Next Article in Journal
Morphological and Molecular Characterization of Five Species Including Three New Species of Golden Gorgonians (Cnidaria: Octocorallia) from Seamounts in the Western Pacific
Previous Article in Journal
Quercetin: A Bioactive Compound Imparting Cardiovascular and Neuroprotective Benefits: Scope for Exploring Fresh Produce, Their Wastes, and By-Products
Previous Article in Special Issue
Evaluation of Sown Cover Crops and Spontaneous Weed Flora as a Potential Reservoir of Black-Foot Pathogens in Organic Viticulture
Article

Combined Effect of Laboratory-Simulated Fire and Chromium Pollution on Microbial Communities in an Agricultural Soil

1
Dipartimento di Scienze del Suolo della Pianta e degli Alimenti (Di.S.S.P.A), Università degli studi di Bari “Aldo Moro”, Via G. Amendola 165/A, I-70126 Bari, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Bioscienze, Biotecnologie e Biofarmaceutica, Università degli studi di Bari “Aldo Moro”, Via Orabona, I-70126 Bari, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Nic Pacini and Edoardo Puglisi
Biology 2021, 10(7), 587; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070587
Received: 29 April 2021 / Revised: 22 June 2021 / Accepted: 23 June 2021 / Published: 26 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Linking Soil Biology to Agro-Ecosystems Functional Sustainability)
Soil quality and fertility rely on soil microorganisms which contribute to nutrient cycling and plant nutrition. Accidental or intentional fires can almost completely kill soil microbiota and cause soil sterilization. Fires can also destroy soil organic matter (OM), thus causing the release of potentially toxic elements such as Cr that can further disturb soil recolonization by surviving bacteria. The identification of species able to cope with such altered environments is highly relevant to restore soil life in degraded soils and to remediate polluted sites. In this study, we identified soil microorganisms potentially suitable to colonize fire-affected areas and tolerate high concentrations of bioavailable and toxic Cr, and which therefore could be useful for the above-mentioned purposes.
Fire events in agricultural soils can modify not only soil properties but also the structure of soil microbial communities, especially in soils containing high concentrations of potentially toxic elements (PTEs). The recolonization of burned soils can in fact favor the proliferation of certain microorganisms, more adaptable to post-fire soil conditions and higher PTE availability, over others. In this study, we simulated with laboratory experiments the microbial recolonization of an agricultural soil containing high Cr concentrations after heating at 500 °C for 30 min, to mimic the burning of crop residues. Changes in soil properties and Cr speciation were assessed, as well as soil microbial structure by means of 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Both altered soil conditions and increased Cr availability, especially Cr(VI), appeared to be responsible for the reduction in species diversity in heated soils and the proliferation of Firmicutes. Indeed, already after 3 days from the heat treatment, Firmicutes increased from 14% to 60% relative abundance. In particular, Paenibacillus was the most abundant genus identified after the simulation, with an average relative abundance of 40%. These bacteria are known to be good fire-responders and Cr-tolerant. These results could be useful to identify bacterial strains to be used as bioindicators of altered environments and for the recovery of fire-impacted polluted sites. View Full-Text
Keywords: Firmicutes; Paenibacillus; hexavalent chromium; soil degradation; soil restoration; 16S rRNA sequencing; bioinformatics Firmicutes; Paenibacillus; hexavalent chromium; soil degradation; soil restoration; 16S rRNA sequencing; bioinformatics
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Rascio, I.; Curci, M.; Gattullo, C.E.; Lavecchia, A.; Yaghoubi Khanghahi, M.; Terzano, R.; Crecchio, C. Combined Effect of Laboratory-Simulated Fire and Chromium Pollution on Microbial Communities in an Agricultural Soil. Biology 2021, 10, 587. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070587

AMA Style

Rascio I, Curci M, Gattullo CE, Lavecchia A, Yaghoubi Khanghahi M, Terzano R, Crecchio C. Combined Effect of Laboratory-Simulated Fire and Chromium Pollution on Microbial Communities in an Agricultural Soil. Biology. 2021; 10(7):587. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070587

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rascio, Ida, Maddalena Curci, Concetta E. Gattullo, Anna Lavecchia, Mohammad Yaghoubi Khanghahi, Roberto Terzano, and Carmine Crecchio. 2021. "Combined Effect of Laboratory-Simulated Fire and Chromium Pollution on Microbial Communities in an Agricultural Soil" Biology 10, no. 7: 587. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070587

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop