Minimal Influence of Extracellular DNA on Molecular Surveys of Marine Sedimentary Communities.
ABSTRACT: Extracellular DNA has been reported to comprise a large fraction of total DNA in near-seafloor sediment. However, the potential effect of extracellular DNA, arising from dead or moribund cells, on sequencing surveys is a critical concern that has largely not been addressed for marine sedimentary habitats. To address this concern, we interrogated freshly collected Arctic and Pacific sediment for extracellular 16S rRNA genes using the photoactive DNA-binding dye Propidium Monoazide. Significant differences between relative abundances of total (intracellular + extracellular) Bacterial 16S rRNA genes and relative abundances of intracellular Bacterial 16S rRNA genes are only detected in three of twelve shallow [10 cm below seafloor (cmbsf)] samples. Relative abundances of total Bacterial 16S rRNA genes are statistically indistinguishable from relative abundances of intracellular Bacterial 16S rRNA genes in all interrogated samples from depths greater than 10 cmbsf. 16S rRNA gene sequencing shows that even where significantly higher abundances of extracellular genes are detected, they have little or no influence on prokaryote community composition. Taxon-level analyses suggest that extracellular DNA, arising from in situ death, may be sourced from different organisms in sediment of different ages. However, the overall effect of extracellular genes on sequencing surveys of marine sedimentary prokaryotes is minimal.
Project description:16s RNA gene sequencing data from seawater, bed sediment and steel corrosion samples from Shoreham Harbour, UK, collected to allow bacterial species comparisons between microbially influenced corrosion, the surrounding seawater, and the sea bed sediment at the seafloor and 50cm depth below seafloor.
Project description:Sediments across the Namibian continental margin feature a strong microbial activity gradient at their surface. This is reflected in ammonium concentrations of <?10??M in oligotrophic abyssal plain sediments near the South Atlantic Gyre compared with ammonium concentrations of >?700??M in upwelling areas near the coast. Here we address changes in apparent abundance and structure of ammonia-oxidizing archaeal and bacterial communities (AOA and AOB) along a transect of seven sediment stations across the Namibian shelf by analysing their respective ammonia monooxygenase genes (amoA). The relative abundance of archaeal and bacterial amoA (g(-1) DNA) decreased with increasing ammonium concentrations, and bacterial amoA frequently outnumbered archaeal amoA at the sediment-water interface [0-1?cm below seafloor (cmbsf)]. In contrast, AOA were apparently as abundant as AOB or dominated in several deeper (>?10?cmbsf), anoxic sediment layers. Phylogenetic analyses showed a change within the AOA community along the transect, from two clusters without cultured representatives at the gyre to Nitrososphaera and Nitrosopumilus clusters in the upwelling region. AOB almost exclusively belonged to the Nitrosospira cluster 1. Our results suggest that this predominantly marine AOB lineage without cultured representatives can thrive at low ammonium concentrations and is active in the marine nitrogen cycle.
Project description:In this study, we analyzed viral metagenomes (viromes) in the sedimentary habitats of three geographically and geologically distinct (hado)pelagic environments in the northwest Pacific; the Izu-Ogasawara Trench (water depth?=?9,760 m) (OG), the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench (10,325 m) (MA), and the forearc basin off the Shimokita Peninsula (1,181 m) (SH). Virus abundance ranged from 10(6) to 10(11) viruses/cm(3) of sediments (down to 30 cm below the seafloor [cmbsf]). We recovered viral DNA assemblages (viromes) from the (hado)pelagic sediment samples and obtained a total of 37,458, 39,882, and 70,882 sequence reads by 454 GS FLX Titanium pyrosequencing from the virome libraries of the OG, MA, and SH (hado)pelagic sediments, respectively. Only 24-30% of the sequence reads from each virome library exhibited significant similarities to the sequences deposited in the public nr protein database (E-value <10(-3) in BLAST). Among the sequences identified as potential viral genes based on the BLAST search, 95-99% of the sequence reads in each library were related to genes from single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viral families, including Microviridae, Circoviridae, and Geminiviridae. A relatively high abundance of sequences related to the genetic markers (major capsid protein [VP1] and replication protein [Rep]) of two ssDNA viral groups were also detected in these libraries, thereby revealing a high genotypic diversity of their viruses (833 genotypes for VP1 and 2,551 genotypes for Rep). A majority of the viral genes predicted from each library were classified into three ssDNA viral protein categories: Rep, VP1, and minor capsid protein. The deep-sea sedimentary viromes were distinct from the viromes obtained from the oceanic and fresh waters and marine eukaryotes, and thus, deep-sea sediments harbor novel viromes, including previously unidentified ssDNA viruses.
Project description:Cool hydrothermal systems (CHSs) are prevalent across the seafloor and discharge fluid volumes that rival oceanic input from rivers, yet the microbial ecology of these systems are poorly constrained. The Dorado Outcrop on the ridge flank of the Cocos Plate in the northeastern tropical Pacific Ocean is the first confirmed CHS, discharging minimally altered <15°C fluid from the shallow lithosphere through diffuse venting and seepage. In this paper, we characterize the resident sediment microbial communities influenced by cool hydrothermal advection, which is evident from nitrate and oxygen concentrations. 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that Thaumarchaea, Proteobacteria, and Planctomycetes were the most abundant phyla in all sediments across the system regardless of influence from seepage. Members of the Thaumarchaeota (Marine Group I), Alphaproteobacteria (Rhodospirillales), Nitrospirae, Nitrospina, Acidobacteria, and Gemmatimonadetes were enriched in the sediments influenced by CHS advection. Of the various geochemical parameters investigated, nitrate concentrations correlated best with microbial community structure, indicating structuring based on seepage of nitrate-rich fluids. A comparison of microbial communities from hydrothermal sediments, seafloor basalts, and local seawater at Dorado Outcrop showed differences that highlight the distinct niche space in CHS. Sediment microbial communities from Dorado Outcrop differ from those at previously characterized, warmer CHS sediment, but are similar to deep-sea sediment habitats with surficial ferromanganese nodules, such as the Clarion Clipperton Zone. We conclude that cool hydrothermal venting at seafloor outcrops can alter the local sedimentary oxidation-reduction pathways, which in turn influences the microbial communities within the fluid discharge affected sediment.
Project description:The ecology of aerobic microorganisms is never explored in marine oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) sediments. Here we reveal aerobic bacterial communities along ?3 m sediment-horizons of the eastern Arabian Sea OMZ. Sulfide-containing sediment-cores retrieved from 530 mbsl (meters beneath the sea-level) and 580 mbsl were explored at 15-30 cm intervals, using metagenomics, pure-culture-isolation, genomics and metatranscriptomics. Genes for aerobic respiration, and oxidation of methane/ammonia/alcohols/thiosulfate/sulfite/organosulfur-compounds, were detected in the metagenomes from all 25 sediment-samples explored. Most probable numbers for aerobic chemolithoautotrophs and chemoorganoheterotrophs at individual sample-sites were up to 1.1 × 107 (g sediment)-1. The sediment-sample collected from 275 cmbsf (centimeters beneath the seafloor) of the 530-mbsl-core yielded many such obligately aerobic isolates belonging to Cereibacter, Guyparkeria, Halomonas, Methylophaga, Pseudomonas and Sulfitobacter which died upon anaerobic incubation, despite being provided with all possible electron acceptors and fermentative substrates. High percentages of metatranscriptomic reads from the 275 cmbsf sediment-sample, and metagenomic reads from all 25 sediment-samples, matched the isolates' genomic sequences including those for aerobic metabolisms, genetic/environmental information processing and cell division, thereby illustrating the bacteria's in-situ activity, and ubiquity across the sediment-horizons, respectively. The findings hold critical implications for organic carbon sequestration/remineralization, and inorganic compounds oxidation, within the sediment realm of global marine OMZs.
Project description:Subseafloor sedimentary environments harbor a remarkable number of microorganisms that constitute anaerobic and aerobic microbial ecosystems beneath the ocean margins and open-ocean gyres, respectively. Microbial biomass and diversity richness generally decrease with increasing sediment depth and burial time. However, there has been a long-standing debate over the contribution and distribution of Archaea in the subseafloor sedimentary biosphere. Here we show the global quantification of archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA genes in 221 sediment core samples obtained from diverse oceanographic settings through scientific ocean drilling using microfluidic digital PCR. We estimated that archaeal cells constitute 37.3% of the total microbial cells (40.0% and 12.8% in the ocean margin and open-ocean sites, respectively), corresponding to 1.1 × 1029 cells on Earth. In addition, the relative abundance of archaeal 16S rRNA genes generally decreased with the depth of water in the overlying sedimentary habitat, suggesting that Archaea may be more sensitive to nutrient quality and quantity supplied from the overlying ocean.
Project description:We investigated compositional relationships between bacterial communities in the water column and those in deep-sea sediment at three environmentally distinct Pacific sites (two in the Equatorial Pacific and one in the North Pacific Gyre). Through pyrosequencing of the v4-v6 hypervariable regions of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene, we characterized 450,104 pyrotags representing 29,814 operational taxonomic units (OTUs, 97% similarity). Hierarchical clustering and non-metric multidimensional scaling partition the samples into four broad groups, regardless of geographic location: a photic-zone community, a subphotic community, a shallow sedimentary community and a subseafloor sedimentary community (?1.5 meters below seafloor). Abundance-weighted community compositions of water-column samples exhibit a similar trend with depth at all sites, with successive epipelagic, mesopelagic, bathypelagic and abyssopelagic communities. Taxonomic richness is generally highest in the water-column O2 minimum zone and lowest in the subseafloor sediment. OTUs represented by abundant tags in the subseafloor sediment are often present but represented by few tags in the water column, and represented by moderately abundant tags in the shallow sediment. In contrast, OTUs represented by abundant tags in the water are generally absent from the subseafloor sediment. These results are consistent with (i) dispersal of marine sedimentary bacteria via the ocean, and (ii) selection of the subseafloor sedimentary community from within the community present in shallow sediment.
Project description:Marine ecosystems are exposed to a range of human-induced climate stressors, in particular changing carbonate chemistry and elevated sea surface temperatures as a consequence of climate change. More research effort is needed to reduce uncertainties about the effects of global-scale warming and acidification for benthic microbial communities, which drive sedimentary biogeochemical cycles. In this research, mesocosm experiments were set up using muddy and sandy coastal sediments to investigate the independent and interactive effects of elevated carbon dioxide concentrations (750 ppm CO<sub>2</sub>) and elevated temperature (ambient +4°C) on the abundance of taxonomic and functional microbial genes. Specific quantitative PCR primers were used to target archaeal, bacterial, and cyanobacterial/chloroplast 16S rRNA in both sediment types. Nitrogen cycling genes archaeal and bacterial ammonia monooxygenase (<i>amoA</i>) and bacterial nitrite reductase (<i>nirS</i>) were specifically targeted to identify changes in microbial gene abundance and potential impacts on nitrogen cycling. In muddy sediment, microbial gene abundance, including <i>amoA</i> and <i>nirS</i> genes, increased under elevated temperature and reduced under elevated CO<sub>2</sub> after 28 days, accompanied by shifts in community composition. In contrast, the combined stressor treatment showed a non-additive effect with lower microbial gene abundance throughout the experiment. The response of microbial communities in the sandy sediment was less pronounced, with the most noticeable response seen in the archaeal gene abundances in response to environmental stressors over time. 16S rRNA genes (<i>amoA</i> and <i>nirS</i>) were lower in abundance in the combined stressor treatments in sandy sediments. Our results indicated that marine benthic microorganisms, especially in muddy sediments, are susceptible to changes in ocean carbonate chemistry and seawater temperature, which ultimately may have an impact upon key benthic biogeochemical cycles.
Project description:The factors controlling the relative abundances of Archaea and Bacteria in marine sediments are poorly understood. We determined depth distributions of archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA genes by quantitative PCR at eight stations in Aarhus Bay, Denmark. Bacterial outnumber archaeal genes 10-60-fold in uppermost sediments that are irrigated and mixed by macrofauna. This bioturbation is indicated by visual observations of sediment color and faunal tracks, by porewater profiles of dissolved inorganic carbon and sulfate, and by distributions of unsupported 210Pb and 137Cs. Below the depth of bioturbation, the relative abundances of archaeal genes increase, accounting for one third of 16S rRNA genes in the sulfate zone, and half of 16S rRNA genes in the sulfate-methane transition zone and methane zone. Phylogenetic analyses reveal a strong shift in bacterial and archaeal community structure from bioturbated sediments to underlying layers. Stable isotopic analyses on organic matter and porewater geochemical gradients suggest that macrofauna mediate bacterial dominance and affect microbial community structure in bioturbated sediment by introducing fresh organic matter and high-energy electron acceptors from overlying seawater. Below the zone of bioturbation, organic matter content and the presence of sulfate exert key influences on bacterial and archaeal abundances and overall microbial community structure.
Project description:Sediments within the Okinawa back-arc basin overlay a subsurface hydrothermal network, creating intense temperature gradients with sediment depth and potential limits for microbial diversity. We investigated taxonomic changes across 45?m of recovered core with a temperature gradient of 3°C/m from the dynamic Iheya North Hydrothermal System. The interval transitions sharply from low-temperature marine mud to hydrothermally altered clay at 10 meters below seafloor (mbsf). Here, we present taxonomic results from an analysis of the 16S rRNA gene that support a conceptual model in which common marine subsurface taxa persist into the subsurface, while high temperature adapted archaeal taxa show localized peaks in abundances in the hydrothermal clay horizons. Specifically, the bacterial phylum Chloroflexi accounts for a major proportion of the total microbial community within the upper 10?mbsf, whereas high temperature archaea (Terrestrial Hot Spring Crenarchaeotic Group and methanotrophic archaea) appear in varying local abundances in deeper, hydrothermal clay horizons with higher in situ temperatures (up to 55°C, 15?mbsf). In addition, geochemical evidence suggests that methanotrophy may be occurring in various horizons. There is also relict DNA (i.e., DNA preserved after cell death) that persists in horizons where the conditions suitable for microbial communities have ceased.