Different Distribution of Core Microbiota in Upper Soil Layer in Two Places of North China Plain

Luan Wang1, #, Qian Zhang1, #, Hongtao Mei2, Xiaohan Cui1, Meijie Wang1, Yu Zhu1, Boyang Ji3, *, Yongjun Wei1, 4, *
1 School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Key Laboratory of State Ministry of Education, Zhengzhou University, 100 Kexue Avenue, Zhengzhou, Henan450001, PR China
2 School of International Education, HuangHuai University, 76 Keyuan Avenue, Zhumadian, Henan463000, PR China
3 Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
4 Laboratory of Synthetic Biology, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, 450001, China

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© 2022 Wang et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Key Laboratory of State Ministry of Education, Zhengzhou University, 100 Kexue Avenue, Zhengzhou, Henan 450001, PR China; E-mail:,
#These authors contributed equally to this work



Soils harbor diverse bacteria, and these bacteria play important roles in soil nutrition cycling and carbon storage. Numerous investigations of soil microbiota had been performed, and the core microbiota in different soil or vegetation soil types had been described. The upper layer of soil, as a source of organic matter, is important and affected by the habitats and dominant bacteria. However, the complexity of soil environments and relatively limited information of many geographic areas had attracted great attention on comprehensive exploration of soil microbes in enormous types of soil.


To reveal the core upper layer soil microbiota, soil samples from metropolis and countryside regions in the North China Plain were investigated using high-throughput sequencing strategy.


The results showed that the most dominant bacteria are Proteobacteria (38.34%), Actinobacteria (20.56%), and Acidobacteria (15.18%). At the genus-level, the most abundant known genera are Gaiella (3.66%), Sphingomonas (3.6%), Acidobacteria Gp6 (3.52%), and Nocardioides (2.1%). Moreover, several dominant operational taxanomy units OTUs, such as OTU_3 and OTU_17, were identified to be associated with the soil environment. Microbial distributions of the metropolis samples were different from the countryside samples, which may reflect the environments in the countryside were more diverse than in the metropolis. Microbial diversity and evenness were higher in the metropolis than in the countryside, which might due to the fact that human activity increased the microbial diversity in the metropolis.


The upper layer soil core microbiota of the North China Plain were complex, and microbial distributions in these two places might be mainly affected by the human activity and environmental factors, not by the distance. Our data highlights the upper layer soil core microbiota in North China Plain, and provides insights for future soil microbial distribution studies in central China.

Keywords: Upper layer soil, Core microbiota, Countryside and metropolis, Habitat, 16S rRNA amplicon, Metropolis.