A combined lipidomic and 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing approach reveals archaeal sources of intact polar lipids in the stratified Black Sea water column.
ABSTRACT: Archaea are important players in marine biogeochemical cycles, and their membrane lipids are useful biomarkers in environmental and geobiological studies. However, many archaeal groups remain uncultured and their lipid composition unknown. Here, we aim to expand the knowledge on archaeal lipid biomarkers and determine the potential sources of those lipids in the water column of the euxinic Black Sea. The archaeal community was evaluated by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and by quantitative PCR. The archaeal intact polar lipids (IPLs) were investigated by ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry. Our study revealed both a complex archaeal community and large changes with water depth in the IPL assemblages. In the oxic/upper suboxic waters (<105 m), the archaeal community was dominated by marine group (MG) I Thaumarchaeota, coinciding with a higher relative abundance of hexose phosphohexose crenarchaeol, a known marker for Thaumarchaeota. In the suboxic waters (80-110 m), MGI Nitrosopumilus sp. dominated and produced predominantly monohexose glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) and hydroxy-GDGTs. Two clades of MGII Euryarchaeota were present in the oxic and upper suboxic zones in much lower abundances, preventing the detection of their specific IPLs. In the deep sulfidic waters (>110 m), archaea belonging to the DPANN Woesearchaeota, Bathyarchaeota, and ANME-1b clades dominated. Correlation analyses suggest that the IPLs GDGT-0, GDGT-1, and GDGT-2 with two phosphatidylglycerol (PG) head groups and archaeol with a PG, phosphatidylethanolamine, and phosphatidylserine head groups were produced by ANME-1b archaea. Bathyarchaeota represented 55% of the archaea in the deeper part of the euxinic zone and likely produces archaeol with phospho-dihexose and hexose-glucuronic acid head groups.
Project description:Archaea are ubiquitous in the modern ocean where they are involved in the carbon and nitrogen biogeochemical cycles. However, the majority of Archaea remain uncultured. Archaeal specific membrane intact polar lipids (IPLs) are biomarkers of the presence and abundance of living cells. They comprise archaeol and glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) attached to various polar headgroups. However, little is known of the IPLs of uncultured marine Archaea, complicating their use as biomarkers. Here, we analyzed suspended particulate matter (SPM) obtained in high depth resolution from a coastal and open ocean site in the eastern tropical South Pacific (ETSP) oxygen deficient zone (ODZ) with the aim of determining possible biological sources of archaeal IPL by comparing their composition by Ultra High Pressure Liquid Chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry with the archaeal diversity by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and their abundance by quantitative PCR. Thaumarchaeotal Marine Group I (MGI) closely related to Ca. Nitrosopelagicus and Nitrosopumilus dominated the oxic surface and upper ODZ water together with Marine Euryarchaeota Group II (MGII). High relative abundance of hexose phosphohexose- (HPH) crenarchaeol, the specific biomarker for living Thaumarchaeota, and HPH-GDGT-0, dihexose- (DH) GDGT-3 and -4 were detected in these water masses. Within the ODZ, DPANN (Diapherotrites, Parvarchaeota, Aenigmarchaeota, Nanoarchaeota, and Nanohaloarchaea) of the Woesearchaeota DHVE-6 group and Marine Euryarchaeota Group III (MGIII) were present together with a higher proportion of archaeol-based IPLs, which were likely made by MGIII, since DPANN archaea are supposedly unable to synthesize their own IPLs and possibly have a symbiotic or parasitic partnership with MGIII. Finally, in deep suboxic/oxic waters a different MGI population occurred with HPH-GDGT-1, -2 and DH-GDGT-0 and -crenarchaeol, indicating that here MGI synthesize membranes with IPLs in a different relative abundance which could be attributed to the different detected population or to an environmental adaptation. Our study sheds light on the complex archaeal community of one of the most prominent ODZs and on the IPL biomarkers they potentially synthesize.
Project description:The marine pelagic archaeal community is dominated by three major groups, the marine group I (MGI) Thaumarchaeota, and the marine groups II and III (MGII and MGIII) Euryarchaeota. Studies of both MGI cultures and the environment have shown that the MGI core membrane lipids are predominantly composed of glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) lipids and the diether lipid archaeol. However, there are no cultured representatives of MGII and III archaea and, therefore, both their membrane lipid composition and potential contribution to the marine archaeal lipid pool remain unknown. Here, we show that GDGTs present in suspended particulate matter of the (sub)surface waters of the North Atlantic Ocean and the coastal North Sea are derived from MGI archaea, and that MGII archaea do not significantly contribute to the pool of GDGTs and archaeol. This implies, in contrast to previous suggestions, that their lipids do not affect the widely used sea surface temperature proxy TEX<sub>86</sub>. These findings also indicate that MGII archaea are not able to produce any known archaeal lipids, implying that our understanding of the evolution of membrane lipid biosynthesis in Archaea is far from complete.
Project description:Planktonic archaea include predominantly Marine Group I Thaumarchaeota (MG I) and Marine Group II Euryarchaeota (MG II), which play important roles in the oceanic carbon cycle. MG I produce specific lipids called isoprenoid glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs), which are being used in the sea surface temperature proxy named TEX86. Although MG II may be the most abundant planktonic archaeal group in surface water, their lipid composition remains poorly characterized because of the lack of cultured representatives. Circumstantial evidence from previous studies of marine suspended particulate matter suggests that MG II may produce both GDGTs and archaeol-based lipids. In this study, integration of the 16S rRNA gene quantification and sequencing and lipid analysis demonstrated that MG II contributed significantly to the pool of archaeal tetraether lipids in samples collected from MG II-dominated surface waters of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean (NWPO). The archaeal lipid composition in MG II-dominated NWPO waters differed significantly from that of known MG I cultures, containing relatively more 2G-OH-, 2G- and 1G- GDGTs, especially in their acyclic form. Lipid composition in NWPO waters was also markedly different from MG I-dominated surface water samples collected in the East China Sea. GDGTs from MG II-dominated samples seemed to respond to temperature similarly to GDGTs from the MG I-dominated samples, which calls for further study using pure cultures to determine the exact impact of MG II on GDGT-based proxies.
Project description:Glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) are distinctive archaeal membrane-spanning lipids with up to eight cyclopentane rings and/or one cyclohexane ring. The number of rings added to the GDGT core structure can vary as a function of environmental conditions, such as changes in growth temperature. This physiological response enables cyclic GDGTs preserved in sediments to be employed as proxies for reconstructing past global and regional temperatures and to provide fundamental insights into ancient climate variability. Yet, confidence in GDGT-based paleotemperature proxies is hindered by uncertainty concerning the archaeal communities contributing to GDGT pools in modern environments and ambiguity in the environmental and physiological factors that affect GDGT cyclization in extant archaea. To properly constrain these uncertainties, a comprehensive understanding of GDGT biosynthesis is required. Here, we identify 2 GDGT ring synthases, GrsA and GrsB, essential for GDGT ring formation in Sulfolobus acidocaldarius Both proteins are radical S-adenosylmethionine proteins, indicating that GDGT cyclization occurs through a free radical mechanism. In addition, we demonstrate that GrsA introduces rings specifically at the C-7 position of the core GDGT lipid, while GrsB cyclizes at the C-3 position, suggesting that cyclization patterns are differentially controlled by 2 separate enzymes and potentially influenced by distinct environmental factors. Finally, phylogenetic analyses of the Grs proteins reveal that marine Thaumarchaeota, and not Euryarchaeota, are the dominant source of cyclized GDGTs in open ocean settings, addressing a major source of uncertainty in GDGT-based paleotemperature proxy applications.
Project description:Microbial communities in hydrothermally active sediments of the Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California, Mexico) were studied by using 16S rRNA sequencing and carbon isotopic analysis of archaeal and bacterial lipids. The Guaymas sediments harbored uncultured euryarchaeota of two distinct phylogenetic lineages within the anaerobic methane oxidation 1 (ANME-1) group, ANME-1a and ANME-1b, and of the ANME-2c lineage within the Methanosarcinales, both previously assigned to the methanotrophic archaea. The archaeal lipids in the Guaymas Basin sediments included archaeol, diagnostic for nonthermophilic euryarchaeota, and sn-2-hydroxyarchaeol, with the latter compound being particularly abundant in cultured members of the Methanosarcinales. The concentrations of these compounds were among the highest observed so far in studies of methane seep environments. The delta-(13)C values of these lipids (delta-(13)C = -89 to -58 per thousand) indicate an origin from anaerobic methanotrophic archaea. This molecular-isotopic signature was found not only in samples that yielded predominantly ANME-2 clones but also in samples that yielded exclusively ANME-1 clones. ANME-1 archaea therefore remain strong candidates for mediation of the anaerobic oxidation of methane. Based on 16S rRNA data, the Guaymas sediments harbor phylogenetically diverse bacterial populations, which show considerable overlap with bacterial populations of geothermal habitats and natural or anthropogenic hydrocarbon-rich sites. Consistent with earlier observations, our combined evidence from bacterial phylogeny and molecular-isotopic data indicates an important role of some novel deeply branching bacteria in anaerobic methanotrophy. Anaerobic methane oxidation likely represents a significant and widely occurring process in the trophic ecology of methane-rich hydrothermal vents. This study stresses a high diversity among communities capable of anaerobic oxidation of methane.
Project description:Glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) are core membrane lipids of the Crenarchaeota. The structurally unusual GDGT crenarchaeol has been proposed as a taxonomically specific biomarker for the marine planktonic group I archaea. It is found ubiquitously in the marine water column and in sediments. In this work, samples of microbial community biomass were obtained from several alkaline and neutral-pH hot springs in Nevada, United States. Lipid extracts of these samples were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Each sample contained GDGTs, and among these compounds was crenarchaeol. The distribution of archaeal lipids in Nevada hot springs did not appear to correlate with temperature, as has been observed in the marine environment. Instead, a significant correlation with the concentration of bicarbonate was observed. Archaeal DNA was analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. All samples contained 16S rRNA gene sequences which were more strongly related to thermophilic crenarchaeota than to Cenarchaeum symbiosum, a marine nonthermophilic crenarchaeon. The occurrence of crenarchaeol in environments containing sequences affiliated with thermophilic crenarchaeota suggests a wide phenotypic distribution of this compound. The results also indicate that crenarchaeol can no longer be considered an exclusive biomarker for marine species.
Project description:Marine ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) are among the most abundant of marine microorganisms, spanning nearly the entire water column of diverse oceanic provinces. Historical patterns of abundance are preserved in sediments in the form of their distinctive glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) membrane lipids. The correlation between the composition of GDGTs in surface sediment and the overlying annual average sea surface temperature forms the basis for a paleotemperature proxy (TEX86) that is used to reconstruct surface ocean temperature as far back as the Middle Jurassic. However, mounting evidence suggests that factors other than temperature could also play an important role in determining GDGT distributions. We here use a study set of four marine AOA isolates to demonstrate that these closely related strains generate different TEX86-temperature relationships and that oxygen (O2) concentration is at least as important as temperature in controlling TEX86 values in culture. All of the four strains characterized showed a unique membrane compositional response to temperature, with TEX86-inferred temperatures varying as much as 12 °C from the incubation temperatures. In addition, both linear and nonlinear TEX86-temperature relationships were characteristic of individual strains. Increasing relative abundance of GDGT-2 and GDGT-3 with increasing O2 limitation, at the expense of GDGT-1, led to significant elevations in TEX86-derived temperature. Although the adaptive significance of GDGT compositional changes in response to both temperature and O2 is unclear, this observation necessitates a reassessment of archaeal lipid-based paleotemperature proxies, particularly in records that span low-oxygen events or underlie oxygen minimum zones.
Project description:We investigated the relationship between distributions of GDGTs, GDGT-based proxies and environmental factors in a stratified lake in northwestern Norway. More than 90% of isoGDGTs were produced at the bottom of the oxycline, indicating a predominance of ammonia-oxidizing Group I.1a of Thaumarchaeota, supported by high crenarchaeol/caldarchaeol ratios. Dissolved oxygen content, rather than temperature, exercised a primary control on TEX86 values. In spite of low BIT value in surface sediment, the reconstructed lake surface temperature was "cold" biased. MBT values in streams and lake surface water were significantly smaller than those in the catchment soil, suggesting in situ production of brGDGTs in streams. A rapid transition of MBT vs. temperature/pH relationships occurring at the bottom of oxycline indicated the differential production of various brGDGTs with D.O. and depths. Only within the oxycline were CBT-based pH values close to in situ pH. Our results confirm earlier studies calling for caution in applying TEX86 as a surface temperature proxy, or MBT and/or CBT for reconstructing pH, in anoxic or euxinic lakes, estuaries and ocean basins. We propose that caldarchaeol/crenarchaeol ratio, an indicator of contributions from methanogenic archaea, together with the BIT and TEX86 proxies, can help reconstruct past levels of stratification.
Project description:This study presents analysis of four chimney samples in terms of glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether lipids (GDGTs), representing different growing stages of sulfide chimneys at the Deyin hydrothermal field, the southern mid-Atlantic ridge. The modified Bligh-Dyer method was used for lipid extraction and purification. GDGTs were analyzed with an Agilent 1200 series liquid chromatograph and 6460A triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. Our results showed that the intact polar GDGTs were more abundant than the core GDGTs in the 4 samples. The intact polar isoprenoidal GDGT-0 was the dominant composition (>70% of isoprenoidal GDGTs), indicating input of thermophilic Euryarchaeota. Most branched GDGTs were likely originated from the in situ thermophilic bacteria. However, the intact polar GDGTs in the sample at the late growing stage was similar to that in normal marine sediments, suggesting that the archaea mainly came from the planktonic Thaumarchaeota input. Our results suggested that the ratio of H-GDGTs to iGDGTs could be considered as a proxy to differentiated growing stages of a chimney. This study shed light on how to assess hydrothermal venting and sulfide chimneys in deep marine environments with a biomarker method in terms of different groups of GDGTs.
Project description:Thawing submarine permafrost is a source of methane to the subsurface biosphere. Methane oxidation in submarine permafrost sediments has been proposed, but the responsible microorganisms remain uncharacterized. We analyzed archaeal communities and identified distinct anaerobic methanotrophic assemblages of marine and terrestrial origin (ANME-2a/b, ANME-2d) both in frozen and completely thawed submarine permafrost sediments. Besides archaea potentially involved in anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) we found a large diversity of archaea mainly belonging to Bathyarchaeota, Thaumarchaeota, and Euryarchaeota. Methane concentrations and ?13C-methane signatures distinguish horizons of potential AOM coupled either to sulfate reduction in a sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ) or to the reduction of other electron acceptors, such as iron, manganese or nitrate. Analysis of functional marker genes (mcrA) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) corroborate potential activity of AOM communities in submarine permafrost sediments at low temperatures. Modeled potential AOM consumes 72-100% of submarine permafrost methane and up to 1.2?Tg of carbon per year for the total expected area of submarine permafrost. This is comparable with AOM habitats such as cold seeps. We thus propose that AOM is active where submarine permafrost thaws, which should be included in global methane budgets.