The Relationship Between Microbial Community Structures and Environmental Parameters Revealed by Metagenomic Analysis of Hot Spring Water in the Kirishima Area, Japan.
ABSTRACT: Diverse microorganisms specifically inhabit extreme environments, such as hot springs and deep-sea hydrothermal vents. To test the hypothesis that the microbial community structure is predictable based on environmental factors characteristic of such extreme environments, we conducted correlation analyses of microbial taxa/functions and environmental factors using metagenomic and 61 types of physicochemical data of water samples from nine hot springs in the Kirishima area (Kyusyu, Japan), where hot springs with diverse chemical properties are distributed in a relatively narrow area. Our metagenomic analysis revealed that the samples can be classified into two major types dominated by either phylum Crenarchaeota or phylum Aquificae. The correlation analysis showed that Crenarchaeota dominated in nutrient-rich environments with high concentrations of ions and total carbons, whereas Aquificae dominated in nutrient-poor environments with low ion concentrations. These environmental factors were also important explanatory variables in the generalized linear models constructed to predict the abundances of Crenarchaeota or Aquificae. Functional enrichment analysis of genes also revealed that the separation of the two major types is primarily attributable to genes involved in autotrophic carbon fixation, sulfate metabolism and nitrate reduction. Our results suggested that Aquificae and Crenarchaeota play a vital role in the Kirishima hot spring water ecosystem through their metabolic pathways adapted to each environment. Our findings provide a basis to predict microbial community structures in hot springs from environmental parameters, and also provide clues for the exploration of biological resources in extreme environments.
Project description:The Rehai and Ruidian geothermal fields, located in Tengchong County, Yunnan Province, China, host a variety of geochemically distinct hot springs. In this study, we report a comprehensive, cultivation-independent census of microbial communities in 37 samples collected from these geothermal fields, encompassing sites ranging in temperature from 55.1 to 93.6°C, in pH from 2.5 to 9.4, and in mineralogy from silicates in Rehai to carbonates in Ruidian. Richness was low in all samples, with 21-123 species-level OTUs detected. The bacterial phylum Aquificae or archaeal phylum Crenarchaeota were dominant in Rehai samples, yet the dominant taxa within those phyla depended on temperature, pH, and geochemistry. Rehai springs with low pH (2.5-2.6), high temperature (85.1-89.1°C), and high sulfur contents favored the crenarchaeal order Sulfolobales, whereas those with low pH (2.6-4.8) and cooler temperature (55.1-64.5°C) favored the Aquificae genus Hydrogenobaculum. Rehai springs with neutral-alkaline pH (7.2-9.4) and high temperature (>80°C) with high concentrations of silica and salt ions (Na, K, and Cl) favored the Aquificae genus Hydrogenobacter and crenarchaeal orders Desulfurococcales and Thermoproteales. Desulfurococcales and Thermoproteales became predominant in springs with pH much higher than the optimum and even the maximum pH known for these orders. Ruidian water samples harbored a single Aquificae genus Hydrogenobacter, whereas microbial communities in Ruidian sediment samples were more diverse at the phylum level and distinctly different from those in Rehai and Ruidian water samples, with a higher abundance of uncultivated lineages, close relatives of the ammonia-oxidizing archaeon "Candidatus Nitrosocaldus yellowstonii", and candidate division O1aA90 and OP1. These differences between Ruidian sediments and Rehai samples were likely caused by temperature, pH, and sediment mineralogy. The results of this study significantly expand the current understanding of the microbiology in Tengchong hot springs and provide a basis for comparison with other geothermal systems around the world.
Project description:This study describes microbial diversity in four tropical hot springs representing moderately thermophilic environments (temperature range: 40-58°C; pH: 7.2-7.4) with discrete geochemistry. Metagenome sequence data showed a dominance of Bacteria over Archaea; the most abundant phyla were Chloroflexi and Proteobacteria, although other phyla were also present, such as Acetothermia, Nitrospirae, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes, Deinococcus-Thermus, Bacteroidetes, Thermotogae, Euryarchaeota, Verrucomicrobia, Ignavibacteriae, Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes, Spirochaetes, Armatimonadetes, Crenarchaeota, and Aquificae. The distribution of major genera and their statistical correlation analyses with the physicochemical parameters predicted that the temperature, aqueous concentrations of ions (such as sodium, chloride, sulfate, and bicarbonate), total hardness, dissolved solids and conductivity were the main environmental variables influencing microbial community composition and diversity. Despite the observed high taxonomic diversity, there were only little variations in the overall functional profiles of the microbial communities in the four springs. Genes involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and carbon fixation were the most abundant functional class of genes present in these hot springs. The distribution of genes involved in carbon fixation predicted the presence of all the six known autotrophic pathways in the metagenomes. A high prevalence of genes involved in membrane transport, signal transduction, stress response, bacterial chemotaxis, and flagellar assembly were observed along with genes involved in the pathways of xenobiotic degradation and metabolism. The analysis of the metagenomic sequences affiliated to the candidate phylum Acetothermia from spring TB-3 provided new insight into the metabolism and physiology of yet-unknown members of this lineage of bacteria.
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:The study of microbial communities from extreme environments is a fascinating topic. With every study, biologists and ecologists reveal interesting facts and questions that dispel the old belief that these are inhospitable environments. In this work, we assess the microbial diversity of three hot springs from Neuquén, Argentina, using high-throughput amplicon sequencing. We predicted a distinct metabolic profile in the acidic and the circumneutral samples, with the first ones being dominated by chemolithotrophs and the second ones by chemoheterotrophs. Then, we collected data of the microbial communities of hot springs around the world in an effort to comprehend the roles of pH and temperature as shaping factors. Interestingly, there was a covariation between both parameters and the phylogenetic distance between communities; however, neither of them could explain much of the microbial profile in an ordination model. Moreover, there was no correlation between alpha diversity and these parameters. Therefore, the microbial communities' profile seemed to have complex shaping factors beyond pH and temperature. Lastly, we looked for taxa associated with different environmental conditions. Several such taxa were found. For example, Hydrogenobaculum was frequently present in acidic springs, as was the Sulfolobaceae family; on the other hand, Candidatus Hydrothermae phylum was strongly associated with circumneutral conditions. Interestingly, some singularities related to sites featuring certain taxa were also observed.
Project description: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:Total community rDNA was used to determine the diversity of bacteria and archaea from water, wet sediment and microbial mats samples of hot springs in the Eastern lowlands of Eritrea. The temperatures of the springs range from 49.5 °C to 100 °C while pH levels varied from 6.97 to 7.54. Akwar and Maiwooi have high carbonate levels. The springs near the seashore, Garbanabra and Gelti, are more saline with higher levels of sodium and chlorides. Elegedi, situated in the Alid volcanic area, has the highest temperature, iron and sulfate concentrations.The five hot springs shared 901 of 4371 OTUs recovered while the three sample types (water, wet sediment and microbial mats) also shared 1429 OTUs. The Chao1 OTU estimate in water sample was significantly higher than the wet sediment and microbial mat samples. As indicated by NMDS, the community samples at genus level showed location specific clustering. Certain genera correlated with temperature, sodium, carbonate, iron, sulfate and ammonium levels in water. The abundant phyla included Proteobacteria (6.2-82.3%), Firmicutes (1.6-63.5%), Deinococcus-Thermus (0.0-19.2%), Planctomycetes (0.0-11.8%), Aquificae (0.0-9.9%), Chlorobi (0.0-22.3%) and Bacteroidetes (2.7-8.4%).There were significant differences in microbial community structure within the five locations and sample types at OTU level. The occurence of Aquificae, Deinococcus-Thermus, some Cyanobacteria and Crenarchaeota were highly dependent on temperature. The Halobacterium, unclassified Thaumarchaeota, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria showed significant correlation with salinity occurring abundantly in Garbanabra and Gelti. Firmicutes and unclassified Rhodocylaceae were higher in the microbial mat samples, while Archaea were prominent in the wet sediment samples.
Project description:Samples of water from the hot springs of Uzon Caldera with temperatures from 68 to 87 degrees C and pHs of 4.1 to 7.0, supplemented with proteinaceous (albumin, casein, or alpha- or beta-keratin) or carbohydrate (cellulose, carboxymethyl cellulose, chitin, or agarose) biological polymers, were filled with thermal water and incubated at the same sites, with the contents of the tubes freely accessible to the hydrothermal fluid. As a result, several enrichment cultures growing in situ on different polymeric substrates were obtained. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of 16S rRNA gene fragments obtained after PCR with Bacteria-specific primers showed that the bacterial communities developing on carbohydrates included the genera Caldicellulosiruptor and Dictyoglomus and that those developing on proteins contained members of the Thermotogales order. DGGE analysis performed after PCR with Archaea- and Crenarchaeota-specific primers showed that archaea related to uncultured environmental clones, particularly those of the Crenarchaeota phylum, were present in both carbohydrate- and protein-degrading communities. Five isolates obtained from in situ enrichments or corresponding natural samples of water and sediments represented the bacterial genera Dictyoglomus and Caldanaerobacter as well as new archaea of the Crenarchaeota phylum. Thus, in situ enrichment and consequent isolation showed the diversity of thermophilic prokaryotes competing for biopolymers in microbial communities of terrestrial hot springs.
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:The phylum Aquificae comprises chemolithoautotrophic thermophilic to hyperthermophilic bacteria, in which the nitrogenase reductase gene (nifH) has been reported. However, nitrogen-fixing activity has not yet been demonstrated in members of this deeply branching bacterial phylum. We isolated two thermophilic diazotrophic strains from chemosynthetic microbial communities in slightly alkaline hot springs (≥70°C) in Nakabusa, Nagano Prefecture, Japan. A phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA genes identified these strains as members of the genus Hydrogenobacter within Aquificae. Their NifH sequences showed 96.5 and 97.4% amino acid sequence identities to that from Hydrogenobacter thermophilus TK-6. Nitrogenase activity, measured by acetylene reduction, was confirmed in both strains at 70°C. These novel strains grew under semi-aerobic conditions by using CO2 as the sole carbon source and N2 as the sole nitrogen source in media containing hydrogen and/or thiosulfate. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of active nitrogen fixation in thermophilic bacteria at 70°C and in the phylum Aquificae.
Project description:Volcanic regions contain a variety of environments suitable for extremophiles. This study was focused on assessing and exploiting the prokaryotic diversity of two microbial communities derived from different Kamchatkian thermal springs by metagenomic approaches. Samples were taken from a thermoacidophilic spring near the Mutnovsky Volcano and from a thermophilic spring in the Uzon Caldera. Environmental DNA for metagenomic analysis was isolated from collected sediment samples by direct cell lysis. The prokaryotic community composition was examined by analysis of archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA genes. A total number of 1235 16S rRNA gene sequences were obtained and used for taxonomic classification. Most abundant in the samples were members of Thaumarchaeota, Thermotogae, and Proteobacteria. The Mutnovsky hot spring was dominated by the Terrestrial Hot Spring Group, Kosmotoga, and Acidithiobacillus. The Uzon Caldera was dominated by uncultured members of the Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotic Group and Enterobacteriaceae. The remaining 16S rRNA gene sequences belonged to the Aquificae, Dictyoglomi, Euryarchaeota, Korarchaeota, Thermodesulfobacteria, Firmicutes, and some potential new phyla. In addition, the recovered DNA was used for generation of metagenomic libraries, which were subsequently mined for genes encoding lipolytic and proteolytic enzymes. Three novel genes conferring lipolytic and one gene conferring proteolytic activity were identified.