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ZJU research team decoded“black box”of edaphon


Edaphon is the key driving factor of many soil ecological processes. Due to the complexity of structure and formation of soil, soil ecological process has been always regarded as “black box” in scientific research. A team led by Professor Xu Jianming from the College of Environment and Resources, Zhejiang University has just published their new research achievements in microbiology top journal The ISME Journal. Through picturing gene relativity network of forest soil metagenome based on soil metagenome information, they revealed the functional structure of metagenome, providing new approaches for predicting unknown functions of genes in metagoneme.


The first author of this paper is Dr. Ma Bin from ZJU, Professor Philip Brookes also participated, with Professor Xu Jianming as the corresponding author. Professor Jack Gilbert from Chicago University and Dr. Karoline Faust from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven also contributed to the paper.

The team used metagenome technology and system biology to analyze gene network in soil metagenome, enriching the knowledge towards functions of soil microbial community. Research shows that gene relativity network of metagenome can correctly represent genes interaction in ecological processes of soil microbial community.

After 2 years of research, Professor Xu Jianming introduced that the research for decoding the soil “black box” done by his team helps further understand the functional mechanism of soil in carbon and nitrogen transformation and pollutants degradation, and is of great significance to learn more about soil.