High abundance and expression of transposases in bacteria from the Baltic Sea.
ABSTRACT: Transposases are mobile genetic elements suggested to have an important role in bacterial genome plasticity and host adaptation but their transcriptional activity in natural bacterial communities is largely unexplored. Here we analyzed metagenomes and -transcriptomes of size fractionated (0.1-0.8, 0.8-3.0 and 3.0-200??m) bacterial communities from the brackish Baltic Sea, and adjacent marine waters. The Baltic Sea transposase levels, up to 1.7% of bacterial genes and 2% of bacterial transcripts, were considerably higher than in marine waters and similar to levels reported for extreme environments. Large variations in expression were found between transposase families and groups of bacteria, with a two-fold higher transcription in Cyanobacteria than in any other phylum. The community-level results were corroborated at the genus level by Synechococcus transposases reaching up to 5.2% of genes and 6.9% of transcripts, which is in contrast to marine Synechococcus that largely lack these genes. Levels peaked in Synechococcus from the largest size fraction, suggesting high frequencies of lateral gene transfer and high genome plasticity in colony-forming picocyanobacteria. Together, the results support an elevated rate of transposition-based genome change and adaptation in bacterial populations of the Baltic Sea, and possibly also of other highly dynamic estuarine waters.
Project description:Habitat stratification by abiotic and biotic factors initiates divergence of populations and leads to ecological speciation. In contrast to fully marine waters, the Baltic Sea is stratified by a salinity gradient that strongly affects fish physiology, distribution, diversity and virulence of important marine pathogens. Animals thus face the challenge to simultaneously adapt to the concurrent salinity and cope with the selection imposed by the changing pathogenic virulence. Western Baltic spring-spawning herring (Clupea harengus) migrate to spawning grounds characterized by different salinities to which herring are supposedly adapted. We hypothesized that herring populations do not only have to cope with different salinity levels but that they are simultaneously exposed to higher-order effects that accompany the shifts in salinity, that is induced pathogenicity of Vibrio bacteria in lower saline waters. To experimentally evaluate this, adults of two populations were caught in their spawning grounds and fully reciprocally crossed within and between populations. Larvae were reared at three salinity levels, representing the spawning ground salinity of each of the two populations, or Atlantic salinity conditions resembling the phylogenetic origin of Clupea harengus. In addition, larvae were exposed to a Vibrio spp. infection. Life-history traits and gene expression analysis served as response variables. Herring seem adapted to Baltic Sea conditions and cope better with low saline waters. However, upon a bacterial infection, herring larvae suffer more when kept at lower salinities implying reduced resistance against Vibrio or higher Vibrio virulence. In the context of recent climate change with less saline marine waters in the Baltic Sea, such interactions may constitute key future stressors.
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:Vast parts of the Baltic Sea have been mycologically neglected and are still awaiting exploration. Here we summarise earlier records of marine fungi from the Baltic, supplementing them with discoveries from fieldwork in Sweden in 2019. Although marine fungal diversity is clearly attenuated in the brackish water of the Baltic Sea, a substantial number has still been discovered. Here we list 77 species from the Baltic Sea, whereas after a critical assessment a further 18 species have been excluded as records of marine fungi. The species have mainly been identified by their morphological features, supplemented by DNA-based diagnostics. Most of the species have their main distributions in temperate areas of the Atlantic Ocean. Some of the Baltic species discovered here represent far disjunctions to tropical waters while only a very few are until now only recorded for the Baltic Sea. In this paper two species belong in Basidiomycota, while the most ascomyceteous speciose classes are Sordariomycetes (with 42 species) and Dothideomycetes (24). Halosphaeriaceae is the most speciose family in marine habitats, as also in the Baltic Sea, represented here by 29 species. Three species are new to Europe, and in addition 13 to the Baltic Sea and 13 to Sweden.
Project description:Ammonium is a central nutrient in aquatic systems. Yet, cell-specific ammonium assimilation among diverse functional plankton is poorly documented in field communities. Combining stable-isotope incubations (15N-ammonium, 15N2 and 13C-bicarbonate) with secondary-ion mass spectrometry, we quantified bulk ammonium dynamics, N2-fixation and carbon (C) fixation, as well as single-cell ammonium assimilation and C-fixation within plankton communities in nitrogen (N)-depleted surface waters during summer in the Baltic Sea. Ammonium production resulted from regenerated (≥91%) and new production (N2-fixation, ≤9%), supporting primary production by 78-97 and 2-16%, respectively. Ammonium was produced and consumed at balanced rates, and rapidly recycled within 1 h, as shown previously, facilitating an efficient ammonium transfer within plankton communities. N2-fixing cyanobacteria poorly assimilated ammonium, whereas heterotrophic bacteria and picocyanobacteria accounted for its highest consumption (~20 and ~20-40%, respectively). Surprisingly, ammonium assimilation and C-fixation were similarly fast for picocyanobacteria (non-N2-fixing Synechococcus) and large diatoms (Chaetoceros). Yet, the population biomass was high for Synechococcus but low for Chaetoceros. Hence, autotrophic picocyanobacteria and heterotrophic bacteria, with their high single-cell assimilation rates and dominating population biomass, competed for the same nutrient source and drove rapid ammonium dynamics in N-depleted marine waters.
Project description:The population structure of the highly mobile marine mammal, the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), in the Atlantic shelf waters follows a pattern of significant isolation-by-distance. The population structure of harbor porpoises from the Baltic Sea, which is connected with the North Sea through a series of basins separated by shallow underwater ridges, however, is more complex. Here, we investigated the population differentiation of harbor porpoises in European Seas with a special focus on the Baltic Sea and adjacent waters, using a population genomics approach. We used 2872 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), derived from double digest restriction-site associated DNA sequencing (ddRAD-seq), as well as 13 microsatellite loci and mitochondrial haplotypes for the same set of individuals. Spatial principal components analysis (sPCA), and Bayesian clustering on a subset of SNPs suggest three main groupings at the level of all studied regions: the Black Sea, the North Atlantic, and the Baltic Sea. Furthermore, we observed a distinct separation of the North Sea harbor porpoises from the Baltic Sea populations, and identified splits between porpoise populations within the Baltic Sea. We observed a notable distinction between the Belt Sea and the Inner Baltic Sea sub-regions. Improved delineation of harbor porpoise population assignments for the Baltic based on genomic evidence is important for conservation management of this endangered cetacean in threatened habitats, particularly in the Baltic Sea proper. In addition, we show that SNPs outperform microsatellite markers and demonstrate the utility of RAD-tags from a relatively small, opportunistically sampled cetacean sample set for population diversity and divergence analysis.
Project description:Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data were generated from size-fractionated samples from 11 sites within the Baltic Sea and adjacent marine waters of Kattegat and freshwater Lake Torneträsk in order to investigate the diversity, distribution, and transcriptional activity of virioplankton. Such a transect, spanning a salinity gradient from freshwater to the open sea, facilitated a broad genome-enabled investigation of natural as well as impacted aspects of Baltic Sea viral communities. Taxonomic signatures representative of phages within the widely distributed order Caudovirales were identified with enrichments in lesser-known families such as Podoviridae and Siphoviridae. The distribution of phage reported to infect diverse and ubiquitous heterotrophic bacteria (SAR11 clades) and cyanobacteria (Synechococcus sp.) displayed population-level shifts in diversity. Samples from higher-salinity conditions (>14 practical salinity units [PSU]) had increased abundances of viruses for picoeukaryotes, i.e., Ostreococcus. These data, combined with host diversity estimates, suggest viral modulation of diversity on the whole-community scale, as well as in specific prokaryotic and eukaryotic lineages. RNA libraries revealed single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and RNA viral populations throughout the Baltic Sea, with ssDNA phage highly represented in Lake Torneträsk. Further, our data suggest relatively high transcriptional activity of fish viruses within diverse families known to have broad host ranges, such as Nodoviridae (RNA), Iridoviridae (DNA), and predicted zoonotic viruses that can cause ecological and economic damage as well as impact human health. IMPORTANCE Inferred virus-host relationships, community structures of ubiquitous ecologically relevant groups, and identification of transcriptionally active populations have been achieved with our Baltic Sea study. Further, these data, highlighting the transcriptional activity of viruses, represent one of the more powerful uses of omics concerning ecosystem health. The use of omics-related data to assess ecosystem health holds great promise for rapid and relatively inexpensive determination of perturbations and risk, explicitly with regard to viral assemblages, as no single marker gene is suitable for widespread taxonomic coverage.
Project description:Anthropogenically induced changes in precipitation are projected to generate increased river runoff to semi-enclosed seas, increasing loads of terrestrial dissolved organic matter and decreasing salinity. To determine how bacterial community structure and functioning adjust to such changes, we designed microcosm transplant experiments with Baltic Proper (salinity 7.2) and Bothnian Sea (salinity 3.6) water. Baltic Proper bacteria generally reached higher abundances than Bothnian Sea bacteria in both Baltic Proper and Bothnian Sea water, indicating higher adaptability. Moreover, Baltic Proper bacteria growing in Bothnian Sea water consistently showed highest bacterial production and beta-glucosidase activity. These metabolic responses were accompanied by basin-specific changes in bacterial community structure. For example, Baltic Proper Pseudomonas and Limnobacter populations increased markedly in relative abundance in Bothnian Sea water, indicating a replacement effect. In contrast, Roseobacter and Rheinheimera populations were stable or increased in abundance when challenged by either of the waters, indicating an adjustment effect. Transplants to Bothnian Sea water triggered the initial emergence of particular Burkholderiaceae populations, and transplants to Baltic Proper water triggered Alteromonadaceae populations. Notably, in the subsequent re-transplant experiment, a priming effect resulted in further increases to dominance of these populations. Correlated changes in community composition and metabolic activity were observed only in the transplant experiment and only at relatively high phylogenetic resolution. This suggested an importance of successional progression for interpreting relationships between bacterial community composition and functioning. We infer that priming effects on bacterial community structure by natural episodic events or climate change induced forcing could translate into long-term changes in bacterial ecosystem process rates.
Project description:Picocyanobacteria represented by Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus have an important role in oceanic carbon fixation and nutrient cycling. In this study, we compared the community composition of picocyanobacteria from diverse marine ecosystems ranging from estuary to open oceans, tropical to polar oceans and surface to deep water, based on the sequences of 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS). A total of 1339 ITS sequences recovered from 20 samples unveiled diverse and several previously unknown clades of Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus. Six high-light (HL)-adapted Prochlorococcus clades were identified, among which clade HLVI had not been described previously. Prochlorococcus clades HLIII, HLIV and HLV, detected in the Equatorial Pacific samples, could be related to the HNLC clades recently found in the high-nutrient, low-chlorophyll (HNLC), iron-depleted tropical oceans. At least four novel Synechococcus clades (out of six clades in total) in subcluster 5.3 were found in subtropical open oceans and the South China Sea. A niche partitioning with depth was observed in the Synechococcus subcluster 5.3. Members of Synechococcus subcluster 5.2 were dominant in the high-latitude waters (northern Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea), suggesting a possible cold-adaptation of some marine Synechococcus in this subcluster. A distinct shift of the picocyanobacterial community was observed from the Bering Sea to the Chukchi Sea, which reflected the change of water temperature. Our study demonstrates that oceanic systems contain a large pool of diverse picocyanobacteria, and further suggest that new genotypes or ecotypes of picocyanobacteria will continue to emerge, as microbial consortia are explored with advanced sequencing technology.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Surface waters of aquatic environments have been shown to both evolve and consume hydrogen and the ocean is estimated to be the principal natural source. In some marine habitats, H(2) evolution and uptake are clearly due to biological activity, while contributions of abiotic sources must be considered in others. Until now the only known biological process involved in H(2) metabolism in marine environments is nitrogen fixation. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We analyzed marine and freshwater environments for the presence and distribution of genes of all known hydrogenases, the enzymes involved in biological hydrogen turnover. The total genomes and the available marine metagenome datasets were searched for hydrogenase sequences. Furthermore, we isolated DNA from samples from the North Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea, North Sea, Baltic Sea, and two fresh water lakes and amplified and sequenced part of the gene encoding the bidirectional NAD(P)-linked hydrogenase. In 21% of all marine heterotrophic bacterial genomes from surface waters, one or several hydrogenase genes were found, with the membrane-bound H(2) uptake hydrogenase being the most widespread. A clear bias of hydrogenases to environments with terrestrial influence was found. This is exemplified by the cyanobacterial bidirectional NAD(P)-linked hydrogenase that was found in freshwater and coastal areas but not in the open ocean. SIGNIFICANCE: This study shows that hydrogenases are surprisingly abundant in marine environments. Due to its ecological distribution the primary function of the bidirectional NAD(P)-linked hydrogenase seems to be fermentative hydrogen evolution. Moreover, our data suggests that marine surface waters could be an interesting source of oxygen-resistant uptake hydrogenases. The respective genes occur in coastal as well as open ocean habitats and we presume that they are used as additional energy scavenging devices in otherwise nutrient limited environments. The membrane-bound H(2)-evolving hydrogenases might be useful as marker for bacteria living inside of marine snow particles.
Project description:In this study, transcriptomics was used to investigate Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) sampled from three different field locations within Baltic Sea (Baltic Main Basin (CBS), Gulf of Finland (GoF) and Bothnian Sea (BS)) during marine migration. RNA labeling, hybridizations, and scanning were performed by the Finnish Microarray and Sequencing Centre in Turku Centre for Biotechnology.