Effects of Actinomycete Secondary Metabolites on Sediment Microbial Communities.
ABSTRACT: Marine sediments harbor complex microbial communities that remain poorly studied relative to other biomes such as seawater. Moreover, bacteria in these communities produce antibiotics and other bioactive secondary metabolites, yet little is known about how these compounds affect microbial community structure. In this study, we used next-generation amplicon sequencing to assess native microbial community composition in shallow tropical marine sediments. The results revealed complex communities comprised of largely uncultured taxa, with considerable spatial heterogeneity and known antibiotic producers comprising only a small fraction of the total diversity. Organic extracts from cultured strains of the sediment-dwelling actinomycete genus Salinispora were then used in mesocosm studies to address how secondary metabolites shape sediment community composition. We identified predatory bacteria and other taxa that were consistently reduced in the extract-treated mesocosms, suggesting that they may be the targets of allelopathic interactions. We tested related taxa for extract sensitivity and found general agreement with the culture-independent results. Conversely, several taxa were enriched in the extract-treated mesocosms, suggesting that some bacteria benefited from the interactions. The results provide evidence that bacterial secondary metabolites can have complex and significant effects on sediment microbial communities. IMPORTANCE:Ocean sediments represent one of Earth's largest and most poorly studied biomes. These habitats are characterized by complex microbial communities where competition for space and nutrients can be intense. This study addressed the hypothesis that secondary metabolites produced by the sediment-inhabiting actinomycete Salinispora arenicola affect community composition and thus mediate interactions among competing microbes. Next-generation amplicon sequencing of mesocosm experiments revealed complex communities that shifted following exposure to S. arenicola extracts. The results reveal that certain predatory bacteria were consistently less abundant following exposure to extracts, suggesting that microbial metabolites mediate competitive interactions. Other taxa increased in relative abundance, suggesting a benefit from the extracts themselves or the resulting changes in the community. This study takes a first step toward assessing the impacts of bacterial metabolites on sediment microbial communities. The results provide insight into how low-abundance organisms may help structure microbial communities in ocean sediments.
Project description:Marine fjords with active glacier outlets are hot spots for organic matter burial in the sediments and subsequent microbial mineralization. Here, we investigated controls on microbial community assembly in sub-arctic glacier-influenced (GI) and non-glacier-influenced (NGI) marine sediments in the Godthåbsfjord region, south-western Greenland. We used a correlative approach integrating 16S rRNA gene and dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrB) amplicon sequence data over six meters of depth with biogeochemistry, sulfur-cycling activities, and sediment ages. GI sediments were characterized by comparably high sedimentation rates and had "young" sediment ages of <500 years even at 6 m sediment depth. In contrast, NGI stations reached ages of approximately 10,000 years at these depths. Sediment age-depth relationships, sulfate reduction rates (SRR), and C/N ratios were strongly correlated with differences in microbial community composition between GI and NGI sediments, indicating that age and diagenetic state were key drivers of microbial community assembly in subsurface sediments. Similar bacterial and archaeal communities were present in the surface sediments of all stations, whereas only in GI sediments were many surface taxa also abundant through the whole sediment core. The relative abundance of these taxa, including diverse Desulfobacteraceae members, correlated positively with SRRs, indicating their active contributions to sulfur-cycling processes. In contrast, other surface community members, such as Desulfatiglans, Atribacteria, and Chloroflexi, survived the slow sediment burial at NGI stations and dominated in the deepest sediment layers. These taxa are typical for the energy-limited marine deep biosphere and their relative abundances correlated positively with sediment age. In conclusion, our data suggests that high rates of sediment accumulation caused by glacier runoff and associated changes in biogeochemistry, promote persistence of sulfur-cycling activity and burial of a larger fraction of the surface microbial community into the deep subsurface.
Project description:Salinispora is the first obligate marine genus within the order Actinomycetales and a productive source of biologically active secondary metabolites. Despite a worldwide, tropical or subtropical distribution in marine sediments, only two Salinispora species have thus far been cultivated, suggesting limited species-level diversity. To further explore Salinispora diversity and distributions, the phylogenetic diversity of more than 350 strains isolated from sediments collected around the Bahamas was examined, including strains cultured using new enrichment methods. A culture-independent method, using a Salinispora-specific seminested PCR technique, was used to detect Salinispora from environmental DNA and estimate diversity. Overall, the 16S rRNA gene sequence diversity of cultured strains agreed well with that detected in the environmental clone libraries. Despite extensive effort, no new species level diversity was detected, and 97% of the 105 strains examined by restriction fragment length polymorphism belonged to one phylotype (S. arenicola). New intraspecific diversity was detected in the libraries, including an abundant new phylotype that has yet to be cultured, and a new depth record of 1,100 m was established for the genus. PCR-introduced error, primarily from Taq polymerase, significantly increased clone library sequence diversity and, if not masked from the analyses, would have led to an overestimation of total diversity. An environmental DNA extraction method specific for vegetative cells provided evidence for active actinomycete growth in marine sediments while indicating that a majority of sediment samples contained predominantly Salinispora spores at concentrations that could not be detected in environmental clone libraries. Challenges involved with the direct sequence-based detection of spore-forming microorganisms in environmental samples are discussed.
Project description:Hadal ocean sediments, found at sites deeper than 6,000 m water depth, are thought to contain microbial communities distinct from those at shallower depths due to high hydrostatic pressures and higher abundances of organic matter. These communities may also differ from one other as a result of geographical isolation. Here we compare microbial community composition in surficial sediments of two hadal environments-the Mariana and Kermadec trenches-to evaluate microbial biogeography at hadal depths. Sediment microbial consortia were distinct between trenches, with higher relative sequence abundances of taxa previously correlated with organic matter degradation present in the Kermadec Trench. In contrast, the Mariana Trench, and deeper sediments in both trenches, were enriched in taxa predicted to break down recalcitrant material and contained other uncharacterized lineages. At the 97% similarity level, sequence-abundant taxa were not trench-specific and were related to those found in other hadal and abyssal habitats, indicating potential connectivity between geographically isolated sediments. Despite the diversity of microorganisms identified using culture-independent techniques, most isolates obtained under in situ pressures were related to previously identified piezophiles. Members related to these same taxa also became dominant community members when native sediments were incubated under static, long-term, unamended high-pressure conditions. Our results support the hypothesis that there is connectivity between sediment microbial populations inhabiting the Mariana and Kermadec trenches while showing that both whole communities and specific microbial lineages vary between trench of collection and sediment horizon depth. This in situ biodiversity is largely missed when incubating samples within pressure vessels and highlights the need for revised protocols for high-pressure incubations.
Project description:Surprisingly high rates of microbial respiration have recently been reported in hadal trench sediment, yet the potentially active microorganisms and specific microbe-microbe relationships in trench sediment are largely unknown. We investigated the bulk and active prokaryotic communities and co-occurrence interactions of different lineages in vertically sectioned sediment cores taken from the deepest points of the Mariana and Mussau Trenches. Analysis on species novelty revealed for the first time the high rate of novel lineages in the microbial communities of the hadal trenches. Using 95, 97, and 99% similarity as thresholds, averagely 22.29, 32.3, and 64.1% of total OTUs retrieved from sediments of the two trenches were identified as the potentially novel lineages, respectively. The compositions of the potentially active communities, revealed via ribosomal RNA (rRNA), were significantly different from those of bulk communities (rDNA) in all samples from both trenches. The dominant taxa in bulk communities generally accounted for low proportions in the rRNA libraries, signifying that the abundance was not necessarily related to community functions in the hadal sediments. The potentially active communities showed high diversity and composed primarily of heterotrophic lineages, supporting their potential contributions in organic carbon consumption. Network analysis revealed high modularity and non-random co-occurrence of phylogenetically unrelated taxa, indicating highly specified micro-niches and close microbial interactions in the hadal sediments tested. Combined analysis of activity potentials and network keystone scores revealed significance of phyla Chloroflexi and Gemmatimonadetes, as well as several potentially alkane-degrading taxa in maintaining microbial interactions and functions of the trench communities. Overall, our results demonstrate that the hadal trenches harbor diverse, closely interacting, and active microorganisms, despite the extreme environmental conditions.
Project description:For decades, microbial community composition in subseafloor sediments has been the focus of extensive studies. In deep lacustrine sediments, however, the taxonomic composition of microbial communities remains undercharacterized. Greater knowledge on microbial diversity in lacustrine sediments would improve our understanding of how environmental factors, and resulting selective pressures, shape subsurface biospheres in marine and freshwater sediments. Using high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes across high-resolution climate intervals covering the last 50 000 years in Laguna Potrok Aike, Argentina, we identified changes in microbial populations in response to both past environmental conditions and geochemical changes of the sediment during burial. Microbial communities in Holocene sediments were most diverse, reflecting a layering of taxa linked to electron acceptors availability. In deeper intervals, the data show that salinity, organic matter and the depositional conditions over the Last Glacial-interglacial cycle were all selective pressures in the deep lacustrine assemblage resulting in a genetically distinct biosphere from the surface dominated primarily by Bathyarchaeota and Atribacteria groups. However, similar to marine sediments, some dominant taxa in the shallow subsurface persisted into the subsurface as minor fraction of the community. The subsequent establishment of a deep subsurface community likely results from a combination of paleoenvironmental factors that have shaped the pool of available substrates, together with substrate depletion and/or reworking of organic matter with depth.
Project description:Microbial communities and their associated metabolic activity in marine sediments have a profound impact on global biogeochemical cycles. Their composition and structure are attributed to geochemical and physical factors, but finding direct correlations has remained a challenge. Here we show a significant statistical relationship between variation in geochemical composition and prokaryotic community structure within deep-sea sediments. We obtained comprehensive geochemical data from two gravity cores near the hydrothermal vent field Loki's Castle at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge, in the Norwegian-Greenland Sea. Geochemical properties in the rift valley sediments exhibited strong centimeter-scale stratigraphic variability. Microbial populations were profiled by pyrosequencing from 15 sediment horizons (59,364 16S rRNA gene tags), quantitatively assessed by qPCR, and phylogenetically analyzed. Although the same taxa were generally present in all samples, their relative abundances varied substantially among horizons and fluctuated between Bacteria- and Archaea-dominated communities. By independently summarizing covariance structures of the relative abundance data and geochemical data, using principal components analysis, we found a significant correlation between changes in geochemical composition and changes in community structure. Differences in organic carbon and mineralogy shaped the relative abundance of microbial taxa. We used correlations to build hypotheses about energy metabolisms, particularly of the Deep Sea Archaeal Group, specific Deltaproteobacteria, and sediment lineages of potentially anaerobic Marine Group I Archaea. We demonstrate that total prokaryotic community structure can be directly correlated to geochemistry within these sediments, thus enhancing our understanding of biogeochemical cycling and our ability to predict metabolisms of uncultured microbes in deep-sea sediments.
Project description:Although sediments of small boreal humic lakes are important carbon stores and greenhouse gas sources, the composition and structuring mechanisms of their microbial communities have remained understudied. We analyzed the vertical profiles of microbial biomass indicators (PLFAs, DNA and RNA) and the bacterial and archaeal community composition (sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons and qPCR of mcrA) in sediment cores collected from a typical small boreal lake. While microbial biomass decreased with sediment depth, viable microbes (RNA and PLFA) were present all through the profiles. The vertical stratification patterns of the bacterial and archaeal communities resembled those in marine sediments with well-characterized groups (e.g. Methanomicrobia, Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, Bacteroidetes) dominating in the surface sediment and being replaced by poorly-known groups (e.g. Bathyarchaeota, Aminicenantes and Caldiserica) in the deeper layers. The results also suggested that, similar to marine systems, the deep bacterial and archaeal communities were predominantly assembled by selective survival of taxa able to persist in the low energy conditions. Methanotrophs were rare, further corroborating the role of these methanogen-rich sediments as important methane emitters. Based on their taxonomy, the deep-dwelling groups were putatively organo-heterotrophic, organo-autotrophic and/or acetogenic and thus may contribute to changes in the lake sediment carbon storage.
Project description:The deep marine subsurface is a heterogeneous environment in which the assembly of microbial communities is thought to be controlled by a combination of organic matter deposition, electron acceptor availability, and sedimentology. However, the relative importance of these factors in structuring microbial communities in marine sediments remains unclear. The South China Sea (SCS) experiences significant variability in sedimentation across the basin and features discrete changes in sedimentology as a result of episodic deposition of turbidites and volcanic ashes within lithogenic clays and siliceous or calcareous ooze deposits throughout the basin's history. Deep subsurface microbial communities were recently sampled by the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) at three locations in the SCS with sedimentation rates of 5, 12, and 20 cm per thousand years. Here, we used Illumina sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene to characterize deep subsurface microbial communities from distinct sediment types at these sites. Communities across all sites were dominated by several poorly characterized taxa implicated in organic matter degradation, including Atribacteria, Dehalococcoidia, and Aerophobetes. Sulfate-reducing bacteria comprised only 4% of the community across sulfate-bearing sediments from multiple cores and did not change in abundance in sediments from the methanogenic zone at the site with the lowest sedimentation rate. Microbial communities were significantly structured by sediment age and the availability of sulfate as an electron acceptor in pore waters. However, microbial communities demonstrated no partitioning based on the sediment type they inhabited. These results indicate that microbial communities in the SCS are structured by the availability of electron donors and acceptors rather than sedimentological characteristics.
Project description:Marine subsurface environments such as deep-sea sediments, house abundant and diverse microbial communities that are believed to influence large-scale geochemical processes. These processes include the biotransformation and mineralization of numerous petroleum constituents. Thus, microbial communities in the Gulf of Mexico are thought to be responsible for the intrinsic bioremediation of crude oil released by the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. While hydrocarbon contamination is known to enrich for aerobic, oil-degrading bacteria in deep-seawater habitats, relatively little is known about the response of communities in deep-sea sediments, where low oxygen levels may hinder such a response. Here, we examined the hypothesis that increased hydrocarbon exposure results in an altered sediment microbial community structure that reflects the prospects for oil biodegradation under the prevailing conditions. We explore this hypothesis using metagenomic analysis and metabolite profiling of deep-sea sediment samples following the DWH oil spill. The presence of aerobic microbial communities and associated functional genes was consistent among all samples, whereas, a greater number of Deltaproteobacteria and anaerobic functional genes were found in sediments closest to the DWH blowout site. Metabolite profiling also revealed a greater number of putative metabolites in sediments surrounding the blowout zone relative to a background site located 127 km away. The mass spectral analysis of the putative metabolites revealed that alkylsuccinates remained below detection levels, but a homologous series of benzylsuccinates (with carbon chain lengths from 5 to 10) could be detected. Our findings suggest that increased exposure to hydrocarbons enriches for Deltaproteobacteria, which are known to be capable of anaerobic hydrocarbon metabolism. We also provide evidence for an active microbial community metabolizing aromatic hydrocarbons in deep-sea sediments of the Gulf of Mexico.
Project description:Salinispora (Micromonosporaceae) is an obligate marine bacterium genus consisting of three species that share over 99% 16S rRNA identity. The genome and biosynthetic pathways of the members of this genus have been widely investigated due to their production of species-specific metabolites. However, despite the species' high genetic similarity, site-specific secondary metabolic gene clusters have been found in Salinispora strains collected at different locations. Therefore, exploring the metabolic expression of Salinispora recovered from different sites may furnish insights into their environmental adaptation or their chemical communication and, further, may lead to the discovery of new natural products. We describe the first occurrence of Salinispora strains in sediments from the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago (a collection of islets in Brazil) in the Atlantic Ocean, and we investigate the metabolic profiles of these strains by employing mass-spectrometry-based metabolomic approaches, including molecular networking from the Global Natural Products Social Molecular Networking platform. Furthermore, we analyze data from Salinispora strains recovered from sediments from the Madeira Archipelago (Portugal, Macaronesia) in order to provide a wider metabolomic investigation of Salinispora strains from the Atlantic Oceanic islands. Overall, our study evidences a broader geographic influence on the secondary metabolism of Salinispora than was previously proposed. Still, some biosynthetic gene clusters, such as those corresponding to typical chemical signatures of S. arenicola, like saliniketals and rifamycins, are highly conserved among the assessed strains.