Effect of Storage Temperature on Soil Nematode Community Structures as Revealed by PCR-DGGE

Shuhei Takemoto, Shigeru Niwa, Hiroaki Okada


The optimal duration and conditions for storage of soils collected for nematode community analyses are unknown. To study this issue, three types of soils with different geographical origins from the subarctic to cool-temperate Japan were kept at three temperature levels (5, 10, and 20°C) for up to 8 wk following collection. During the storage period, nematode population density was measured, and community structure was assessed by polymerase chain reaction denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCRDGGE). No significant changes in the population density or diversity of nematodes (Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index) were observed during storage compared to initial states, except that density in an andosol collected from Tsukuba, Central Japan decreased significantly after 28 d of storage at 5°C. However, a regression analysis showed a declining trend in nematode density in the latter half of the storage period when soils were stored at 5 or 20°C, depending on the geographic origin of the soil. These results indicate that soils can be stored for 14 d at 5–20°C, with 10°C as optimal. This is the first study to experimentally determine the optimal preservation conditions for nematode assemblages in soils that are to be analyzed using PCR-DGGE.

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