Functional Molecular Analysis of Microbial Nitrogen Cycle by Microarray-based GeoChip: Insights for Climate Change, Agriculture and Other Ecological Studies
Kai Xue, Joy D. Van Nostrand, Zhili He and Jizhong Zhou
from: Metagenomics of the Microbial Nitrogen Cycle: Theory, Methods and Applications (Edited by: Diana Marco). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)
Nitrogen (N) is a common constraining factor for biological communities, e.g. plants and microbes, in terrestrial ecosystems. Its cycling is mainly mediated by soil microbial communities. Environmental changes may affect functional genes of soil microbial communities involved in N cycling and hence cause substantial changes in related geochemical processes. A microarray-based metagenomics technique, GeoChip, includes a comprehensive set of functional genes involved in almost all processes of N transformation, e.g. N fixation, nitrification, denitrification, etc. GeoChip analysis allows us to monitor the entire N ecological network by a single hybridization to detect changes of all these genes. In this chapter, we will focus on the development and application of GeoChip methodology for analyzing functional genes of microbial communities involved in N processes under different treatments in various ecosystems. This chapter will reveal how information obtained from GeoChip enhances our understanding of ecological consequences of climatic changes like rising temperature and CO2 or fertilization treatments. Moreover, the challenges of this technique will also be discussed read more ...