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Aerobic Anoxygenic Phototrophic Bacteria Promote the Development of Biological Soil Crusts

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  • Kai Tang
  • Lijuan Jia
  • Bo Yuan
  • Shanshan Yang
  • Heng Li
  • Jianyu Meng
  • Zeng, Yonghui
  • Fuying Feng

Chlorophyll-containing oxygenic photoautotrophs have been well known to play a fundamental role in the development of biological soil crusts (BSCs) by harvesting solar radiations and providing fixed carbon to the BSCs ecosystems. Although the same functions can be theoretically fulfilled by the widespread bacteriochlorophyll-harboring aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria (AAnPB), whether AAnPB play a role in the formation of BSCs and how important they are to this process remain largely unknown. To address these questions, we set up a microcosm system with surface sands of the Hopq desert in northern China and observed the significant effects of near-infrared illumination on the development of BSCs. Compared to near-infrared or red light alone, the combined use of near-infrared and red lights for illumination greatly increased the thickness of BSCs, their organic matter contents and the microalgae abundance by 24.0, 103.7, and 1447.6%, respectively. These changes were attributed to the increasing abundance of AAnPB that can absorb near-infrared radiations. Our data suggest that AAnPB is a long-overlooked driver in promoting the development of BSCs in drylands.

TidsskriftFrontiers in Microbiology
Sider (fra-til)2715
StatusUdgivet - 2018
Eksternt udgivetJa

ID: 250772937