Short-term reactions (30 days) of the microbial communities in these soils having different levels of historic Hg contamination were further evaluated in microcosm experiments where soils were either spiked with dissolved HgCl<sub>2</sub> or not. Results show a clear impact of a long-term Hg contamination on both bacterial and fungal community structures and diversity but only a weak effect was observed on their activities (basal respiration and growth rates). No short-term effects of Hg were observed on the microbial community structures and activities. Taxa from the Chthoniobacteraceae (bacteria) and Trichosporon sp. (fungi) were associated with high Hg contaminated soils, implying they possess capabilities to tolerate Hg in soils. Abundance of mercury reductase (merA) gene copies increased with higher Hg concentrations in soils both during short and long-term exposure to Hg pointing to potential mechanisms within microbial cells to tolerate higher amounts of Hg in soils.</p>},
  author       = {Frossard, Aline and Donhauser, Johanna and Mestrot, Adrien and Gygax, Sebastien and Bååth, Erland and Frey, Beat},
  issn         = {0038-0717},
  keyword      = {Bacteria,Fungi,Mercury,Mercury reductase,Soil},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  pages        = {191--199},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Soil Biology and Biochemistry},
  title        = {Long- and short-term effects of mercury pollution on the soil microbiome},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.01.028},
  volume       = {120},
  year         = {2018},
}