Metagenomic analysis of soil and freshwater from zoo agricultural area with organic fertilization
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Microbial communities drive biogeochemical cycles in agricultural areas by decomposing organic materials and converting essential nutrients. Organic amendments improve soil quality by increasing the load of essential nutrients and enhancing the productivity. Additionally, fresh water used for irrigation can affect soil quality of agricultural soils, mainly due to the presence of microbial contaminants and pathogens. In this study, we investigated how microbial communities in irrigation water might contribute to the microbial diversity and function of soil. Whole-metagenomic sequencing approaches were used to investigate the taxonomic and the functional profiles of microbial communities present in fresh water used for irrigation, and in soil from a vegetable crop, which received fertilization with organic compost made from animal carcasses. The taxonomic analysis revealed that the most abundant genera were Polynucleobacter (~8% relative abundance) and Bacillus (~10%) in fresh water and soil from the vegetable crop, respectively. Low abundance (0.38%) of cyanobacterial groups were identified. Based on functional gene prediction, denitrification appears to be an important process in the soil community analysed here. Conversely, genes for nitrogen fixation were abundant in freshwater, indicating that the N-fixation plays a crucial role in this particular ecosystem. Moreover, pathogenicity islands, antibiotic resistance and potential virulence related genes were identified in both samples, but no toxigenic genes were detected. This study provides a better understanding of the community structure of an area under strong agricultural activity with regular irrigation and fertilization with an organic compost made from animal carcasses. Additionally, the use of a metagenomic approach to investigate fresh water quality proved to be a relevant method to evaluate its use in an agricultural ecosystem.