Microbial Ecology

, Volume 77, Issue 2, pp 460–470 | Cite as

Moisture Is More Important than Temperature for Assembly of Both Potentially Active and Whole Prokaryotic Communities in Subtropical Grassland

  • Manoeli Lupatini
  • Afnan K. A. Suleiman
  • Rodrigo J. S. Jacques
  • Leandro N. Lemos
  • Victor S. Pylro
  • Johannes A. Van Veen
  • Eiko E. Kuramae
  • Luiz F. W. RoeschEmail author
Soil Microbiology


Moisture and temperature play important roles in the assembly and functioning of prokaryotic communities in soil. However, how moisture and temperature regulate the function of niche- versus neutral-based processes during the assembly of these communities has not been examined considering both the total microbial community and the sole active portion with potential for growth in native subtropical grassland. We set up a well-controlled microcosm-based experiment to investigate the individual and combined effects of moisture and temperature on soil prokaryotic communities by simulating subtropical seasons in grassland. The prokaryotic populations with potential for growth and the total prokaryotic community were assessed by 16S rRNA transcript and 16S rRNA gene analyses, respectively. Moisture was the major factor influencing community diversity and structure, with a considerable effect of this factor on the total community. The prokaryotic populations with potential for growth and the total communities were influenced by the same assembly rules, with the niche-based mechanism being more influential in communities under dry condition. Our results provide new information regarding moisture and temperature in microbial communities of soil and elucidate how coexisting prokaryotic populations, under different physiological statuses, are shaped in native subtropical grassland soil.


16S rRNA gene 16S rRNA transcript Seasonality Assembly process Microbial ecology 



The authors acknowledge M. Dresher for the assistance in the setup of the microcosm experiment, P. Gubiani for soil physical discussions and assistance in the field to measure moisture and temperature over the year, and Z.I. Antoniolli for laboratory structure.

Author Contributions

M.L., L. R., and R.J. designed the study. M.L. together with A.S. collected the samples. M.L. and L.R. conducted the laboratory work. L.R., V.S.P., and L.N.L. performed the bioinformatic analysis of the sequence data. L.R., M.L., H.V., V.S.P., and E.K. wrote the manuscript with contributions of all authors. All authors have revised and approved the final manuscript.

Funding Information

This study was funded by CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico) and FAPERGS/CAPES (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Rio Grande do Sul/Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior), which also granted the scholarship to the first author. Publication number 6049 of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, NIOO-KNAW.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

248_2018_1310_MOESM1_ESM.docx (55 kb)
Fig S1 (DOCX 54 kb)
248_2018_1310_MOESM2_ESM.docx (101 kb)
Supplementary Table S1 Sample ID, treatment, total number of sequences and Good’s coverage using DNA- and RNA-based approach. (DOCX 100 kb)
248_2018_1310_MOESM3_ESM.xlsx (140 kb)
Supplementary Table S2 Differential abundance analysis of soil microbial OTUs under a moisture gradient. (XLSX 139 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manoeli Lupatini
    • 1
  • Afnan K. A. Suleiman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rodrigo J. S. Jacques
    • 1
  • Leandro N. Lemos
    • 3
  • Victor S. Pylro
    • 4
  • Johannes A. Van Veen
    • 2
  • Eiko E. Kuramae
    • 2
  • Luiz F. W. Roesch
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Solos, Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciência do SoloUniversidade Federal de Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Microbial Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)WageningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Laboratório de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura CENAUniversidade de São Paulo USPPiracicabaBrazil
  4. 4.Department of BiologyFederal University of Lavras – UFLALavrasBrazil
  5. 5.Centro Interdisciplinar de Pesquisas em Biotecnologia – CIP-BiotecUniversidade Federal do PampaSão GabrielBrazil

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