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The Mineralosphere Concept: Mineralogical Control of the Distribution and Function of Mineral-associated Bacterial Communities

Uroz, S and Kelly, LC and Turpault, MP and Lepleux, C and Frey-Klett, P (2015) The Mineralosphere Concept: Mineralogical Control of the Distribution and Function of Mineral-associated Bacterial Communities. Trends in Microbiology, 23 (12). pp. 751-762. ISSN 0966-842X

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Abstract

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Soil is composed of a mosaic of different rocks and minerals, usually considered as an inert substrata for microbial colonization. However, recent findings suggest that minerals, in soils and elsewhere, favour the development of specific microbial communities according to their mineralogy, nutritive content, and weatherability. Based upon recent studies, we highlight how bacterial communities are distributed on the surface of, and in close proximity to, minerals. We also consider the potential role of the mineral-associated bacterial communities in mineral weathering and nutrient cycling in soils, with a specific focus on nutrient-poor and acidic forest ecosystems. We propose to define this microbial habitat as the mineralosphere, where key drivers of the microbial communities are the physicochemical properties of the minerals.

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