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Old 11-14-2013, 05:14 PM   #1
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Default US tallgrass prairie's microbial past revealed

US tallgrass prairie's microbial past revealed
Sarah Zhang
31 October 2013

US tallgrass prairie's microbial past revealed : Nature News & Comment
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Tallgrass prairie once dominated the US Midwest, but nearly all of it has been tilled and farmed since settlers moved into the region in the mid-nineteenth century. New research suggests that one of the most dramatic aspects of that landscape transformation was the loss of microbial diversity in prairie soils.

A study published today in Science uses genetic sequencing to reconstruct the microscopic community of the tallgrass prairie1, including a group of poorly understood bacteria that was once especially abundant. Noah Fierer, a microbial ecologist at the University of Colorado Boulder, and his colleagues collected soil samples from 31 cemeteries and natural preserves where the prairie has remained undisturbed...
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