Metagenome-assembled genomes uncover a global brackish microbiome.
ABSTRACT: Microbes are main drivers of biogeochemical cycles in oceans and lakes. Although the genome is a foundation for understanding the metabolism, ecology and evolution of an organism, few bacterioplankton genomes have been sequenced, partly due to difficulties in cultivating them.We use automatic binning to reconstruct a large number of bacterioplankton genomes from a metagenomic time-series from the Baltic Sea, one of world's largest brackish water bodies. These genomes represent novel species within typical freshwater and marine clades, including clades not previously sequenced. The genomes' seasonal dynamics follow phylogenetic patterns, but with fine-grained lineage-specific variations, reflected in gene-content. Signs of streamlining are evident in most genomes, and estimated genome sizes correlate with abundance variation across filter size fractions. Comparing the genomes with globally distributed metagenomes reveals significant fragment recruitment at high sequence identity from brackish waters in North America, but little from lakes or oceans. This suggests the existence of a global brackish metacommunity whose populations diverged from freshwater and marine relatives over 100,000 years ago, long before the Baltic Sea was formed (8000 years ago). This markedly contrasts to most Baltic Sea multicellular organisms, which are locally adapted populations of freshwater or marine counterparts.We describe the gene content, temporal dynamics and biogeography of a large set of new bacterioplankton genomes assembled from metagenomes. We propose that brackish environments exert such strong selection that lineages adapted to them flourish globally with limited influence from surrounding aquatic communities.
Project description:The Baltic Sea is one of the largest brackish environments on Earth. Despite extensive knowledge about food web interactions and pelagic ecosystem functioning, information about the bacterial community composition in the Baltic Sea is scarce. We hypothesized that due to the eutrophic low-salinity environment and the long water residence time (>5 years), the bacterioplankton community from the Baltic proper shows a native "brackish" composition influenced by both freshwater and marine phylotypes. The bacterial community composition in surface water (3-m depth) was examined at a single station throughout a full year. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) showed that the community composition changed over the year. Further, it indicated that at the four extensive samplings (16S rRNA gene clone libraries and bacterial isolates from low- and high-nutrient agar plates and seawater cultures), different bacterial assemblages associated with different environmental conditions were present. Overall, the sequencing of 26 DGGE bands, 160 clones, 209 plate isolates, and 9 dilution culture isolates showed that the bacterial assemblage in surface waters of the central Baltic Sea was dominated by Bacteroidetes but exhibited a pronounced influence of typical freshwater phylogenetic groups within Actinobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, and Betaproteobacteria and a lack of typical marine taxa. This first comprehensive analysis of bacterial community composition in the central Baltic Sea points to the existence of an autochthonous estuarine community uniquely adapted to the environmental conditions prevailing in this brackish environment.
Project description:We present here the findings from a study of the microbiome of the southern basin of the Caspian Sea, the largest water body on Earth disconnected from any ocean and a brackish inland sea. By high-throughput metagenomics, we were able to reconstruct the genomes of representative microbes. The gross community structure (at the phylum level) was different from the structure of typical marine and freshwater communities in temperate open oceans, with the Caspian Sea having freshwater-like amounts of Actinobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria, while Gammaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria were present at intermediate levels. We assembled the genomes of several groups and provide detailed descriptions of partial genomes from Actinobacteria, Thaumarchaea, and Alphaproteobacteria. Most belonged to hitherto unknown groups, although they were related to either marine or freshwater groups. The phylogenetic placement of the Caspian genomes indicates that the organisms have multiple and separate phylogenetic origins and that they are related to organisms with both freshwater and marine lineages. Comparative recruitment from global aquatic metagenomes indicated that most Caspian microbes are endemic. However, some Caspian genomes were recruited significantly from either marine water (a member of the Alphaproteobacteria) or freshwater (a member of the Actinobacteria). Reciprocally, some genomes of other origins, such as the marine thaumarchaeon " Candidatus Nitrosopelagicus" or the actinobacterium "Candidatus Actinomarina," were recruited from the Caspian Sea, indicating some degree of overlap with the microbiota of other water bodies. Some of these microbes seem to have a remarkably widespread geographic and environmental distribution.
Project description:We present a metagenomic study of Lake Baikal (East Siberia). Two samples obtained from the water column under the ice cover (5 and 20 m deep) in March 2016 have been deep sequenced and the reads assembled to generate metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) that are representative of the microbes living in this special environment. Compared with freshwater bodies studied around the world, Lake Baikal had an unusually high fraction of Verrucomicrobia Other groups, such as Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria, were in proportions similar to those found in other lakes. The genomes (and probably cells) tended to be small, presumably reflecting the extremely oligotrophic and cold prevalent conditions. Baikal microbes are novel lineages recruiting very little from other water bodies and are distantly related to other freshwater microbes. Despite their novelty, they showed the closest relationship to genomes discovered by similar approaches from other freshwater lakes and reservoirs. Some of them were particularly similar to MAGs from the Baltic Sea, which, although it is brackish, connected to the ocean, and much more eutrophic, has similar climatological conditions. Many of the microbes contained rhodopsin genes, indicating that, in spite of the decreased light penetration allowed by the thick ice/snow cover, photoheterotrophy could be widespread in the water column, either because enough light penetrates or because the microbes are already adapted to the summer ice-less conditions. We have found a freshwater SAR11 subtype I/II representative showing striking synteny with Pelagibacterubique strains, as well as a phage infecting the widespread freshwater bacterium PolynucleobacterIMPORTANCE Despite the increasing number of metagenomic studies on different freshwater bodies, there is still a missing component in oligotrophic cold lakes suffering from long seasonal frozen cycles. Here, we describe microbial genomes from metagenomic assemblies that appear in the upper water column of Lake Baikal, the largest and deepest freshwater body on Earth. This lake is frozen from January to May, which generates conditions that include an inverted temperature gradient (colder up), decrease in light penetration due to ice, and, especially, snow cover, and oligotrophic conditions more similar to the open-ocean and high-altitude lakes than to other freshwater or brackish systems. As could be expected, most reconstructed genomes are novel lineages distantly related to others in cold environments, like the Baltic Sea and other freshwater lakes. Among them, there was a broad set of streamlined microbes with small genomes/intergenic spacers, including a new nonmarine Pelagibacter-like (subtype I/II) genome.
Project description:Vitamin B1 (B1 herein) is a vital enzyme cofactor required by virtually all cells, including bacterioplankton, which strongly influence aquatic biogeochemistry and productivity and modulate climate on Earth. Intriguingly, bacterioplankton can be de novo B1 synthesizers or B1 auxotrophs, which cannot synthesize B1 de novo and require exogenous B1 or B1 precursors to survive. Recent isolate-based work suggests select abundant bacterioplankton are B1 auxotrophs, but direct evidence of B1 auxotrophy among natural communities is scant. In addition, it is entirely unknown if bulk bacterioplankton growth is ever B1-limited. We show by surveying for B1-related genes in estuarine, marine, and freshwater metagenomes and metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) that most naturally occurring bacterioplankton are B1 auxotrophs. Pyrimidine B1-auxotrophic bacterioplankton numerically dominated metagenomes, but multiple other B1-auxotrophic types and distinct uptake and B1-salvaging strategies were also identified, including dual (pyrimidine and thiazole) and intact B1 auxotrophs that have received little prior consideration. Time-series metagenomes from the Baltic Sea revealed pronounced shifts in the prevalence of multiple B1-auxotrophic types and in the B1-uptake and B1-salvaging strategies over time. Complementarily, we documented B1/precursor limitation of bacterioplankton production in three of five nutrient-amendment experiments at the same time-series station, specifically when intact B1 concentrations were ?3.7 pM, based on bioassays with a genetically engineered Vibrio anguillarum B1-auxotrophic strain. Collectively, the data presented highlight the prevalent reliance of bacterioplankton on exogenous B1/precursors and on the bioavailability of the micronutrients as an overlooked factor that could influence bacterioplankton growth and succession and thereby the cycling of nutrients and energy in aquatic systems.
Project description:The macrozoobenthic diversity patterns along a brackish-freshwater salinity gradient have been identified, considering effects of differences in the level of hydrological connection of coastal lakes with the sea on the structure of benthic invertebrate communities. The study is based on samples from six coastal lakes located along the southern coast of the Baltic Sea in Poland. The analysis of environmental and biological data confirmed the existence of stable phases (brackish water vs. freshwater), but as a result of periodical intrusion of seawater, adaptation of animal communities takes place, which was reflected in low values of the predictors describing them (number of taxa, density and diversity). Redundancy analysis indicates that values of conductivity and salinity are the major factors that determine the abundance of dominant groups of benthic fauna. The gradient of hydrological connection of the lakes with the sea accounted for 50% of the variance in biological data, physico-chemical variables for 25%, trophic variables for 15%, and only 9% of the variance was unexplained. The major implication of our results is that coastal lakes that differ only slightly in salinity can have alternative, regional patterns of diversity of structure of benthic fauna. Periodical inflow of brackish waters initiates adaptive cycles of benthic fauna, and their frequency is strongly linked with the hydrological regime. The rhythm of the inflow of seawater is variable, so that management and protection of coastal lakes are extremely complicated.
Project description:Methylmercury (MeHg), a neurotoxic compound biomagnifying in aquatic food webs, can be a threat to human health via fish consumption. However, the composition and distribution of the microbial communities mediating the methylation of mercury (Hg) to MeHg in marine systems remain largely unknown. In order to fill this knowledge gap, we used the Baltic Sea Reference Metagenome (BARM) dataset to study the abundance and distribution of the genes involved in Hg methylation (the hgcAB gene cluster). We determined the relative abundance of the hgcAB genes and their taxonomic identity in 81 brackish metagenomes that cover spatial, seasonal and redox variability in the Baltic Sea water column. The hgcAB genes were predominantly detected in anoxic water, but some hgcAB genes were also detected in hypoxic and normoxic waters. Phylogenetic analysis identified putative Hg methylators within Deltaproteobacteria, in oxygen-deficient water layers, but also Spirochaetes-like and Kiritimatiellaeota-like bacteria. Higher relative quantities of hgcAB genes were found in metagenomes from marine particles compared to free-living communities in anoxic water, suggesting that such particles are hotspot habitats for Hg methylators in oxygen-depleted seawater. Altogether, our work unveils the diversity of the microorganisms with the potential to mediate MeHg production in the Baltic Sea and pinpoint the important ecological niches for these microorganisms within the marine water column.
Project description:Understanding the key processes that control bacterial community composition has enabled predictions of bacterial distribution and function within ecosystems. In this study, we used the Baltic Sea as a model system to quantify the phylogenetic signal of salinity and season with respect to bacterioplankton community composition. The abundances of 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing reads were analyzed from samples obtained from similar geographic locations in July and February along a brackish to marine salinity gradient in the Baltic Sea. While there was no distinct pattern of bacterial richness at different salinities, the number of bacterial phylotypes in winter was significantly higher than in summer. Bacterial community composition in brackish vs. marine conditions, and in July vs. February was significantly different. Non-metric multidimensional scaling showed that bacterial community composition was primarily separated according to salinity and secondly according to seasonal differences at all taxonomic ranks tested. Similarly, quantitative phylogenetic clustering implicated a phylogenetic signal for both salinity and seasonality. Our results suggest that global patterns of bacterial community composition with respect to salinity and season are the result of phylogenetically clustered ecological preferences with stronger imprints from salinity.
Project description:The response of microbial communities to long-term environmental change is poorly understood. Here, we study bacterioplankton communities in a unique system of coastal Antarctic lakes that were exposed to progressive long-term environmental change, using 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rDNA gene (V3-V4 regions). At the time of formation, most of the studied lakes harbored marine-coastal microbial communities, as they were connected to the sea. During the past 20?000 years, most lakes isolated from the sea, and subsequently they experienced a gradual, but strong, salinity change that eventually developed into a gradient ranging from freshwater (salinity 0) to hypersaline (salinity 100). Our results indicated that present bacterioplankton community composition was strongly correlated with salinity and weakly correlated with geographical distance between lakes. A few abundant taxa were shared between some lakes and coastal marine communities. Nevertheless, lakes contained a large number of taxa that were not detected in the adjacent sea. Abundant and rare taxa within saline communities presented similar biogeography, suggesting that these groups have comparable environmental sensitivity. Habitat specialists and generalists were detected among abundant and rare taxa, with specialists being relatively more abundant at the extremes of the salinity gradient. Altogether, progressive long-term salinity change appears to have promoted the diversification of bacterioplankton communities by modifying the composition of ancestral communities and by allowing the establishment of new taxa.
Project description:Salinity is a major factor controlling the distribution of biota in aquatic systems, and most aquatic multicellular organisms are either adapted to life in saltwater or freshwater conditions. Consequently, the saltwater-freshwater mixing zones in coastal or estuarine areas are characterized by limited faunal and floral diversity. Although changes in diversity and decline in species richness in brackish waters is well documented in aquatic ecology, it is unknown to what extent this applies to bacterial communities. Here, we report a first detailed bacterial inventory from vertical profiles of 60 sampling stations distributed along the salinity gradient of the Baltic Sea, one of world's largest brackish water environments, generated using 454 pyrosequencing of partial (400?bp) 16S rRNA genes. Within the salinity gradient, bacterial community composition altered at broad and finer-scale phylogenetic levels. Analogous to faunal communities within brackish conditions, we identified a bacterial brackish water community comprising a diverse combination of freshwater and marine groups, along with populations unique to this environment. As water residence times in the Baltic Sea exceed 3 years, the observed bacterial community cannot be the result of mixing of fresh water and saltwater, but our study represents the first detailed description of an autochthonous brackish microbiome. In contrast to the decline in the diversity of multicellular organisms, reduced bacterial diversity at brackish conditions could not be established. It is possible that the rapid adaptation rate of bacteria has enabled a variety of lineages to fill what for higher organisms remains a challenging and relatively unoccupied ecological niche.
Project description:Little is known about the diversity and structuring of freshwater microbial communities beyond the patterns revealed by tracing their distribution in the landscape with common taxonomic markers such as the ribosomal RNA. To address this gap in knowledge, metagenomes from temperate lakes were compared to selected marine metagenomes. Taxonomic analyses of rRNA genes in these freshwater metagenomes confirm the previously reported dominance of a limited subset of uncultured lineages of freshwater bacteria, whereas Archaea were rare. Diversification into marine and freshwater microbial lineages was also reflected in phylogenies of functional genes, and there were also significant differences in functional beta-diversity. The pathways and functions that accounted for these differences are involved in osmoregulation, active transport, carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. Moreover, predicted genes orthologous to active transporters and recalcitrant organic matter degradation were more common in microbial genomes from oligotrophic versus eutrophic lakes. This comparative metagenomic analysis allowed us to formulate a general hypothesis that oceanic- compared with freshwater-dwelling microorganisms, invest more in metabolism of amino acids and that strategies of carbohydrate metabolism differ significantly between marine and freshwater microbial communities.