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Microfluidic chips provide visual access to in situ soil ecology

Mafla-Endara, Paola Micaela and Arellano-Caicedo, Carlos and Aleklett Kadish, Kristin and Pucetaite, Milda and Ohlsson, Pelle and Hammer, Edith C. (2021). Microfluidic chips provide visual access to in situ soil ecology. Communications biology. 4 , 889
[Research article]

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Abstract

Mafla-Endara et al. incubate a microfluidic chip with and directly in soil in order to examine interactions between microbial communities and the pore space microstructures. This work shows the spatiotemporal changes of soil microhabitats and demonstrates that fungal hyphae increase the dispersal range and abundance of water-dwelling organisms across air pockets.Microbes govern most soil functions, but investigation of these processes at the scale of their cells has been difficult to accomplish. Here we incubate microfabricated, transparent 'soil chips' with soil, or bury them directly in the field. Both soil microbes and minerals enter the chips, which enables us to investigate diverse community interdependences, such as inter-kingdom and food-web interactions, and feedbacks between microbes and the pore space microstructures. The presence of hyphae ('fungal highways') strongly and frequently increases the dispersal range and abundance of water-dwelling organisms such as bacteria and protists across air pockets. Physical forces such as water movements, but also organisms and especially fungi form new microhabitats by altering the pore space architecture and distribution of soil minerals in the chip. We show that soil chips hold a large potential for studying in-situ microbial interactions and soil functions, and to interconnect field microbial ecology with laboratory experiments.

Authors/Creators:Mafla-Endara, Paola Micaela and Arellano-Caicedo, Carlos and Aleklett Kadish, Kristin and Pucetaite, Milda and Ohlsson, Pelle and Hammer, Edith C.
Title:Microfluidic chips provide visual access to in situ soil ecology
Series Name/Journal:Communications biology
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:4
Article number:889
Number of Pages:12
Publisher:NATURE PORTFOLIO
ISSN:2399-3642
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Soil Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Microbiology (Microbiology in the medical area to be 30109)
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113229
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113229
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1038/s42003-021-02379-5
Web of Science (WoS)000677535700002
ID Code:25119
Faculty:LTV - Fakulteten för landskapsarkitektur, trädgårds- och växtproduktionsvetenskap
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Department of Plant Protection Biology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:31 Aug 2021 05:25
Metadata Last Modified:31 Aug 2021 05:31

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