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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 933; doi:10.3390/ijms17060933

Resilience of Soil Microbial Communities to Metals and Additional Stressors: DNA-Based Approaches for Assessing “Stress-on-Stress” Responses

1
Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique-Institut Armand-Frappier, 531 Boulevard des Prairies, Laval, H7V 1B7 QC, Canada
2
Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Krakow, Poland
3
Department of Ecological Science, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, de Boelelaan 1085, 1081HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
4
Department of Molecular Cell Physiology, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, de Boelelaan 1085, 1081HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Patrick C. Y. Woo
Received: 13 March 2016 / Revised: 17 May 2016 / Accepted: 6 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Genomics and Metabolomics)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [694 KB, uploaded 14 June 2016]   |  

Abstract

Many microbial ecology studies have demonstrated profound changes in community composition caused by environmental pollution, as well as adaptation processes allowing survival of microbes in polluted ecosystems. Soil microbial communities in polluted areas with a long-term history of contamination have been shown to maintain their function by developing metal-tolerance mechanisms. In the present work, we review recent experiments, with specific emphasis on studies that have been conducted in polluted areas with a long-term history of contamination that also applied DNA-based approaches. We evaluate how the “costs” of adaptation to metals affect the responses of metal-tolerant communities to other stress factors (“stress-on-stress”). We discuss recent studies on the stability of microbial communities, in terms of resistance and resilience to additional stressors, focusing on metal pollution as the initial stress, and discuss possible factors influencing the functional and structural stability of microbial communities towards secondary stressors. There is increasing evidence that the history of environmental conditions and disturbance regimes play central roles in responses of microbial communities towards secondary stressors. View Full-Text
Keywords: resilience; metal pollution; microbial communities; secondary stressors; resistance; microbial stability resilience; metal pollution; microbial communities; secondary stressors; resistance; microbial stability
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Azarbad, H.; van Gestel, C.A.M.; Niklińska, M.; Laskowski, R.; Röling, W.F.M.; van Straalen, N.M. Resilience of Soil Microbial Communities to Metals and Additional Stressors: DNA-Based Approaches for Assessing “Stress-on-Stress” Responses. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 933.

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