Microbial Ecology

, Volume 77, Issue 3, pp 713–725 | Cite as

Cellulase−Hemicellulase Activities and Bacterial Community Composition of Different Soils from Algerian Ecosystems

  • Aicha Asma Houfani
  • Tomáš Větrovský
  • Oscar U. Navarrete
  • Martina Štursová
  • Vojtěch Tláskal
  • Robert G. Beiko
  • Nawel Boucherba
  • Petr Baldrian
  • Said Benallaoua
  • Milko A. JorqueraEmail author
Soil Microbiology


Soil microorganisms are important mediators of carbon cycling in nature. Although cellulose- and hemicellulose-degrading bacteria have been isolated from Algerian ecosystems, the information on the composition of soil bacterial communities and thus the potential of their members to decompose plant residues is still limited. The objective of the present study was to describe and compare the bacterial community composition in Algerian soils (crop, forest, garden, and desert) and the activity of cellulose- and hemicellulose-degrading enzymes. Bacterial communities were characterized by high-throughput 16S amplicon sequencing followed by the in silico prediction of their functional potential. The highest lignocellulolytic activity was recorded in forest and garden soils whereas activities in the agricultural and desert soils were typically low. The bacterial phyla Proteobacteria (in particular classes α–proteobacteria, δ–proteobacteria, and γ–proteobacteria), Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria dominated in all soils. Forest and garden soils exhibited higher diversity than agricultural and desert soils. Endocellulase activity was elevated in forest and garden soils. In silico analysis predicted higher share of genes assigned to general metabolism in forest and garden soils compared with agricultural and arid soils, particularly in carbohydrate metabolism. The highest potential of lignocellulose decomposition was predicted for forest soils, which is in agreement with the highest activity of corresponding enzymes.


Algerian soils Bacterial community Cellulases Decomposition Hemicellulases Lignocellulose 



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (Algeria) and the General Direction for Scientific Research and Technological Development (Algeria). This work was also supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (LM2015055). R.G. Beiko acknowledges the support of the Canada Research Chairs program. M.A. Jorquera acknowledges the project Fondecyt no. 1160302.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aicha Asma Houfani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tomáš Větrovský
    • 2
  • Oscar U. Navarrete
    • 3
    • 4
  • Martina Štursová
    • 2
  • Vojtěch Tláskal
    • 2
  • Robert G. Beiko
    • 5
  • Nawel Boucherba
    • 1
  • Petr Baldrian
    • 2
  • Said Benallaoua
    • 1
  • Milko A. Jorquera
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Microbiologie Appliquée (LMA), Département de Microbiologie, Faculté des Sciences de la Nature et de la VieUniversité de BejaiaBejaiaAlgérie
  2. 2.Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology of the CASPraha 4Czech Republic
  3. 3.Laboratorio de Ecología Microbiana Aplicada, Departmento de Ciencias Químicas y Recursos NaturalesUniversidad de La FronteraTemucoChile
  4. 4.Scientific and Biotechnological Bioresource NucleusUniversidad de La FronteraTemucoChile
  5. 5.Faculty of Computer ScienceDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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