Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Crops Pathology and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #317744

Title: Vineyard soil bacterial diversity and composition revealed by 16S rRNA genes: differentiation by geographic features

item BURNS, KAYLA - University Of California
item Kluepfel, Daniel
item Strauss, Sarah
item BOKULICH, NICHOLAS - University Of California
item CANTU, DARIO - University Of California
item Steenwerth, Kerri

Submitted to: Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/2/2015
Publication Date: 9/19/2015
Publication URL:
Citation: Burns, K.N., Kluepfel, D.A., Strauss, S.L., Bokulich, N.A., Cantu, D., Steenwerth, K.L. 2015. Vineyard soil bacterial diversity and composition revealed by 16S rRNA genes: differentiation by geographic features. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 91:232-247. doi: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2015.09.002.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Here, we examine soil-borne microbial biogeography as a function of the features that 31 define an American Viticultural Area (AVA), a geographically delimited American wine grape32 growing region, defined for its distinguishing features of climate, geology, soils, physical 33 features (topography and water), and elevation. In doing so, we lay a foundation upon which to 34 link the terroir of wine back to the soil-borne microbial communities. The objective of this study 35 is to elucidate the hierarchy of drivers of soil bacterial community structure in wine grape 36 vineyards in Napa Valley, California. We measured differences in the soil bacterial and archaeal 37 community composition and diversity by sequencing the fourth variable region of the small 38 subunit ribosomal RNA gene (16S V4 rDNA). Soil bacterial communities were structured with 39 respect to soil properties and AVA, demonstrating the complexity of soil microbial biogeography 40 at the landscape scale and within the single land-use type. Location and edaphic variables that 41 distinguish AVAs were the strongest explanatory factors for soil microbial community structure. 42 Notably, the relationship with TC and TN of the < 53 µm and 53-250 µm soil fractions offers 43 support for the role of bacterial community structure rather than individual taxa on fine soil 44 organic matter content. We reason that AVA, climate, and topography each affect soil microbial 45 communities through their suite of impacts on soil properties. The identification of distinctive 46 soil microbial communities associated with a given AVA lends support to the idea of a soil=microbial terroir‘ of wine grapes 47 and suggests that the relationship between soil microbial 48 communities and wine terroir should be examined further.