Project description:Massive metagenomic sequencing combined with gene prediction methods were previously used to compile the gene catalogue of the ocean and host-associated microbes. Global expeditions conducted over the past 15?years have sampled the ocean to build a catalogue of genes from pelagic microbes. Here we undertook a large sequencing effort of a perturbed Red Sea plankton community to uncover that the rate of gene discovery increases continuously with sequencing effort, with no indication that the retrieved 2.83 million non-redundant (complete) genes predicted from the experiment represented a nearly complete inventory of the genes present in the sampled community (i.e., no evidence of saturation). The underlying reason is the Pareto-like distribution of the abundance of genes in the plankton community, resulting in a very long tail of millions of genes present at remarkably low abundances, which can only be retrieved through massive sequencing. Microbial metagenomic projects retrieve a variable number of unique genes per Tera base-pair (Tbp), with a median value of 14.7 million unique genes per Tbp sequenced across projects. The increase in the rate of gene discovery in microbial metagenomes with sequencing effort implies that there is ample room for new gene discovery in further ocean and holobiont sequencing studies.
Project description:Marine Euryarchaeota remain among the least understood major components of marine microbial communities. Marine group II Euryarchaeota (MG-II) are more abundant in surface waters (4-20% of the total prokaryotic community), whereas marine group III Euryarchaeota (MG-III) are generally considered low-abundance members of deep mesopelagic and bathypelagic communities. Using genome assembly from direct metagenome reads and metagenomic fosmid clones, we have identified six novel MG-III genome sequence bins from the photic zone (Epi1-6) and two novel bins from deep-sea samples (Bathy1-2). Genome completeness in those genome bins varies from 44% to 85%. Photic-zone MG-III bins corresponded to novel groups with no similarity, and significantly lower GC content, when compared with previously described deep-MG-III genome bins. As found in many other epipelagic microorganisms, photic-zone MG-III bins contained numerous photolyase and rhodopsin genes, as well as genes for peptide and lipid uptake and degradation, suggesting a photoheterotrophic lifestyle. Phylogenetic analysis of these photolyases and rhodopsins as well as their genomic context suggests that these genes are of bacterial origin, supporting the hypothesis of an MG-III ancestor that lived in the dark ocean. Epipelagic MG-III occur sporadically and in relatively small proportions in marine plankton, representing only up to 0.6% of the total microbial community reads in metagenomes. None of the reconstructed epipelagic MG-III genomes were present in metagenomes from aphotic zone depths or from high latitude regions. Most low-GC bins were highly enriched at the deep chlorophyll maximum zones, with the exception of Epi1, which appeared evenly distributed throughout the photic zone worldwide.
Project description:The semi-enclosed nature of the Red Sea (20.2°N-38.5°N) makes it a natural laboratory to study the influence of environmental gradients on microbial communities. This study investigates the composition and structure of microbial prokaryotes and eukaryotes using molecular methods, targeting ribosomal RNA genes across different regions and seasons. The interaction between spatial and temporal scales results in different scenarios of turbulence and nutrient conditions allowing for testing of ecological theory that categorizes the response of the plankton community to these variations. The prokaryotic reads are mainly comprised of Cyanobacteria and Proteobacteria (Alpha and Gamma), with eukaryotic reads dominated by Dinophyceae and Syndiniophyceae. Periodic increases in the proportion of Mamiellophyceae and Bacillariophyceae reads were associated with alterations in the physical oceanography leading to nutrient increases either through the influx of Gulf of Aden Intermediate Water (south in the fall) or through water column mixing processes (north in the spring). We observed that in general dissimilarity amongst microbial communities increased when nutrient concentrations were higher, whereas richness (observed OTUs) was higher in scenarios of higher turbulence. Maximum abundance models showed the differential responses of dominant taxa to temperature giving an indication how taxa will respond as waters become warmer and more oligotrophic.
Project description:Marine snow aggregates represent heterogeneous agglomerates of dead and living organic matter. Composition is decisive for their sinking rates, and thereby for carbon flux to the deep sea. For oligotrophic oceans, information on aggregate composition is particularly sparse. To address this, the taxonomic composition of aggregates collected from the subtropical and oligotrophic Sargasso Sea (Atlantic Ocean) was characterized by 16S and 18S rRNA gene sequencing. Taxonomy assignment was aided by a collection of the contemporary plankton community consisting of 75 morphologically and genetically identified plankton specimens. The diverse rRNA gene reads of marine snow aggregates, not considering Trichodesmium puffs, were dominated by copepods (52%), cnidarians (21%), radiolarians (11%), and alveolates (8%), with sporadic contributions by cyanobacteria, suggesting a different aggregate composition than in eutrophic regions. Composition linked significantly with sampling location but not to any measured environmental parameters or plankton biomass composition. Nevertheless, indicator and network analyses identified key roles of a few rare taxa. This points to complex regulation of aggregate composition, conceivably affected by the environment and plankton characteristics. The extent to which this has implications for particle densities, and consequently for sinking rates and carbon sequestration in oligotrophic waters, needs further interrogation.
Project description:A vast amount of metagenomic data has been obtained by extracting multiple genomes simultaneously from microbial communities, including genomes from uncultivable microbes. By analyzing these metagenomic data, novel microbes are discovered and new microbial functions are elucidated. The first step in analyzing these data is sequenced-read classification into reference genomes from which each read can be derived. The Naïve Bayes Classifier is a method for this classification. To identify the derivation of the reads, this method calculates a score based on the occurrence of a DNA sequence motif in each reference genome. However, large differences in the sizes of the reference genomes can bias the scoring of the reads. This bias might cause erroneous classification and decrease the classification accuracy. To address this issue, we have updated the Naïve Bayes Classifier method using multiple sets of occurrence profiles for each reference genome by normalizing the genome sizes, dividing each genome sequence into a set of subsequences of similar length and generating profiles for each subsequence. This multiple profile strategy improves the accuracy of the results generated by the Naïve Bayes Classifier method for simulated and Sargasso Sea datasets.
Project description:A metagenomic library of sea sediment metagenome containing 245,000 recombinant clones representing ~ 2.45 Gb of sea sediment microbial DNA was constructed. Two unique arsenic resistance clones, A7 and A12, were identified by selection on sodium arsenite containing medium. Clone A7 showed a six-fold higher resistance to arsenate [As(V)], a three-fold higher resistance to arsenite [As(III)] and significantly increased resistance to antimony [Sb(III)], while clone A12 showed increased resistance only to sodium arsenite and not to the other two metalloids. The clones harbored inserts of 8.848 Kb and 6.771 Kb, respectively. Both the clones possess A + T rich nucleotide sequence with similarity to sequences from marine psychrophilic bacteria. Sequence and transposon-mutagenesis based analysis revealed the presence of a putative arsenate reductase (ArsC), a putative arsenite efflux pump (ArsB/ACR) and a putative NADPH-dependent FMN reductase (ArsH) in both the clones and also a putative transcriptional regulatory protein (ArsR) in pA7. The increased resistance of clone A7 to As(V), As(III) and Sb(III) indicates functional expression of ArsC and ArsB proteins from pA7. The absence of increased As(V) resistance in clone A12 may be due to the expression of a possible inactive ArsC, as conserved Arg60 residue in this protein was replaced by Glu60, while the absence of Sb(III) resistance may be due to the presence of an ACR3p-type arsenite pump, which is known to lack antimony transport ability.
Project description:A taxonomic and annotated functional description of microbial life was deduced from 53 Mb of metagenomic sequence retrieved from a planktonic fraction of the Neotropical high Andean (3,973 meters above sea level) acidic hot spring El Coquito (EC). A classification of unassembled metagenomic reads using different databases showed a high proportion of Gammaproteobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria (in total read affiliation), and through taxonomic affiliation of 16S rRNA gene fragments we observed the presence of Proteobacteria, micro-algae chloroplast and Firmicutes. Reads mapped against the genomes Acidiphilium cryptum JF-5, Legionella pneumophila str. Corby and Acidithiobacillus caldus revealed the presence of transposase-like sequences, potentially involved in horizontal gene transfer. Functional annotation and hierarchical comparison with different datasets obtained by pyrosequencing in different ecosystems showed that the microbial community also contained extensive DNA repair systems, possibly to cope with ultraviolet radiation at such high altitudes. Analysis of genes involved in the nitrogen cycle indicated the presence of dissimilatory nitrate reduction to N2 (narGHI, nirS, norBCDQ and nosZ), associated with Proteobacteria-like sequences. Genes involved in the sulfur cycle (cysDN, cysNC and aprA) indicated adenylsulfate and sulfite production that were affiliated to several bacterial species. In summary, metagenomic sequence data provided insight regarding the structure and possible functions of this hot spring microbial community, describing some groups potentially involved in the nitrogen and sulfur cycling in this environment.
Project description:Mesoscale circulation generated by the Loop Current in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) delivers growth-limiting nutrients to the microbial plankton of the euphotic zone. Consequences of physicochemically driven community shifts on higher order consumers and subsequent impacts on the biological carbon pump remain poorly understood. This study evaluates microbial plankton <10 ?m abundance and community structure across both cyclonic and anti-cyclonic circulation features in the NGOM using flow cytometry (SYBR Green I and autofluorescence parameters). Non-parametric multivariate hierarchical cluster analyses indicated that significant spatial variability in community structure exists such that stations that clustered together were defined as having a specific 'microbial signature' (i.e. statistically homogeneous community structure profiles based on relative abundance of microbial groups). Salinity and a combination of sea surface height anomaly and sea surface temperature were determined by distance based linear modeling to be abiotic predictor variables significantly correlated to changes in microbial signatures. Correlations between increased microbial abundance and availability of nitrogen suggest nitrogen-limitation of microbial plankton in this open ocean area. Regions of combined coastal water entrainment and mesoscale convergence corresponded to increased heterotrophic prokaryote abundance relative to autotrophic plankton. The results provide an initial assessment of how mesoscale circulation potentially influences microbial plankton abundance and community structure in the NGOM.