Prokaryotic Community Composition in Arctic Kongsfjorden and Sub-Arctic Northern Bering Sea Sediments As Revealed by 454 Pyrosequencing.
ABSTRACT: Fjords and continental shelves represent distinct marine ecosystems in the pan-arctic region. Kongsfjorden is a glacial fjord that is located on the west coast of Svalbard, and is influenced by both Atlantic and Arctic water masses. The Bering Sea consists of a huge continental shelf in the northeast and a deep ocean basin in the southwest, and is influenced by Pacific water. Microbial community compositions of Arctic sediment samples BJ4 from outer basin and BJ36 from inner basin of Kongsfjorden and sub-Arctic samples NEC5 from shallow shelf and DBS1 from deep basin region of the northern Bering Sea were investigated using 454 pyrosequencing of archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA genes. Most archaeal sequences in the sediments were related to Thaumarchaeota, though Euryarchaeota were more abundant in the Arctic glacier-influencing inner basin sediment BJ36. Thaumarchaeota Group C3 was the dominant archaeal population in all samples. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes dominated the sediment bacterial communities. Acidobacteria and Actinobacteria were also dominant in the northern Bering Sea samples. Alphaproteobacteria and Epsilonproteobacteria were the two main classes in Kongsfjorden sediment bacterial communities while Deltaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria were dominant in the northern Bering Sea sediments. Differences in the presence and abundance of other dominant archaeal and bacterial populations were observed among sediment samples. In contrast to archaeal community differences that the Arctic BJ36 archaeal community was distinct from the sub-Arctic sediments and the Arctic outer basin sediment BJ4, cluster analysis based on bacterial OTU (operational taxonomic unit) distributions indicated that the Arctic and sub-Arctic bacterial communities segregated from one another. These results suggest that the sediment archaeal and bacterial community compositions can be driven by different environmental factors. Differences in the presence and abundance of particular archaeal species (e.g., Candidatus Nitrosopumilus and Methanococcoides) or bacterial species (e.g., Sulfurimonas, Sulfurovum, and Desulfobulbaceae) involved in biogeochemical cycles were also observed among sediment samples. At the same time, despite the community variation, some phylotypes (e.g., Marinicella) were dominant in all sediments. This study indicates diverse microbial communities inhabiting pan-arctic marine sediments, and highlights potential roles for Archaea and Bacteria in global biogeochemical cycles in these environments.
Project description:This study assessed the diversity and distribution of fungal communities in eight marine sediments of Kongsfjorden (Svalbard, High Arctic) using 454 pyrosequencing with fungal-specific primers targeting the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the ribosomal rRNA gene. Sedimentary fungal communities showed high diversity with 42,219 reads belonging to 113 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Of these OTUs, 62 belonged to the Ascomycota, 26 to Basidiomycota, 2 to Chytridiomycota, 1 to Zygomycota, 1 to Glomeromycota, and 21 to unknown fungi. The major known orders included Hypocreales and Saccharomycetales. The common fungal genera were Pichia, Fusarium, Alternaria, and Malassezia. Interestingly, most fungi occurring in these Arctic sediments may originate from the terrestrial habitats and different basins in Kongsfjorden (i.e., inner basin, central basin, and outer basin) harbor different sedimentary fungal communities. These results suggest the existence of diverse fungal communities in the Arctic marine sediments, which may serve as a useful community model for further ecological and evolutionary study of fungi in the Arctic.
Project description:In the fourth Chinese National Arctic Research Expedition (from July to September, 2010), 14 surface sediment samples were collected from the Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, and Canadian Basin to examine the spatial distributions, potential sources, as well as ecological and health risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The ?PAH (refers to the sum of 16 priority PAHs) concentration range from 27.66 ng/g to 167.48 ng/g (dry weight, d.w.). Additionally, the concentrations of ?PAH were highest in the margin edges of the Canadian Basin, which may originate from coal combustion with an accumulation of Canadian point sources and river runoff due to the surface ocean currents. The lowest levels occurred in the northern of Canadian Basin, and the levels of ?PAH in the Chukchi Sea were slightly higher than those in the Being Sea. Three isomer ratios of PAHs (Phenanthrene/Anthracene, BaA/(BaA+Chy), and LMW/HMW) were used to investigate the potential sources of PAHs, which showed the main source of combustion combined with weaker petroleum contribution. Compared with four sediment quality guidelines, the concentrations of PAH are much lower, indicating a low potential ecological risk. All TEQ<sub>PAH</sub> also showed a low risk to human health. Our study revealed the important role of the ocean current on the redistribution of PAHs in the Arctic.
Project description:Warming of high northern latitudes in the Pliocene (5.33-2.58?Myr ago) has been linked to the closure of the Central American Seaway and intensification of North Atlantic Deep Water. Subsequent cooling in the late Pliocene may be related to the effects of freshwater input from the Arctic Ocean via the Bering Strait, disrupting North Atlantic Deep Water formation and enhancing sea ice formation. However, the timing of Arctic freshening has not been defined. Here we present neodymium and lead isotope records of detrital sediment from the Bering Sea for the past 4.3 million years. Isotopic data suggest the presence of Alaskan glaciers as far back as 4.2?Myr ago, while diatom and C37:4 alkenone records show a long-term trend towards colder and fresher water in the Bering Sea beginning with the M2 glaciation (3.3?Myr ago). We argue that the introduction of low-salinity Bering Sea water to the Arctic Ocean by 3.3?Myr ago preconditioned the climate system for global cooling.
Project description:Pacific Water (PW) enters the Arctic Ocean through Bering Strait and brings in heat, fresh water, and nutrients from the northern Bering Sea. The circulation of PW in the central Arctic Ocean is only partially understood due to the lack of observations. In this paper, pathways of PW are investigated using simulations with six state-of-the art regional and global Ocean General Circulation Models (OGCMs). In the simulations, PW is tracked by a passive tracer, released in Bering Strait. Simulated PW spreads from the Bering Strait region in three major branches. One of them starts in the Barrow Canyon, bringing PW along the continental slope of Alaska into the Canadian Straits and then into Baffin Bay. The second begins in the vicinity of the Herald Canyon and transports PW along the continental slope of the East Siberian Sea into the Transpolar Drift, and then through Fram Strait and the Greenland Sea. The third branch begins near the Herald Shoal and the central Chukchi shelf and brings PW into the Beaufort Gyre. In the models, the wind, acting via Ekman pumping, drives the seasonal and interannual variability of PW in the Canadian Basin of the Arctic Ocean. The wind affects the simulated PW pathways by changing the vertical shear of the relative vorticity of the ocean flow in the Canada Basin.
Project description:Cold seeps, located along the Sonora Margin transform fault in the Guaymas Basin, were extensively explored during the 'BIG' cruise in June 2010. They present a seafloor mosaic pattern consisting of different faunal assemblages and microbial mats. To investigate this mostly unknown cold and hydrocarbon-rich environment, geochemical and microbiological surveys of the sediments underlying two microbial mats and a surrounding macrofaunal habitat were analyzed in detail. The geochemical measurements suggest biogenic methane production and local advective sulfate-rich fluxes in the sediments. The distributions of archaeal communities, particularly those involved in the methane cycle, were investigated at different depths (surface to 18 cm below the sea floor (cmbsf)) using complementary molecular approaches, such as Automated method of Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA), 16S rRNA libraries, fluorescence in situ hybridization and quantitative polymerase chain reaction with new specific primer sets targeting methanogenic and anaerobic methanotrophic lineages. Molecular results indicate that metabolically active archaeal communities were dominated by known clades of anaerobic methane oxidizers (archaeal anaerobic methanotroph (ANME)-1, -2 and -3), including a novel 'ANME-2c Sonora' lineage. ANME-2c were found to be dominant, metabolically active and physically associated with syntrophic Bacteria in sulfate-rich shallow sediment layers. In contrast, ANME-1 were more prevalent in the deepest sediment samples and presented a versatile behavior in terms of syntrophic association, depending on the sulfate concentration. ANME-3 were concentrated in small aggregates without bacterial partners in a restricted sediment horizon below the first centimetres. These niche specificities and syntrophic behaviors, depending on biological surface assemblages and environmental availability of electron donors, acceptors and carbon substrates, suggest that ANME could support alternative metabolic pathways than syntrophic anaerobic oxidation of methane.
Project description:Proteins generated during primary production represent an important fraction of marine organic nitrogen and carbon, and have the potential to provide organism-specific information in the environment. The Bering Sea is a highly productive system dominated by seasonal blooms and was used as a model system for algal proteins to be tracked through the water column and incorporated into detrital sedimentary material. Samples of suspended and sinking particles were collected at multiple depths along with surface sediments on the continental shelf and deeper basin of the Bering Sea. Modified standard proteomic preparations were used in conjunction with high pressure liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to identify the suite of proteins present and monitor changes in their distribution. In surface waters 207 proteins were identified, decreasing through the water column to 52 proteins identified in post-bloom shelf surface sediments and 24 proteins in deeper (3490 m) basin sediments. The vast majority of identified proteins in all samples were diatom in origin, reflecting their dominant contribution of biomass during the spring bloom. Identified proteins were predominantly from metabolic, binding/structural, and transport-related protein groups. Significant linear correlations were observed between the number of proteins identified and the concentration of total hydrolysable amino acids normalized to carbon and nitrogen. Organelle-bound, transmembrane, photosynthetic, and other proteins involved in light harvesting were preferentially retained during recycling. These findings suggest that organelle and membrane protection represent important mechanisms that enhance the preservation of protein during transport and incorporation into sediments.
Project description:Over the past few decades, the Arctic region has been strongly affected by global warming, leading to increased sea surface temperatures and melting of land and sea ice. Marine terminating (tide-water) glaciers are expected to show higher melting and calving rates, with an increase in the input of fine sediment particles in the coastal marine environment. We experimentally investigated whether marine viruses, which drive microbial interactions and biogeochemical cycling are removed from the water column through adsorption to glacier-delivered fine sediments. Ecologically relevant concentrations of 30, 100 and 200 mg·L-1 sediments were added to filtered lysates of 3 cultured algal viruses and to a natural marine bacterial virus community. Total virus removal increased with sediment concentration whereby the removal rate depended on the virus used (up to 88% for an Arctic algal virus), suggesting a different interaction strength with the sediment. Moreover, we observed that the adsorption of viruses to sediment is a reversible process, and that desorbed viruses are still able to infect their respective hosts. Nonetheless, the addition of sediment to infection experiments with the Arctic prasinovirus MpoV-45T substantially delayed host lysis and the production of progeny viruses. We demonstrate that glacier-derived fine sediments have the potency to alter virus availability and consequently, host population dynamics.
Project description:Sulfidic, anoxic sediments of the moderately hypersaline Salton Sea contain gradients in salinity and carbon that potentially structure the sedimentary microbial community. We investigated the abundance, community structure, and diversity of Bacteria and Archaea along these gradients to further distinguish the ecologies of these domains outside their established physiological range. Quantitative PCR was used to enumerate 16S rRNA gene abundances of Bacteria, Archaea, and Crenarchaeota. Community structure and diversity were evaluated by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), quantitative analysis of gene (16S rRNA) frequencies of dominant microorganisms, and cloning and sequencing of 16S rRNA. Archaea were numerically dominant at all depths and exhibited a lesser response to environmental gradients than that of Bacteria. The relative abundance of Crenarchaeota was low (0.4 to 22%) at all depths but increased with decreased carbon content and increased salinity. Salinity structured the bacterial community but exerted no significant control on archaeal community structure, which was weakly correlated with total carbon. Partial sequencing of archaeal 16S rRNA genes retrieved from three sediment depths revealed diverse communities of Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota, many of which were affiliated with groups previously described from marine sediments. The abundance of these groups across all depths suggests that many putative marine archaeal groups can tolerate elevated salinity (5.0 to 11.8% [wt/vol]) and persist under the anaerobic conditions present in Salton Sea sediments. The differential response of archaeal and bacterial communities to salinity and carbon patterns is consistent with the hypothesis that adaptations to energy stress and availability distinguish the ecologies of these domains.
Project description:Subsurface sediments of the Sonora Margin (Guaymas Basin), located in proximity of active cold seep sites were explored. The taxonomic and functional diversity of bacterial and archaeal communities were investigated from 1 to 10 meters below the seafloor. Microbial community structure and abundance and distribution of dominant populations were assessed using complementary molecular approaches (Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis, 16S rRNA libraries and quantitative PCR with an extensive primers set) and correlated to comprehensive geochemical data. Moreover the metabolic potentials and functional traits of the microbial community were also identified using the GeoChip functional gene microarray and metabolic rates. The active microbial community structure in the Sonora Margin sediments was related to deep subsurface ecosystems (Marine Benthic Groups B and D, Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotal Group, Chloroflexi and Candidate divisions) and remained relatively similar throughout the sediment section, despite defined biogeochemical gradients. However, relative abundances of bacterial and archaeal dominant lineages were significantly correlated with organic carbon quantity and origin. Consistently, metabolic pathways for the degradation and assimilation of this organic carbon as well as genetic potentials for the transformation of detrital organic matters, hydrocarbons and recalcitrant substrates were detected, suggesting that chemoorganotrophic microorganisms may dominate the microbial community of the Sonora Margin subsurface sediments.
Project description:Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in marine sediments is an important global methane sink, but the physiological characteristics of AOM-associated microorganisms remain poorly understood. Here we report the cultivation of an AOM microbial community from deep-sea methane-seep sediment using a continuous-flow bioreactor with polyurethane sponges, called the down-flow hanging sponge (DHS) bioreactor. We anaerobically incubated deep-sea methane-seep sediment collected from the Nankai Trough, Japan, for 2,013 days in the bioreactor at 10°C. Following incubation, an active AOM activity was confirmed by a tracer experiment using 13C-labeled methane. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that phylogenetically diverse Archaea and Bacteria grew in the bioreactor. After 2,013 days of incubation, the predominant archaeal components were anaerobic methanotroph (ANME)-2a, Deep-Sea Archaeal Group, and Marine Benthic Group-D, and Gammaproteobacteria was the dominant bacterial lineage. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showed that ANME-1 and -2a, and most ANME-2c cells occurred without close physical interaction with potential bacterial partners. Our data demonstrate that the DHS bioreactor system is a useful system for cultivating fastidious methane-seep-associated sedimentary microorganisms.