Soil microbial communities are among the richest sources of biodiversity on Earth. However, very little is known about the roles of individual microbial populations living in soil and how they affect important processes such as soil fertility and carbon cycling. This proposal investigates free-living Bradyrhizobium, an abundant and widespread soil bacterium, and will provide mechanistic insight into traits that enable them to survive across a variety of habitats. Understanding the physiology of closely related bacteria will facilitate our understanding of soil carbon dynamics and soil fertility.
Proposer: Paul Carini, The University of Arizona
Proposal: Adaptive strategies in a cosmopolitan and abundant soil bacterium: metabolic flexibility or genome divergence?