Dynamics of abundant and rare bacteria during degradation of lignocellulose from sugarcane biomass

Pilar Eliana Puentes-Tellez, Joana Falcao Salles*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Microorganisms play a crucial role in lignocellulosic degradation. Many enriched microbial communities have demonstrated to reach functional and structural stability with effective degrading capacities of industrial interest. These microbial communities are typically composed by only few dominant species and a high number of usually overlooked rare species. Here, we used two sources of lignocellulose (sugarcane bagasse and straw) in order to obtain lignocellulose-degrading bacteria through an enriched process, followed the selective trajectory of both abundant and rare bacterial communities by 16S rRNA gene amplification and analyzed the outcomes of selection in terms of capacities and specialization. We verified the importance of pre-selection by using two sources of microbial inoculum: soil samples from a sugarcane field with history of straw addition (St15) and control samples, from the same field, without amendments (St0). We found similitudes in terms of stabilization between the abundant and rare fractions. We also found positive correlations of both abundant and rare taxa (like Caulobacteraceae and Alcaligenaceae) and the degradation of lignocellulosic fractions. Differences in the inocula's initial diversity rapidly decreased during the enrichment resulting in comparable richness levels at the end of the process; however, the legacy of the St15 inoculum and its specialization positively influenced the degradation capacities of the community. Analysis of specialization of the final communities revealed increased straw degradation capacity in the communities enriched in bagasse, which could be potentially used as a strategy for improving lignocellulose waste degradation on the sugarcane fields. This work highlights the importance of including the rare fraction of bacterial communities during investigations involving the screening and assessment of effective degrading communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-325
Number of pages14
JournalMicrobial ecology
Issue number2
Early online date8-Jul-2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2020


  • Lignocellulose
  • Degradation
  • Abundant
  • Rare
  • Enrichment
  • SOIL

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