Abundant and Rare Microbial Biospheres Respond Differently to Environmental and Spatial Factors in Tibetan Hot Springs.
ABSTRACT: 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:BACKGROUND:Ganzi Prefecture in Western China is situated geographically at the transition regions between Tibetan Plateau and Sichuan Basin in a highly tectonically active boundary area between the India and Eurasia plates. The region hosts various hot springs that span a wide range of temperature from 30 to 98 °C and are located at high altitude (up to 4200 m above sea level) in the region of large geothermal anomalies and active Xianshuihe slip-fault that has been active since Holocene. The site represents a biodiversity reservoir for thermophiles, yet their diversity and relationship to geochemical parameters are largely unknown. In the present work, bacterial diversity and community structure in 14 hot springs of Ganzi were investigated using Illumina MiSeq sequencing. RESULTS:Bacterial community compositions were evidently distinct among the 14 hot springs, and the bacterial communities in hot springs were majorly abundant in phyla Aquificae, Cyanobacteria and Proteobacteria. Both clustering and PCoA analysis suggested the existence of four bacterial community patterns in these hot springs. Temperature contributed to shaping bacterial community structure of hot springs as revealed by correlation analysis. Abundant unassigned-genus sequences detected in this study strongly implied the presence of novel genera or genetic resources in these hot springs. CONCLUSION:The diversity of hot springs of Ganzi prefecture in Western Sichuan, China is evidently shaped by temperature. Interestingly disproportionally abundant unassigned-genus sequences detected in this study show indicate potential of novel genera or phylotypes. We hypothesize that frequent earthquakes and rapidly changing environment might have contributed to evolution of these potentially new lineages. Overall, this study provided first insight into the bacterial diversity of hot springs located in Western Sichuan, China and its comparison with other similar communities worldwide.
Project description:The Tibetan Plateau in Northwest China hosts a number of hot springs that represent a biodiversity hotspot for thermophiles, yet their diversity and relationship to environmental conditions are poorly explored in these habitats. In this study we investigated microbial diversity and community composition in 13 Tibetan hot springs with a wide range of temperatures (22.1-75°C) and other geochemical conditions by using the 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing approach. Bacteria (10(8)-10(11) copy/g; 42 bacterial phyla) in Tibetan hot springs were more abundant and far more diverse than Archaea (10(7)-10(10) copy/g; 5 archaeal phyla). The dominant bacterial phyla systematically varied with temperature. Moderate temperatures (75-66°C) favored Aquificae, GAL35, and novel Bacteria, whereas low temperatures (60-22.1°C) selected for Deinococcus-Thermus, Cyanobacteria, and Chloroflexi. The relative abundance of Aquificae was correlated positively with temperature, but the abundances of Deinococcus-Thermus, Cyanobacteria, and Chloroflexi were negatively correlated with temperature. Cyanobacteria and Chloroflexi were abundant in Tibetan hot springs and their abundances were positively correlated at low temperatures (55-43°C) but negatively correlated at moderate temperatures (75-55°C). These correlation patterns suggest a complex physiological relationship between these two phyla. Most archaeal sequences were related to Crenarchaeota with only a few related to Euryarchaeota and Thaumarchaeota. Despite the fact that microbial composition in Tibetan hot springs was strongly shaped by temperature, microbial diversity (richness, evenness and Shannon diversity) was not significantly correlated with temperature change. The results of this study expand our current understanding of microbial ecology in Tibetan hot springs and provide a basis for a global comparison.
Project description: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: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.
Project description:Iron (Fe) redox-based metabolisms likely supported life on early Earth and may support life on other Fe-rich rocky planets such as Mars. Modern systems that support active Fe redox cycling such as Chocolate Pots (CP) hot springs provide insight into how life could have functioned in such environments. Previous research demonstrated that Fe- and Si-rich and slightly acidic to circumneutral-pH springs at CP host active dissimilatory Fe(III) reducing microorganisms. However, the abundance and distribution of Fe(III)-reducing communities at CP is not well-understood, especially as they exist in situ. In addition, the potential for direct Fe(II) oxidation by lithotrophs in CP springs is understudied, in particular when compared to indirect oxidation promoted by oxygen producing Cyanobacteria. Here, a culture-independent approach, including 16S rRNA gene amplicon and shotgun metagenomic sequencing, was used to determine the distribution of putative Fe cycling microorganisms in vent fluids and sediment cores collected along the outflow channel of CP. Metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) of organisms native to sediment and planktonic microbial communities were screened for extracellular electron transfer (EET) systems putatively involved in Fe redox cycling and for CO2 fixation pathways. Abundant MAGs containing putative EET systems were identified as part of the sediment community at locations where Fe(III) reduction activity has previously been documented. MAGs encoding both putative EET systems and CO2 fixation pathways, inferred to be FeOB, were also present, but were less abundant components of the communities. These results suggest that the majority of the Fe(III) oxides that support in situ Fe(III) reduction are derived from abiotic oxidation. This study provides new insights into the interplay between Fe redox cycling and CO2 fixation in sustaining chemotrophic communities in CP with attendant implications for other neutral-pH 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:Investigating microbial response to environmental variables is of great importance for understanding of microbial acclimatization and evolution in natural environments. However, little is known about how microbial communities responded to environmental factors (e.g. salinity, geographic distance) in lake surface sediments of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). In this study, microbial diversity and community structure in the surface sediments of nine lakes on the QTP were investigated by using the Illumina Miseq sequencing technique and the resulting microbial data were statistically analyzed in combination with environmental variables. The results showed total microbial community of the studied lakes was significantly correlated (r?=?0.631, P?<?0.001) with lake salinity instead of geographic distance. This suggests that lake salinity is more important than geographic distance in shaping the microbial diversity and community structure in the studied samples. In addition, the abundant and rare taxa (OTUs with relative abundance higher than 1% and lower than 0.01% within one sample, respectively) were significantly (P?<?0.05) correlated (r?=?0.427 and 0.783, respectively) with salinity, suggesting rare taxa might be more sensitive to salinity than their abundant counterparts, thus cautions should be taken in future when evaluating microbial response (abundant vs. rare sub-communities) to environmental conditions.
Project description:The actinobacterial diversity was investigated in the sediments of five cold springs in Wuli region on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau using 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic analysis. The actinobacterial communities of the studied cold springs were diverse and the obtained actinobacterial operational taxonomic units were classified into 12 actinobacterial orders (e.g., Acidimicrobiales, Corynebacteriales, Gaiellales, Geodermatophilales, Jiangellales, Kineosporiales, Micromonosporales, Micrococcales, Nakamurellales, Propionibacteriales, Pseudonocardiales, Streptomycetales) and unclassified Actinobacteria. The actinobacterial composition varied among the investigated cold springs and were significantly correlated (r = 0.748, P = 0.021) to environmental variables. The actinobacterial communities in the cold springs were more diverse than other cold habitats on the Tibetan Plateau, and their compositions showed unique geographical distribution characteristics. Statistical analyses showed that biogeographical isolation and unique environmental conditions might be major factors influencing actinobacterial distribution among the investigated cold springs.
Project description:Chemosynthetic microbial communities develop and form dense cell aggregates in slightly alkaline sulfidic hot springs in the temperature range of 70-86°C at Nakabusa, Japan. Nitrogenase activity has recently been detected in the microbial communities collected. To identify possible members capable of nitrogen fixation, we examined the diversities of 16S rRNA and nitrogenase reductase (NifH) gene sequences in four types of chemosynthetic communities with visually different colors and thicknesses. The results of a 16S rRNA gene analysis indicated that all four microbial communities had similar bacterial constituents; the phylum Aquificae was the dominant member, followed in abundance by Thermodesulfobacteria, Firmicutes, and Thermotogae. Most of the NifH sequences were related to sequences reported in hydrothermal vents and terrestrial hot springs. The results of a phylogenetic analysis of NifH sequences revealed diversity in this gene among the communities collected, distributed within 7 phylogenetic groups. NifH sequences affiliated with Aquificae (Hydrogenobacter/Thermocrinis) and Firmicutes (Caldicellulosiruptor) were abundant. At least two different energy metabolic pathways appeared to be related to nitrogen fixation in the communities analyzed; aerobic sulfur/hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria in Aquificae and fermentative bacteria in Firmicutes. The metabolic characteristics of these two dominant phyla differed from those previously inferred from nitrogenase activity assays on chemosynthetic communities, which were associated with hydrogen-dependent autotrophic sulfate reduction. These assays may correspond to the observed NifH sequences that are distantly related to the known species of Thermodesulfovibrio sp. (Nitrospirae) detected in the present study. The activities of nitrogen-fixing organisms in communities may depend on redox states as well as the availability of electron donors, acceptors, and carbon sources.
Project description:Global patterns in diversity were estimated for cyanobacteria-dominated hypolithic communities that colonize ventral surfaces of quartz stones and are common in desert environments. A total of 64 hypolithic communities were recovered from deserts on every continent plus a tropical moisture sufficient location. Community diversity was estimated using a combined t-RFLP fingerprinting and high throughput sequencing approach. The t-RFLP analysis revealed desert communities were different from the single non-desert location. A striking pattern also emerged where Antarctic desert communities were clearly distinct from all other deserts. Some overlap in community similarity occurred for hot, cold and tundra deserts. A further observation was that the producer-consumer ratio displayed a significant negative correlation with growing season, such that shorter growing seasons supported communities with greater abundance of producers, and this pattern was independent of macroclimate. High-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA and nifH genes from four representative samples validated the t-RFLP study and revealed patterns of taxonomic and putative diazotrophic diversity for desert communities from the Taklimakan Desert, Tibetan Plateau, Canadian Arctic and Antarctic. All communities were dominated by cyanobacteria and among these 21 taxa were potentially endemic to any given desert location. Some others occurred in all but the most extreme hot and polar deserts suggesting they were relatively less well adapted to environmental stress. The t-RFLP and sequencing data revealed the two most abundant cyanobacterial taxa were Phormidium in Antarctic and Tibetan deserts and Chroococcidiopsis in hot and cold deserts. The Arctic tundra displayed a more heterogenous cyanobacterial assemblage and this was attributed to the maritime-influenced sampling location. The most abundant heterotrophic taxa were ubiquitous among samples and belonged to the Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria. Sequencing using nitrogenase gene-specific primers revealed all putative diazotrophs were Proteobacteria of the orders Burkholderiales, Rhizobiales, and Rhodospirillales. We envisage cyanobacterial carbon input to the system is accompanied by nitrogen fixation largely from non-cyanobacterial taxa. Overall the results indicate desert hypoliths worldwide are dominated by cyanobacteria and that growing season is a useful predictor of their abundance. Differences in cyanobacterial taxa encountered may reflect their adaptation to different moisture availability regimes in polar and non-polar deserts.