Effects of Physiochemical Factors on Prokaryotic Biodiversity in Malaysian Circumneutral Hot Springs.
ABSTRACT: Malaysia has a great number of hot springs, especially along the flank of the Banjaran Titiwangsa mountain range. Biological studies of the Malaysian hot springs are rare because of the lack of comprehensive information on their microbial communities. In this study, we report a cultivation-independent census to describe microbial communities in six hot springs. The Ulu Slim (US), Sungai Klah (SK), Dusun Tua (DT), Sungai Serai (SS), Semenyih (SE), and Ayer Hangat (AH) hot springs exhibit circumneutral pH with temperatures ranging from 43°C to 90°C. Genomic DNA was extracted from environmental samples and the V3-V4 hypervariable regions of 16S rRNA genes were amplified, sequenced, and analyzed. High-throughput sequencing analysis showed that microbial richness was high in all samples as indicated by the detection of 6,334-26,244 operational taxonomy units. In total, 59, 61, 72, 73, 65, and 52 bacterial phyla were identified in the US, SK, DT, SS, SE, and AH hot springs, respectively. Generally, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria dominated the bacterial communities in all hot springs. Archaeal communities mainly consisted of Crenarchaeota, Euryarchaeota, and Parvarchaeota. In beta diversity analysis, the hot spring microbial memberships were clustered primarily on the basis of temperature and salinity. Canonical correlation analysis to assess the relationship between the microbial communities and physicochemical variables revealed that diversity patterns were best explained by a combination of physicochemical variables, rather than by individual abiotic variables such as temperature and salinity.
Project description:Little is known about the distribution and ecological functions of abundant, intermediate, and rare biospheres and their correlations with environmental factors in hot springs. Here, we explored the microbial community composition of total, abundant, intermediate, and rare biospheres in 66 Tibetan hot springs (pairwise geographic distance 0-610 km, temperature 32-86°C, pH 3.0-9.5, and salinity 0.13-1.32 g/L) with the use of Illumina MiSeq high-throughput sequencing. The results showed that the abundant sub-communities were mainly composed of Chloroflexi, Proteobacteria, Deinococcus-Thermus, Aquificae, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes. In contrast, the rare sub-communities mainly consisted of most newly proposed or candidate phyla of Dictyoglomi, Hydrogenedentes, Atribacteria, Hadesarchaea, Aminicenantes, Microgenomates, Calescamantes, Omnitrophica, Altiarchaeales, and Chlamydiae. However, the abundant and rare sub-communities shared some common phyla (e.g., Crenarchaeota, Bathyarchaeota, and Chlorobi), which were composed of different OTUs. The abundant, intermediate, and rare sub-communities were mainly influenced by different environmental variables, which could be ascribed to the fact that they may have different growth and activity and thus respond differently to these variables. Spatial factors showed more contribution to shaping of the intermediate and rare communities than to abundant sub-community, suggesting that the abundant taxa were more easily dispersed than their rare counterparts among hot springs. Microbial ecological function prediction revealed that the abundant and rare sub-communities responded differently to the measured environmental factors, suggesting they may occupy different ecological niches in hot springs. The rare sub-communities may play more important roles in organic matter degradation than their abundant counterparts in hot springs. Collectively, this study provides a better understanding on the microbial community structure and potential ecological functions of the abundant and rare biospheres in hot spring ecosystems. The identified rare taxa provide new opportunities of ecological, taxonomic and genomic discoveries in Tibetan hot springs.
Project description:Terrestrial hot springs have provided a niche space for microbial communities throughout much of Earth's history, and evidence for hydrothermal deposits on the Martian surface suggest this could have also been the case for the red planet. Prior to the evolution of photosynthesis, life in hot springs on early Earth would have been supported though chemoautotrophy. Today, hot spring geochemical and physical parameters can preclude the occurrence of oxygenic phototrophs, providing an opportunity to characterize the geochemical and microbial components. In the absence of the photo-oxidation of water, chemoautotrophy in these hot springs (and throughout Earth's history) relies on the delivery of exogenous electron acceptors and donors such as H2, H2S, and Fe2+. Thus, systems fueled by chemoautotrophy are likely energy substrate-limited and support low biomass communities compared to those where oxygenic phototrophs are prevalent. Low biomass silica-precipitating systems have implications for preservation, especially over geologic time. Here, we examine and compare the productivity and composition of low biomass chemoautotrophic versus photoautotrophic communities in silica-saturated hot springs. Our results indicate low biomass chemoautotrophic microbial communities in Yellowstone National Park are supported primarily by sulfur redox reactions and, while similar in total biomass, show higher diversity in anoxygenic phototrophic communities compared to chemoautotrophs. Our data suggest productivity in Archean terrestrial hot springs may be directly linked to redox substrate availability, and there may be high potential for geochemical and physical biosignature preservation from these communities.
Project description:Geothermal hot springs are a natural setting to study microbial adaptation to a wide range of temperatures reaching up to boiling. Temperature gradients lead to distinct microbial communities that inhabit their optimum niches. We sampled three alkaline, high temperature (80-100°C) hot springs in Yellowstone and Iceland that had cooling outflows and whose microbial communities had not been studied previously. The microbial composition in sediments and mats was determined by DNA sequencing of rRNA gene amplicons. Over three dozen phyla of Archaea and Bacteria were identified, representing over 1700 distinct organisms. We observed a significant non-linear reduction in the number of microbial taxa as the temperature increased from warm (38°C) to boiling. At high taxonomic levels, the community structure was similar between the Yellowstone and Iceland hot springs. We identified potential endemism at the genus level, especially in thermophilic phototrophs, which may have been potentially driven by distinct environmental conditions and dispersal limitations.
Project description:The ability of thermophilic microorganisms and their enzymes to decompose biomass have attracted attention due to their quick reaction time, thermostability, and decreased risk of contamination. Exploitation of efficient thermostable glycoside hydrolases (GHs) could accelerate the industrialization of biofuels and biochemicals. However, the full spectrum of thermophiles and their enzymes that are important for biomass degradation at high temperatures have not yet been thoroughly studied. We examined a Malaysian Y-shaped Sungai Klah hot spring located within a wooded area. The fallen foliage that formed a thick layer of biomass bed under the heated water of the Y-shaped Sungai Klah hot spring was an ideal environment for the discovery and analysis of microbial biomass decay communities. We sequenced the hypervariable regions of bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA genes using total community DNA extracted from the hot spring. Data suggested that 25 phyla, 58 classes, 110 orders, 171 families, and 328 genera inhabited this hot spring. Among the detected genera, members of Acidimicrobium, Aeropyrum, Caldilinea, Caldisphaera, Chloracidobacterium, Chloroflexus, Desulfurobacterium, Fervidobacterium, Geobacillus, Meiothermus, Melioribacter, Methanothermococcus, Methanotorris, Roseiflexus, Thermoanaerobacter, Thermoanaerobacterium, Thermoanaerobaculum, and Thermosipho were the main thermophiles containing various GHs that play an important role in cellulose and hemicellulose breakdown. Collectively, the results suggest that the microbial community in this hot spring represents a good source for isolating efficient biomass degrading thermophiles and thermozymes.
Project description:Temporal variation in geochemistry can cause changes in microbial community structure and diversity. Here we studied temporal changes of microbial communities in Tengchong hot springs of Yunnan Province, China in response to geochemical variations by using microbial and geochemical data collected in January, June and August of 2011. Greater temporal variations were observed in individual taxa than at the whole community structure level. Water and sediment communities exhibited different temporal variation patterns. Water communities were largely stable across three sampling times and dominated by similar microbial lineages: Hydrogenobaculum in moderate-temperature acidic springs, Sulfolobus in high-temperature acidic springs, and Hydrogenobacter in high-temperature circumneutral to alkaline springs. Sediment communities were more diverse and responsive to changing physicochemical conditions. Most of the sediment communities in January and June were similar to those in waters. However, the August sediment community was more diverse and contained more anaerobic heterotrophs than the January and June: Desulfurella and Acidicaldus in moderate-temperature acidic springs, Ignisphaera and Desulfurococcus in high-temperature acidic springs, the candidate division OP1 and Fervidobacterium in alkaline springs, and Thermus and GAL35 in neutral springs. Temporal variations in physicochemical parameters including temperature, pH, and dissolved organic carbon may have triggered the observed microbial community shifts.
Project description:The study of microbial communities from extreme environments is a fascinating topic. With every study, biologists and ecologists reveal interesting facts and questions that dispel the old belief that these are inhospitable environments. In this work, we assess the microbial diversity of three hot springs from Neuquén, Argentina, using high-throughput amplicon sequencing. We predicted a distinct metabolic profile in the acidic and the circumneutral samples, with the first ones being dominated by chemolithotrophs and the second ones by chemoheterotrophs. Then, we collected data of the microbial communities of hot springs around the world in an effort to comprehend the roles of pH and temperature as shaping factors. Interestingly, there was a covariation between both parameters and the phylogenetic distance between communities; however, neither of them could explain much of the microbial profile in an ordination model. Moreover, there was no correlation between alpha diversity and these parameters. Therefore, the microbial communities' profile seemed to have complex shaping factors beyond pH and temperature. Lastly, we looked for taxa associated with different environmental conditions. Several such taxa were found. For example, Hydrogenobaculum was frequently present in acidic springs, as was the Sulfolobaceae family; on the other hand, Candidatus Hydrothermae phylum was strongly associated with circumneutral conditions. Interestingly, some singularities related to sites featuring certain taxa were also observed.
Project description:This study describes microbial diversity in four tropical hot springs representing moderately thermophilic environments (temperature range: 40-58°C; pH: 7.2-7.4) with discrete geochemistry. Metagenome sequence data showed a dominance of Bacteria over Archaea; the most abundant phyla were Chloroflexi and Proteobacteria, although other phyla were also present, such as Acetothermia, Nitrospirae, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes, Deinococcus-Thermus, Bacteroidetes, Thermotogae, Euryarchaeota, Verrucomicrobia, Ignavibacteriae, Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes, Spirochaetes, Armatimonadetes, Crenarchaeota, and Aquificae. The distribution of major genera and their statistical correlation analyses with the physicochemical parameters predicted that the temperature, aqueous concentrations of ions (such as sodium, chloride, sulfate, and bicarbonate), total hardness, dissolved solids and conductivity were the main environmental variables influencing microbial community composition and diversity. Despite the observed high taxonomic diversity, there were only little variations in the overall functional profiles of the microbial communities in the four springs. Genes involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and carbon fixation were the most abundant functional class of genes present in these hot springs. The distribution of genes involved in carbon fixation predicted the presence of all the six known autotrophic pathways in the metagenomes. A high prevalence of genes involved in membrane transport, signal transduction, stress response, bacterial chemotaxis, and flagellar assembly were observed along with genes involved in the pathways of xenobiotic degradation and metabolism. The analysis of the metagenomic sequences affiliated to the candidate phylum Acetothermia from spring TB-3 provided new insight into the metabolism and physiology of yet-unknown members of this lineage of bacteria.
Project description:Diverse microorganisms specifically inhabit extreme environments, such as hot springs and deep-sea hydrothermal vents. To test the hypothesis that the microbial community structure is predictable based on environmental factors characteristic of such extreme environments, we conducted correlation analyses of microbial taxa/functions and environmental factors using metagenomic and 61 types of physicochemical data of water samples from nine hot springs in the Kirishima area (Kyusyu, Japan), where hot springs with diverse chemical properties are distributed in a relatively narrow area. Our metagenomic analysis revealed that the samples can be classified into two major types dominated by either phylum Crenarchaeota or phylum Aquificae. The correlation analysis showed that Crenarchaeota dominated in nutrient-rich environments with high concentrations of ions and total carbons, whereas Aquificae dominated in nutrient-poor environments with low ion concentrations. These environmental factors were also important explanatory variables in the generalized linear models constructed to predict the abundances of Crenarchaeota or Aquificae. Functional enrichment analysis of genes also revealed that the separation of the two major types is primarily attributable to genes involved in autotrophic carbon fixation, sulfate metabolism and nitrate reduction. Our results suggested that Aquificae and Crenarchaeota play a vital role in the Kirishima hot spring water ecosystem through their metabolic pathways adapted to each environment. Our findings provide a basis to predict microbial community structures in hot springs from environmental parameters, and also provide clues for the exploration of biological resources in extreme environments.
Project description:Phototrophic microbial mats are assemblages of vertically layered microbial populations dominated by photosynthetic microorganisms. In order to elucidate the vertical distribution and diversity of phototrophic microorganisms in a hot spring-associated microbial mat in Nakabusa (Japan), we analyzed the 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequences of the microbial mat separated into five depth horizons, and correlated them with microsensor measurements of O2 and spectral scalar irradiance. A stable core community and high diversity of phototrophic organisms dominated by the filamentous anoxygenic phototrophs, Roseiflexus castenholzii and Chloroflexus aggregans were identified together with the spectral signatures of bacteriochlorophylls (BChls) a and c absorption in all mat layers. In the upper mat layers, a high abundance of cyanobacteria (Thermosynechococcus sp.) correlated with strong spectral signatures of chlorophyll a and phycobiliprotein absorption near the surface in a zone of high O2 concentrations during the day. Deeper mat layers were dominated by uncultured chemotrophic Chlorobi such as the novel putatively sulfate-reducing "Ca. Thermonerobacter sp.", which showed increasing abundance with depth correlating with low O2 in these layers enabling anaerobic metabolism. Oxygen tolerance and requirements for the novel phototroph "Ca. Chloroanaerofilum sp." and the uncultured chemotrophic Armatimonadetes member type OS-L detected in Nakabusa hot springs, Japan appeared to differ from previously suggested lifestyles for close relatives identified in hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, USA. The present study identified various microenvironmental gradients and niche differentiation enabling the co-existence of diverse chlorophototrophs in metabolically diverse communities in hot springs.
Project description:Terrestrial thermal springs are widely distributed globally, and these springs harbor a broad diversity of organisms of biotechnological interest. In Mexico, few studies exploring this kind of environment have been described. In this work, we explore the microbial community in Chignahuapan hot springs, which provides clues to understand these ecosystems' diversity. We assessed the diversity of the microorganism communities in a hot spring environment with a metagenomic shotgun approach. Besides identifying similarities and differences with other ecosystems, we achieved a systematic comparison against 11 metagenomic samples from diverse localities. The Chignahuapan hot springs show a particular prevalence of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria from the genera Rhodococcus, Thermomonas, Thiomonas, Acinetobacter, Sulfurovum, and Bacillus, highlighting those that are different from other recovered bacterial populations in circumneutral hot springs environments around the world. The co-occurrence analysis of the bacteria and viruses in these environments revealed that within the Rhodococcus, Thiomonas, Thermonas, and Bacillus genera, the Chignahuapan samples have specific species of bacteria with a particular abundance, such as Rhodococcus erytropholis. The viruses in the circumneutral hot springs present bacteriophages within the order Caudovirales (Siphoviridae, Myoviridae, and Podoviridae), but the family of Herelleviridae was the most abundant in Chignahuapan samples. Furthermore, viral auxiliary metabolic genes were identified, many of which contribute mainly to the metabolism of cofactors and vitamins as well as carbohydrate metabolism. Nevertheless, the viruses and bacteria present in the circumneutral environments contribute to the sulfur cycle. This work represents an exhaustive characterization of a community structure in samples collected from hot springs in Mexico and opens opportunities to identify organisms of biotechnological interest.