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Evidence for successional development in Antarctic hypolithic bacterial communities.


ABSTRACT: Hypoliths (cryptic microbial assemblages that develop on the undersides of translucent rocks) are significant contributors to regional C and N budgets in both hot and cold deserts. Previous studies in the Dry Valleys of Eastern Antarctica have reported three morphologically distinct hypolithic community types: cyanobacteria dominated (type I), fungus dominated (type II) and moss dominated (type III). Here we present terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses to elucidate the bacterial community structure in hypolithons and the surrounding soils. We show clear and robust distinction in bacterial composition between bulk surface soils and hypolithons. Moreover, the bacterial assemblages were similar in types II and III hypolithons and clearly distinct from those found in type I. Through 16S rRNA gene 454 pyrosequencing, we show that Proteobacteria dominated all three types of hypolithic communities. As expected, Cyanobacteria were more abundant in type I hypolithons, whereas Actinobacteria were relatively more abundant in types II and III hypolithons, and were the dominant group in soils. Using a probabilistic dissimilarity metric and random sampling, we demonstrate that deterministic processes are more important in shaping the structure of the bacterial community found in types II and III hypolithons. Most notably, the data presented in this study suggest that hypolithic bacterial communities establish via a successional model, with the type I hypolithons acting as the basal development state.

SUBMITTER: Makhalanyane TP 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3806267 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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