Recurrent patterns of microdiversity in a temperate coastal marine environment.
ABSTRACT: Temperate coastal marine environments are replete with complex biotic and abiotic interactions that are amplified during spring and summer phytoplankton blooms. During these events, heterotrophic bacterioplankton respond to successional releases of dissolved organic matter as algal cells are lysed. Annual seasonal shifts in the community composition of free-living bacterioplankton follow broadly predictable patterns, but whether similar communities respond each year to bloom disturbance events remains unknown owing to a lack of data sets, employing high-frequency sampling over multiple years. We capture the fine-scale microdiversity of these events with weekly sampling using a high-resolution method to discriminate 16S ribosomal RNA gene amplicons that are >99% identical. Furthermore, we used 2 complete years of data to facilitate identification of recurrent sub-networks of co-varying microbes. We demonstrate that despite inter-annual variation in phytoplankton blooms and despite the dynamism of a coastal-oceanic transition zone, patterns of microdiversity are recurrent during both bloom and non-bloom conditions. Sub-networks of co-occurring microbes identified reveal that correlation structures between community members appear quite stable in a seasonally driven response to oligotrophic and eutrophic conditions.
Project description:Phytoplankton blooms are an important, widespread phenomenon in open oceans, coastal waters and freshwaters, supporting food webs and essential ecosystem services. Blooms are even more important in exploited coastal waters for maintaining high resource production. However, the environmental factors driving blooms in shallow productive coastal waters are still unclear, making it difficult to assess how environmental fluctuations influence bloom phenology and productivity. To gain insights into bloom phenology, Chl a fluorescence and meteorological and hydrological parameters were monitored at high-frequency (15 min) and nutrient concentrations and phytoplankton abundance and diversity, were monitored weekly in a typical Mediterranean shallow coastal system (Thau Lagoon). This study was carried out from winter to late spring in two successive years with different climatic conditions: 2014/2015 was typical, but the winter of 2015/2016 was the warmest on record. Rising water temperature was the main driver of phytoplankton blooms. However, blooms were sometimes correlated with winds and sometimes correlated with salinity, suggesting nutrients were supplied by water transport via winds, saltier seawater intake, rain and water flow events. This finding indicates the joint role of these factors in determining the success of phytoplankton blooms. Furthermore, interannual variability showed that winter water temperature was higher in 2016 than in 2015, resulting in lower phytoplankton biomass accumulation in the following spring. Moreover, the phytoplankton abundances and diversity also changed: cyanobacteria (< 1 ?m), picoeukaryotes (< 1 ?m) and nanoeukaryotes (3-6 ?m) increased to the detriment of larger phytoplankton such as diatoms. Water temperature is a key factor affecting phytoplankton bloom dynamics in shallow productive coastal waters and could become crucial with future global warming by modifying bloom phenology and changing phytoplankton community structure, in turn affecting the entire food web and ecosystem services.
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:Pseudo-nitzschia blooms often occur in coastal and open ocean environments, sometimes leading to the production of the neurotoxin domoic acid that can cause severe negative impacts to higher trophic levels. Increasing evidence suggests a close relationship between phytoplankton bloom and bacterial assemblages, however, the microbial composition and succession during a bloom process is unknown. Here, we investigate the bacterial assemblages before, during and after toxic and non-toxic Pseudo-nitzschia blooms to determine the patterns of bacterial succession in a natural bloom setting. Opportunistic sampling of bacterial community profiles were determined weekly at Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf by 454 pyrosequencing and analyzed together with domoic acid levels, phytoplankton community and biomass, nutrients and temperature. We asked if the bacterial communities are similar between bloom and non-bloom events and if domoic acid or the presence of toxic algal species acts as a driving force that can significantly structure phytoplankton-associated bacterial communities. We found that bacterial diversity generally increases when Pseudo-nitzschia numbers decline. Furthermore, bacterial diversity is higher when the low-DA producing P. fraudulenta dominates the algal bloom while bacterial diversity is lower when high-DA producing P. australis dominates the algal bloom, suggesting that the presence of algal toxin can structure bacterial community. We also found bloom-related succession patterns among associated bacterial groups; Gamma-proteobacteria, were dominant during low toxic P. fraudulenta blooms comprising mostly of Vibrio spp., which increased in relative abundance (6-65%) as the bloom progresses. On the other hand, Firmicutes bacteria comprising mostly of Planococcus spp. (12-86%) dominate during high toxic P. australis blooms, with the bacterial assemblage showing the same bloom-related successional patterns in three independent bloom events. Other environmental variables such as nitrate and phosphate and temperature appear to influence some low abundant bacterial groups as well. Our results suggest that phytoplankton-associated bacterial communities are strongly affected not just by phytoplankton bloom in general, but also by the type of algal species that dominates in the natural bloom.
Project description:Numerous ecological processes, such as bacteriophage infection and phytoplankton-bacterial interactions, often occur via strain-specific mechanisms. Therefore, studying the causes of microbial dynamics should benefit from highly resolving taxonomic characterizations. We sampled daily to weekly over 5 months following a phytoplankton bloom off Southern California and examined the extent of microdiversity, that is, significant variation within 99% sequence similarity clusters, operational taxonomic units (OTUs), of bacteria, archaea, phytoplankton chloroplasts (all via 16S or intergenic spacer (ITS) sequences) and T4-like-myoviruses (via g23 major capsid protein gene sequence). The extent of microdiversity varied between genes (ITS most, g23 least) and only temporally common taxa were highly microdiverse. Overall, 60% of taxa exhibited microdiversity; 59% of these had subtypes that changed significantly as a proportion of the parent taxon, indicating ecologically distinct taxa. Pairwise correlations between prokaryotes and myoviruses or phytoplankton (for example, highly microdiverse Chrysochromulina sp.) improved when using single-base variants. Correlations between myoviruses and SAR11 increased in number (172 vs 9, Spearman>0.65) and became stronger (0.61 vs 0.58, t-test: P<0.001) when using SAR11 ITS single-base variants vs OTUs. Whole-community correlation between SAR11 and myoviruses was much improved when using ITS single-base variants vs OTUs, with Mantel rho=0.49 vs 0.27; these results are consistent with strain-specific interactions. Mantel correlations suggested >1??m (attached/large) prokaryotes are a major myovirus source. Consideration of microdiversity improved observation of apparent host and virus networks, and provided insights into the ecological and evolutionary factors influencing the success of lineages, with important implications to ecosystem resilience and microbial function.
Project description:Annually recurring phytoplankton spring blooms are characteristic of temperate coastal shelf seas. During these blooms, environmental conditions, including nutrient availability, differ considerably from non-bloom conditions, affecting the entire ecosystem including the bacterioplankton. Accordingly, the emerging ecological niches during bloom transition are occupied by different bacterial populations, with Roseobacter RCA cluster and SAR92 clade members exhibiting high metabolic activity during bloom events. In this study, the functional response of the ambient bacterial community toward a Phaeocystis globosa bloom in the southern North Sea was studied using metaproteomic approaches. In contrast to other metaproteomic studies of marine bacterial communities, this is the first study comparing two different cell lysis and protein preparation methods [using trifluoroethanol (TFE) and in-solution digest as well as bead beating and SDS-based solubilization and in-gel digest (BB GeLC)]. In addition, two different mass spectrometric techniques (ESI-iontrap MS and MALDI-TOF MS) were used for peptide analysis. A total of 585 different proteins were identified, 296 of which were only detected using the TFE and 191 by the BB GeLC method, demonstrating the complementarity of these sample preparation methods. Furthermore, 158 proteins of the TFE cell lysis samples were exclusively detected by ESI-iontrap MS while 105 were only detected using MALDI-TOF MS, underpinning the value of using two different ionization and mass analysis methods. Notably, 12% of the detected proteins represent predicted integral membrane proteins, including the difficult to detect rhodopsin, indicating a considerable coverage of membrane proteins by this approach. This comprehensive approach verified previous metaproteomic studies of marine bacterioplankton, e.g., detection of many transport-related proteins (17% of the detected proteins). In addition, new insights into e.g., carbon and nitrogen metabolism were obtained. For instance, the C1 pathway was more prominent outside the bloom and different strategies for glucose metabolism seem to be applied under the studied conditions. Furthermore, a higher number of nitrogen assimilating proteins were present under non-bloom conditions, reflecting the competition for this limited macro nutrient under oligotrophic conditions. Overall, application of different sample preparation techniques as well as MS methods facilitated a more holistic picture of the marine bacterioplankton response to changing environmental conditions.
Project description:In temperate systems, phytoplankton spring blooms deplete inorganic nutrients and are major sources of organic matter for the microbial loop. In response to phytoplankton exudates and environmental factors, heterotrophic microbial communities are highly dynamic and change their abundance and composition both on spatial and temporal scales. Yet, most of our understanding about these processes comes from laboratory model organism studies, mesocosm experiments or single temporal transects. Spatial-temporal studies examining interactions of phytoplankton blooms and bacterioplankton community composition and function, though being highly informative, are scarce. In this study, pelagic microbial community dynamics (bacteria and phytoplankton) and environmental variables were monitored during a spring bloom across the Baltic Proper (two cruises between North Germany to Gulf of Finland). To test to what extent bacterioplankton community composition relates to the spring bloom, we used next generation amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, phytoplankton diversity analysis based on microscopy counts and population genotyping of the dominating diatom Skeletonema marinoi. Several phytoplankton bloom related and environmental variables were identified to influence bacterial community composition. Members of Bacteroidetes and Alphaproteobacteria dominated the bacterial community composition but the bacterial groups showed no apparent correlation with direct bloom related variables. The less abundant bacterial phyla Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes, and Verrucomicrobia, on the other hand, were strongly associated with phytoplankton biomass, diatom:dinoflagellate ratio, and colored dissolved organic matter (cDOM). Many bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) showed high niche specificities. For example, particular Bacteroidetes OTUs were associated with two distinct genetic clusters of S. marinoi. Our study revealed the complexity of interactions of bacterial taxa with inter- and intraspecific genetic variation in phytoplankton. Overall, our findings imply that biotic and abiotic factors during spring bloom influence bacterial community dynamics in a hierarchical manner.
Project description:Heterotrophic microbes play a key role in remineralizing organic material in the coastal ocean. While there is a significant body of literature examining heterotrophic bacterioplankton and phytoplankton communities, much less is known about the diversity, dynamics, and ecology of eukaryotic heterotrophs. Here, we focus on the Labyrinthulomycetes, a fungus-like protistan group whose biomass can exceed that of the bacterioplankton in coastal waters. We examined their diversity and community structure in a weekly temperate coastal ocean time series. Their seasonal community patterns were related to temperature, insolation, dissolved inorganic carbon, fungal abundance, ammonia, chlorophyll <i>a</i>, pH, and other environmental variables. Similar to the bacterioplankton, annual community patterns of the Labyrinthulomycetes were dominated by a few persistent taxa with summer or winter preferences. However, like the patterns of fungi at this site, the majority of the Labyrinthulomycetes phylotypes occurred mostly as short, reoccurring, season-specific blooms. Furthermore, some specific phylotypes of Labyrinthulomycetes displayed time-lagged correlations or cooccurrences with bacterial, algal, or fungal phylotypes, suggesting their potentially multifaceted involvement in the marine food webs. Overall, this study reports niche partitioning between closely related Labyrinthulomycetes and identifies distinct ecotypes and temporal patterns compared to bacterioplankton and fungi.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> Increasing evidence has shown that heterotrophic microeukaryotes are an important component in global marine ecosystems, while their diversity and ecological functions remain largely unknown. Without appropriately incorporating these organisms into the food web models, our current understanding of marine microbial community ecology is incomplete, which may further hamper broader studies of biogeochemistry and climate change. This study focuses on a major group of unicellular fungus-like protists (Labyrinthulomycetes) and reveals their distinct annual community patterns relative to fungi and bacteria. Results of our observations provide new information on the community structure and ecology of this protistan group and shed light on the intricate ecological roles of unicellular heterotrophic eukaryotes in the coastal oceans.
Project description:Carbohydrates represent an important fraction of labile and semi-labile marine organic matter that is mainly comprised of exopolymeric substances derived from phytoplankton exudation and decay. This study investigates the composition of total combined carbohydrates (tCCHO; >1 kDa) and the community development of free-living (0.2-3 ?m) and particle-associated (PA) (3-10 ?m) bacterioplankton during a spring phytoplankton bloom in the southern North Sea. Furthermore, rates were determined for the extracellular enzymatic hydrolysis that catalyzes the initial step in bacterial organic matter remineralization. Concentrations of tCCHO greatly increased during bloom development, while the composition showed only minor changes over time. The combined concentration of glucose, galactose, fucose, rhamnose, galactosamine, glucosamine, and glucuronic acid in tCCHO was a significant factor shaping the community composition of the PA bacteria. The richness of PA bacteria greatly increased in the post-bloom phase. At the same time, the increase in extracellular ?-glucosidase activity was sufficient to explain the observed decrease in tCCHO, indicating the efficient utilization of carbohydrates by the bacterioplankton community during the post-bloom phase. Our results suggest that carbohydrate concentration and composition are important factors in the multifactorial environmental control of bacterioplankton succession and the enzymatic hydrolysis of organic matter during phytoplankton blooms.
Project description:Phytoplankton blooms exhibit a severe impact on bacterioplankton communities as they change nutrient availabilities and other environmental factors. In the current study, the response of a bacterioplankton community to a Phaeocystis globosa spring bloom was investigated in the southern North Sea. For this purpose, water samples were taken inside and reference samples outside of an algal spring bloom. Structural changes of the bacterioplankton community were assessed by amplicon-based analysis of 16S rRNA genes and transcripts generated from environmental DNA and RNA, respectively. Several marine groups responded to bloom presence. The abundance of the Roseobacter RCA cluster and the SAR92 clade significantly increased in bloom presence in the total and active fraction of the bacterial community. Functional changes were investigated by direct sequencing of environmental DNA and mRNA. The corresponding datasets comprised more than 500 million sequences across all samples. Metatranscriptomic data sets were mapped on representative genomes of abundant marine groups present in the samples and on assembled metagenomic and metatranscriptomic datasets. Differences in gene expression profiles between non-bloom and bloom samples were recorded. The genome-wide gene expression level of Planktomarina temperata, an abundant member of the Roseobacter RCA cluster, was higher inside the bloom. Genes that were differently expressed included transposases, which showed increased expression levels inside the bloom. This might contribute to the adaptation of this organism toward environmental stresses through genome reorganization. In addition, several genes affiliated to the SAR92 clade were significantly upregulated inside the bloom including genes encoding for proteins involved in isoleucine and leucine incorporation. Obtained results provide novel insights into compositional and functional variations of marine bacterioplankton communities as response to a phytoplankton bloom.
Project description:Phytoplankton species vary in their physiological properties, and are expected to respond differently to seasonal changes in water column conditions. To assess these varying distribution patterns, we used 412 samples collected monthly over 12 years (1991-2004) at the Bermuda Atlantic Time-Series Study site, located in the northwestern Sargasso Sea. We measured plastid 16S ribosomal RNA gene abundances with a terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism approach and identified distribution patterns for members of the Prymnesiophyceae, Pelagophyceae, Chrysophyceae, Cryptophyceae, Bacillariophyceae and Prasinophyceae. The analysis revealed dynamic bloom patterns by these phytoplankton taxa that begin early in the year, when the mixed layer is deep. Previously, unreported open-ocean prasinophyte blooms dominated the plastid gene signal during convective mixing events. Quantitative PCR confirmed the blooms and transitions of Bathycoccus, Micromonas and Ostreococcus populations. In contrast, taxa belonging to the pelagophytes and chrysophytes, as well as cryptophytes, reached annual peaks during mixed layer shoaling, while Bacillariophyceae (diatoms) were observed only episodically in the 12-year record. Prymnesiophytes dominated the integrated plastid gene signal. They were abundant throughout the water column before mixing events, but persisted in the deep chlorophyll maximum during stratified conditions. Various models have been used to describe mechanisms that drive vernal phytoplankton blooms in temperate seas. The range of taxon-specific bloom patterns observed here indicates that different 'spring bloom' models can aptly describe the behavior of different phytoplankton taxa at a single geographical location. These findings provide insight into the subdivision of niche space by phytoplankton and may lead to improved predictions of phytoplankton responses to changes in ocean conditions.