What is it about?

Advances in DNA sequencing have provided an unprecedented view of the complex microbial communities that populate global ecosystems. We present a metatranscriptomic analysis of samples from the boreal forest—the largest terrestrial carbon store—capturing the seasonally resolved gene expression of Norway spruce roots and more than 350 root-associated fungal species, in both nutrient limited soils, and soils that have received over 25 years of complete nutrient enrichment.

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Why is it important?

Our findings link the functional response of host-trees to increased nutrient availability, with profound perturbations in the fungal community. Notably, we observed an exchange in prevalence and host-coordination of specialist ectomycorrhizal species critical for enzymatic cycling of recalcitrant carbon, to metabolically versatile species with resilient melanized cell walls.This research unites kingdom-spanning taxonomic and functional details of the boreal root microbiome, contributing a missing perspective toward modeling global carbon cycling.

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This page is a summary of: Metatranscriptomics captures dynamic shifts in mycorrhizal coordination in boreal forests, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2118852119.
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