WP2: Soil microbiology 

Work package 2 (WP2) is headed by Prof. Heribert Insam from the Institute of Microbiology at the University of Innsbruck in collaboration with the Department of Agrifood and Environmental Sciences (DiSPAA) of the University of Florence (IT). 

The general aim of WP2 is to gain an in-depth understanding of the structure and function of microbial communities involved in deadwood decomposition along the selected climosequences. Molecular methods based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of rRNA genes allow the profiling of complex microbial communities on the basis of sequence diversity. At the selected sites, archaeal, fungal and bacterial diversity are being analysed by community level genetic fingerprinting (DGGE, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis profiles) based on total community DNA. A further characterisation of soil microbiota is being assessed by using specific primer sets targeting functional genes involved in key processes of C and N cycles. PCR-DGGE analyses are being combined with quantitative real-time PCR assays to provide both qualitative and quantitative information on the microbial communities actively involved in degradation processes and nutrient cycling in alpine areas. In addition, a fine-tuning DNA approach, discriminating between the extracellular and intracellular fraction of the soil- vs CWD-metagenome, is being performed to gain additional information about the autochthonous microflora as a function of microclimate (exposure vs altitude) and degree of deadwood decay, respectively.  

WP2 - Team 

WP2 - Collaborators 

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WP2 - Participating students