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Climatic Zone And Soil Properties Determine The Biodiversity Of The Soil Bacterial Communities Associated To Native Plants From Desert Areas Of North-Central Algeria

Elisa Bona, Nadia Massa, Omrane Toumatia, Giorgia Novello, Patrizia Cesaro, Valeria Todeschini, Lara Boatti, Flavio Mignone, Houda Titouah, Abdelghani Zitouni, Guido Lingua, Francesco Vuolo, Elisa Gamalero

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Algeria is the largest country in Africa characterized by semi-arid and arid sites, located in the North, and hypersaline zones in the center and South of the country. Several autochthonous plants are well known as medicinal plants, having in common tolerance to aridity, drought and salinity. In their natural environment, they live with a great amount of microbial species that altogether are indicated as plant microbiota, while the plants are now viewed as a “holobiont”. In this work, the microbiota of the soil associated to the roots of fourteen economically relevant autochthonous plants from Algeria have been characterized by an innovative metagenomic approach with a dual purpose: (i) to deepen the knowledge of the arid and semi-arid environment and (ii) to characterize the composition of bacterial communities associated with indigenous plants with a strong economic/commercial interest, in order to make possible the improvement of their cultivation. The results presented in this work highlighted specific signatures which are mainly determined by climatic zone and soil properties more than by the plant species.