Universität Innsbruck

Seminar of the Department of Microbiology

Microbial interactions under snow covered and snow free soils (MICINSNOW)

Anousha Telagathoti, PhD student - University of Innsbruck

18.11.2021, 11:00 - Join online (Meeting-ID: 679 622 0429 / Password: 8R39Sa)



Microbial communities (MCs) in general, are very important for nutrient turnover and soil organic matter formation. Fungal communities in alpine and sub-alpine soils are particularly diverse and dynamic. However, knowledge regarding the existence of a typical core community of fungi growing under snow-covered and snow free soil across different alpine habitats is still scarce. With our extensive sampling on these habitats, we were able to unravel many undiscovered species and its typical core community, which is represented by Mortierellaceae (phylum Mortierellomycotina). Based on >400 pure culture isolates or Mortierellaceae, we aimed to address the following topics: (i) The diversity and the distribution of Mortierellaceae species. (ii) Fungal-bacterial interactions of Mortierellaceae, and prove that these associations are not random. (iii) Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced during these interactions and understanding their ecological relevance. We detected a high species diversity of Mortierellaceae across all habitats.

Fungal-bacterial associations were frequently detected and also the diversity of associated bacteria was high. Mortierellaceae species can be discriminated based on their volatilomes. The influence of bacteria on the individual fungal physiology and VOC production is being investigated. We hypothesize that VOCs are a key in microbial cross talk, providing competitive advantage under the specific environmental conditions.