Vertical Distribution of Bacterial Communities in the Indian Ocean as Revealed by Analyses of 16S rRNA and nasA Genes.
ABSTRACT: Bacteria play an important role in the marine biogeochemical cycles. However, research on the bacterial community structure of the Indian Ocean is scarce, particularly within the vertical dimension. In this study, we investigated the bacterial diversity of the pelagic, mesopelagic and bathypelagic zones of the southwestern Indian Ocean (50.46°E, 37.71°S). The clone libraries constructed by 16S rRNA gene sequence revealed that most phylotypes retrieved from the Indian Ocean were highly divergent from those retrieved from other oceans. Vertical differences were observed based on the analysis of natural bacterial community populations derived from the 16S rRNA gene sequences. Based on the analysis of the nasA gene sequences from GenBank database, a pair of general primers was developed and used to amplify the bacterial nitrate-assimilating populations. Environmental factors play an important role in mediating the bacterial communities in the Indian Ocean revealed by canonical correlation analysis.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Isolation of marine microorganisms is fundamental to gather information about their physiology, ecology and genomic content. To date, most of the bacterial isolation efforts have focused on the photic ocean leaving the deep ocean less explored. We have created a marine culture collection of heterotrophic bacteria (MARINHET) using a standard marine medium comprising a total of 1561 bacterial strains, and covering a variety of oceanographic regions from different seasons and years, from 2009 to 2015. Specifically, our marine collection contains isolates from both photic (817) and aphotic layers (744), including the mesopelagic (362) and the bathypelagic (382), from the North Western Mediterranean Sea, the North and South Atlantic Ocean, the Indian, the Pacific, and the Arctic Oceans. We described the taxonomy, the phylogenetic diversity and the biogeography of a fraction of the marine culturable microorganisms to enhance our knowledge about which heterotrophic marine isolates are recurrently retrieved across oceans and along different depths.<h4>Results</h4>The partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene of all isolates revealed that they mainly affiliate with the classes Alphaproteobacteria (35.9%), Gammaproteobacteria (38.6%), and phylum Bacteroidetes (16.5%). In addition, Alteromonas and Erythrobacter genera were found the most common heterotrophic bacteria in the ocean growing in solid agar medium. When comparing all photic, mesopelagic, and bathypelagic isolates sequences retrieved from different stations, 37% of them were 100% identical. This percentage increased up to 59% when mesopelagic and bathypelagic strains were grouped as the aphotic dataset and compared to the photic dataset of isolates, indicating the ubiquity of some bacterial isolates along different ocean depths. Finally, we isolated three strains that represent a new species, and the genome comparison and phenotypic characterization of two of these strains (ISS653 and ISS1889) concluded that they belong to a new species within the genus Mesonia.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Overall, this study highlights the relevance of culture-dependent studies, with focus on marine isolated bacteria from different oceanographic regions and depths, to provide a more comprehensive view of the culturable marine bacteria as part of the total marine microbial diversity.
Project description:The sinking of organic particles formed in the photic layer is a main vector of carbon export into the deep ocean. Although sinking particles are heavily colonized by microbes, so far it has not been explored whether this process plays a role in transferring prokaryotic diversity from surface to deep oceanic layers. Using Illumina sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we explore here the vertical connectivity of the ocean microbiome by characterizing marine prokaryotic communities associated with five different size fractions and examining their compositional variability from surface down to 4,000 m across eight stations sampled in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans during the Malaspina 2010 Expedition. Our results show that the most abundant prokaryotes in the deep ocean are also present in surface waters. This vertical community connectivity seems to occur predominantly through the largest particles because communities in the largest size fractions showed the highest taxonomic similarity throughout the water column, whereas free-living communities were more isolated vertically. Our results further suggest that particle colonization processes occurring in surface waters determine to some extent the composition and biogeography of bathypelagic communities. Overall, we postulate that sinking particles function as vectors that inoculate viable particle-attached surface microbes into the deep-sea realm, determining to a considerable extent the structure, functioning, and biogeography of deep ocean communities.
Project description:Prokaryotes play a fundamental role in decomposing organic matter in the ocean, but little is known about how microbial metabolic capabilities vary at the global ocean scale and what are the drivers causing this variation. We aimed at obtaining the first global exploration of the functional capabilities of prokaryotes in the ocean, with emphasis on the under-sampled meso- and bathypelagic layers. We explored the potential utilization of 95 carbon sources with Biolog GN2 plates<sup>®</sup> in 441 prokaryotic communities sampled from surface to bathypelagic waters (down to 4,000 m) at 111 stations distributed across the tropical and subtropical Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. The resulting metabolic profiles were compared with biological and physico-chemical properties such as fluorescent dissolved organic matter (DOM) or temperature. The relative use of the individual substrates was remarkably consistent across oceanic regions and layers, and only the Equatorial Pacific Ocean showed a different metabolic structure. When grouping substrates by categories, we observed some vertical variations, such as an increased relative utilization of polymers in bathypelagic layers or a higher relative use of P-compounds or amino acids in the surface ocean. The increased relative use of polymers with depth, together with the increases in humic DOM, suggest that deep ocean communities have the capability to process complex DOM. Overall, the main identified driver of the metabolic structure of ocean prokaryotic communities was temperature. Our results represent the first global depiction of the potential use of a variety of carbon sources by prokaryotic communities across the tropical and the subtropical ocean and show that acetic acid clearly emerges as one of the most widely potentially used carbon sources in the ocean.
Project description:The biological pump transports organic carbon produced by photosynthesis to the meso- and bathypelagic zones, the latter removing carbon from exchanging with the atmosphere over centennial time scales. Organisms living in both zones are supported by a passive flux of particles, and carbon transported to the deep-sea through vertical zooplankton migrations. Here we report globally-coherent positive relationships between zooplankton biomass in the epi-, meso-, and bathypelagic layers and average net primary production (NPP). We do so based on a global assessment of available deep-sea zooplankton biomass data and large-scale estimates of average NPP. The relationships obtained imply that increased NPP leads to enhanced transference of organic carbon to the deep ocean. Estimated remineralization from respiration rates by deep-sea zooplankton requires a minimum supply of 0.44 Pg C y-1 transported into the bathypelagic ocean, comparable to the passive carbon sequestration. We suggest that the global coupling between NPP and bathypelagic zooplankton biomass must be also supported by an active transport mechanism associated to vertical zooplankton migration.
Project description:Microbial eukaryotes are key components of the ocean plankton. Yet, our understanding of their community composition and activity in different water layers of the ocean is limited, particularly for picoeukaryotes (0.2-3?µm cell size). Here, we examined the picoeukaryotic communities inhabiting different vertical zones of the tropical and subtropical global ocean: surface, deep chlorophyll maximum, mesopelagic (including the deep scattering layer and oxygen minimum zones), and bathypelagic. Communities were analysed by high-tthroughput sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene (V4 region) as represented by DNA (community structure) and RNA (metabolism), followed by delineation of Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) at 99% similarity. We found a stratification of the picoeukaryotic communities along the water column, with assemblages corresponding to the sunlit and dark ocean. Specific taxonomic groups either increased (e.g., Chrysophyceae or Bicosoecida) or decreased (e.g., Dinoflagellata or MAST-3) in abundance with depth. We used the rRNA:rDNA ratio of each OTU as a proxy of metabolic activity. The highest relative activity was found in the mesopelagic layer for most taxonomic groups, and the lowest in the bathypelagic. Altogether, we characterize the change in community structure and metabolic activity of picoeukaryotes with depth in the global ocean, suggesting a hotspot of activity in the mesopelagic.
Project description:To elucidate the potential for nitrification and denitrification processes in a high latitude deep oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) we determined the abundance and community composition of the main microbial players in the aerobic and anaerobic (anammox) ammonium oxidation and denitrification processes in the Gulf of Alaska throughout the water column. Within the dominant bacterial groups, Flavobacterales, Rhodobacterales, Actinomarinales, and SAR86 were more abundant in epipelagic waters and decreased with depth, whereas SAR11, SAR324, Marinimicrobia, and Thiomicrospirales increased their contribution to the bacterial community with depth. Nitrosopumilaceae also increased with depth and dominated the OMZ and bathypelagic archaeal communities. Euryarchaeota Marine Group II exhibited an opposite depth pattern to Nitrosopumilaceae, whereas Marine Group III and Woesearchaeota were more abundant in the bathypelagic realm. Candidatus Brocadia contributed 70-100% of the anammox bacterial community throughout the water column. Archaeal ammonia oxidizers (AOA) dominated the microbial community involved in the nitrogen cycle. Two AOA ecotypes, the high ammonia (HAC) and low ammonia (LAC)-AOA, characterized by distinct genes for aerobic ammonia oxidation (amoA) and for denitrification (nirK), exhibited a distinct distribution pattern related to depth and ammonia concentrations. HAC-AOA dominated in epipelagic (80.5 ± 28.3% of total AOA) oxygenated and ammonia-rich waters, and LAC-AOA dominated in the OMZ (90.9 ± 5.1%) and bathypelagic waters (85.5 ± 13.5%), characterized by lower oxygen and ammonia concentrations. Bacterial denitrifiers (3.7 ± 6.9 bacterial nirK gene mL-1) and anaerobic ammonia oxidizers (78 ± 322 anammox 16S rRNA genes L-1) were low in abundance under the oxygen conditions in the Gulf of Alaska throughout the water column. The widespread distribution of bacterial denitrifiers and anaerobic ammonia oxidizers in low abundances reveals a reservoir of genetic and metabolic potential ready to colonize the environment under the predicted increase of OMZs in the ocean. Taken together, our results reinforce the niche partitioning of archaeal ammonia oxidizers based on their distinct metabolic characteristics resulting in the dominance of LAC-AOA in a high latitude deep OMZ. Considering the different ecological roles and functions of the two archaeal ecotypes, the expansion of the zones dominated by the LAC-ecotype might have implications for the nitrogen cycle in the future ocean.
Project description:The dark ocean microbiota represents the unknown majority in the global ocean waters. The SAR202 cluster belonging to the phylum Chloroflexi was the first microbial lineage discovered to specifically inhabit the aphotic realm, where they are abundant and globally distributed. The absence of SAR202 cultured representatives is a significant bottleneck towards understanding their metabolic capacities and role in the marine environment. In this work, we use a combination of metagenome-assembled genomes from deep-sea datasets and publicly available single-cell genomes to construct a genomic perspective of SAR202 phylogeny, metabolism and biogeography. Our results suggest that SAR202 cluster members are medium sized, free-living cells with a heterotrophic lifestyle, broadly divided into two distinct clades. We present the first evidence of vertical stratification of these microbes along the meso- and bathypelagic ocean layers. Remarkably, two distinct species of SAR202 cluster are highly abundant in nearly all deep bathypelagic metagenomic datasets available so far. SAR202 members metabolize multiple organosulfur compounds, many appear to be sulfite-oxidizers and are predicted to play a major role in sulfur turnover in the dark water column. This concomitantly suggests an unsuspected availability of these nutrient sources to allow for the high abundance of these microbes in the deep sea.
Project description:Marine Bacteroidetes constitute a very abundant bacterioplankton group in the oceans that plays a key role in recycling particulate organic matter and includes several photoheterotrophic members containing proteorhodopsin. Relatively few marine Bacteroidetes species have been described and, moreover, they correspond to cultured isolates, which in most cases do not represent the actual abundant or ecologically relevant microorganisms in the natural environment. In this study, we explored the microdiversity of 98 Single Amplified Genomes (SAGs) retrieved from the surface waters of the underexplored North Indian Ocean, whose most closely related isolate is Kordia algicida OT-1. Using Multi Locus Sequencing Analysis (MLSA) we found no microdiversity in the tested conserved phylogenetic markers (16S rRNA and 23S rRNA genes), the fast-evolving Internal Transcribed Spacer and the functional markers proteorhodopsin and the beta-subunit of RNA polymerase. Furthermore, we carried out a Fragment Recruitment Analysis (FRA) with marine metagenomes to learn about the distribution and dynamics of this microorganism in different locations, depths and size fractions. This analysis indicated that this taxon belongs to the rare biosphere, showing its highest abundance after upwelling-induced phytoplankton blooms and sinking to the deep ocean with large organic matter particles. This uncultured Kordia lineage likely represents a novel Kordia species (Kordia sp. CFSAG39SUR) that contains the proteorhodopsin gene and has a widespread spatial and vertical distribution. The combination of SAGs and MLSA makes a valuable approach to infer putative ecological roles of uncultured abundant microorganisms.
Project description:Studies about the composition and diversity of microbial community in the Rare Earth Elements-rich muds are limited. In this research, we conducted a characterization for the composition and diversity of bacterial and archaeal communities from rare earth elements-rich gravity core sediment at approximately 4800 meters deep in the Indian Ocean by Illumina high-throughput sequencing targeting 16S rRNA genes. The results showed that the most abundant bacteria were Proteobacteria, followed by Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. Amongst Proteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria are present in all sections of this sediment core accounted for a particularly large proportion of bacterial sequences. Candidatus Nitrosopumilus, with a higher relative abundance in our samples, belongs to Thaumarchaeota. This is the first report on the composition and diversity of rare earth elements-rich muds microbial communities in the Indian Ocean deep sea.
Project description:Transparent Exopolymer Particles (TEP) are relevant in particle and carbon fluxes in the ocean, and have economic impact in the desalination industry affecting reverse osmosis membrane fouling. However, general models of their occurrence and dynamics are not yet possible because of the poorly known co-variations with other physical and biological variables. Here, we describe TEP distributions in the NW Mediterranean Sea during late spring 2012, along perpendicular and parallel transects to the Catalan coast. The stations in the parallel transect were sampled at the surface, while the stations in the perpendicular transect were sampled from the surface to the bathypelagic, including the bottom nepheloid layers. We also followed the short-term TEP dynamics along a 2-day cycle in offshore waters. TEP concentrations in the area ranged from 4.9 to 122.8 and averaged 31.4 ± 12.0 ?g XG eq L-1. The distribution of TEP measured in transects parallel to the Catalan Coast correlated those of chlorophyll a (Chla) in May but not in June, when higher TEP-values with respect to Chla were observed. TEP horizontal variability in epipelagic waters from the coast to the open sea also correlated to that of Chla, O2 (that we interpret as a proxy of primary production) and bacterial production (BP). In contrast, the TEP vertical distributions in epipelagic waters were uncoupled from those of Chla, as TEP maxima were located above the deep chlorophyll maxima. The vertical distribution of TEP in the epipelagic zone was correlated with O2 and BP, suggesting combined phytoplankton (through primary production) and bacterial (through carbon reprocessing) TEP sources. However, no clear temporal patterns arose during the 2-day cycle. In meso- and bathypelagic waters, where phytoplanktonic sources are minor, TEP concentrations (10.1 ± 4.3 ?g XG eq l-1) were half those in the epipelagic, but we observed relative TEP increments coinciding with the presence of nepheloid layers. These TEP increases were not paralleled by increases in particulate organic carbon, indicating that TEP are likely to act as aggregating agents of the mostly inorganic particles present in these bottom nepheloid layers.