Microbial diversity determines the invasion of soil by a bacterial pathogen

Jan Dirk van Elsas*, Mario Chiurazzi, Cyrus A. Mallon, Dana Elhottova, Vaclav Kristufek, Joana Falcao Salles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

430 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Natural ecosystems show variable resistance to invasion by alien species, and this resistance can relate to the species diversity in the system. In soil, microorganisms are key components that determine life support functions, but the functional redundancy in the microbiota of most soils has long been thought to overwhelm microbial diversity-function relationships. We here show an inverse relationship between soil microbial diversity and survival of the invading species Escherichia coli O157:H7, assessed by using the marked derivative strain T. The invader's fate in soil was determined in the presence of (i) differentially constructed culturable bacterial communities, and (ii) microbial communities established using a dilution-to-extinction approach. Both approaches revealed a negative correlation between the diversity of the soil microbiota and survival of the invader. The relationship could be explained by a decrease in the competitive ability of the invader in species-rich vs. species-poor bacterial communities, reflected in the amount of resources used and the rate of their consumption. Soil microbial diversity is a key factor that controls the extent to which bacterial invaders can establish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1159 - 1164
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume109
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24-Jan-2012

Keywords

  • community niche
  • invasiveness
  • resource utilization
  • ESCHERICHIA-COLI O157-H7
  • MANURE-AMENDED SOIL
  • CARBON-SOURCE UTILIZATION
  • BIOLOGICAL INVASIONS
  • COMMUNITY-LEVEL
  • SURVIVAL
  • BIODIVERSITY
  • REDUCTIONS
  • PREVALENCE
  • MANAGEMENT

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