Project description:Bacterioplankton consume about half of the dissolved organic matter (DOM) produced by phytoplankton. DOM released from phytoplankton consists of a myriad of compounds that span a range of biological reactivity from labile to recalcitrant. Linking specific bacterioplankton lineages to the incorporation of DOM compounds into biomass is important to understand microbial niche partitioning. We conducted a series of DNA-stable isotope probing (SIP) experiments using 13C-labeled substrates of varying lability including amino acids, cyanobacteria lysate, and DOM from diatom and cyanobacteria isolates concentrated on solid phase extraction PPL columns (SPE-DOM). Amendments of substrates into Sargasso Sea bacterioplankton communities were conducted to explore microbial response and DNA-SIP was used to determine which lineages of Bacteria and Archaea were responsible for uptake and incorporation. Greater increases in bacterioplankton abundance and DOC removal were observed in incubations amended with cyanobacteria-derived lysate and amino acids compared to the SPE-DOM, suggesting that the latter retained proportionally more recalcitrant DOM compounds. DOM across a range of bioavailability was utilized by diverse prokaryotic taxa with copiotrophs becoming the most abundant 13C-incorporating taxa in the amino acid treatment and oligotrophs becoming the most abundant 13C-incorporating taxa in SPE-DOM treatments. The lineages that responded to SPE-DOM amendments were also prevalent in the mesopelagic of the Sargasso Sea, suggesting that PPL extraction of phytoplankton-derived DOM isolates compounds of ecological relevance to oligotrophic heterotrophic bacterioplankton. Our study indicates that DOM quality is an important factor controlling the diversity of the microbial community response, providing insights into the roles of different bacterioplankton in resource exploitation and efficiency of marine carbon cycling.
Project description:Mesoscale eddies are ubiquitous in the iron-limited Southern Ocean, controlling ocean-atmosphere exchange processes, however their influence on phytoplankton productivity remains unknown. Here we probed the biogeochemical cycling of iron (Fe) in a cold-core eddy. In-eddy surface dissolved Fe (dFe) concentrations and phytoplankton productivity were exceedingly low relative to external waters. In-eddy phytoplankton Fe-to-carbon uptake ratios were elevated 2-6 fold, indicating upregulated intracellular Fe acquisition resulting in a dFe residence time of ~1 day. Heavy dFe isotope values were measured for in-eddy surface waters highlighting extensive trafficking of dFe by cells. Below the euphotic zone, dFe isotope values were lighter and coincident with peaks in recycled nutrients and cell abundance, indicating enhanced microbially-mediated Fe recycling. Our measurements show that the isolated nature of Southern Ocean eddies can produce distinctly different Fe biogeochemistry compared to surrounding waters with cells upregulating iron uptake and using recycling processes to sustain themselves.
Project description:The South China Sea (SCS) is the largest marginal sea in the western tropical Pacific Ocean and is characterized by complex physicochemical environments. To date, the biogeographic patterns of the microbial communities have rarely been reported at a basin scale in the SCS. In this study, the bacterial assemblages inhabiting the epipelagic zone across 110°E to 119°E along 14°N latitude were uncovered. The vertical stratification of both bacterial taxa and their potential functions were revealed. These results suggest that the water depth-specific environment is a driver of the vertical bacterioplankton distribution. Moreover, the bacterial communities were different between the eastern stations and the western stations, where the environmental conditions were distinct. However, the mesoscale eddy did not show an obvious effect on the bacterial community due to the large distance between the sampling site and the center of the eddy. In addition to the water depth and longitudinal location of the samples, the heterogeneity of the phosphate and salinity concentrations also significantly contributed to the variance in the epipelagic bacterial community in the SCS. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to report that the variability in epipelagic bacterioplankton is driven by the physicochemical environment at the basin scale in the SCS. Our results emphasize that the ecological significance of bacterioplankton can be better understood by considering the relationship between the biogeographic distribution of bacteria and the oceanic dynamics processes.
Project description:The primary productivity of the Southern Ocean ecosystem is limited by iron availability. Away from benthic and aeolian sources, iron reaches phytoplankton primarily when iron-rich subsurface waters enter the euphotic zone. Here, eddy-resolving physical/biogeochemical simulations of a seasonally-forced, open-Southern-Ocean ecosystem reveal that mesoscale and submesoscale isopycnal stirring effects a cross-mixed-layer-base transport of iron that sustains primary productivity. The eddy-driven iron supply and consequently productivity increase with model resolution. We show the eddy flux can be represented by specific well-tuned eddy parametrizations. Since eddy mixing rates are sensitive to wind forcing and large-scale hydrographic changes, these findings suggest a new mechanism for modulating the Southern Ocean biological pump on climate timescales.
Project description:It is widely recognized that the mesoscale eddies play an important part in the biogeochemical cycle in ocean ecosystem, especially in the oligotrophic tropical zones. So here a heterogeneous cyclonic eddy in its flourishing stage was detected using remote sensing and in situ biogeochemical observation in the western South China Sea (SCS) in early September, 2007. The high-performance liquid chromatography method was used to identify the photosynthetic pigments. And the CHEMical TAXonomy (CHEMTAX) was applied to calculate the contribution of nine phytoplankton groups to the total chlorophyll a (TChl a) biomass. The deep chlorophyll a maximum layer (DCML) was raised to form a dome structure in the eddy center while there was no distinct enhancement for TChl a biomass. The integrated TChl a concentration in the upper 100 m water column was also constant from the eddy center to the surrounding water outside the eddy. However the TChl a biomass in the surface layer (at 5 m) in the eddy center was promoted 2.6-fold compared to the biomass outside the eddy (p < 0.001). Thus, the slight enhancement of TChl a biomass of euphotic zone integration within the eddy was mainly from the phytoplankton in the upper mixed zone rather than the DCML. The phytoplankton community was primarily contributed by diatoms, prasinophytes, and Synechococcus at the DCML within the eddy, while less was contributed by haptophytes_8 and Prochlorococcus. The TChl a biomass for most of the phytoplankton groups increased at the surface layer in the eddy center under the effect of nutrient pumping. The doming isopycnal within the eddy supplied nutrients gently into the upper mixing layer, and there was remarkable enhancement in phytoplankton biomass at the surface layer with 10.5% TChl a biomass of water column in eddy center and 3.7% at reference stations. So the slight increasing in the water column integrated phytoplankton biomass might be attributed to the stimulated phytoplankton biomass at the surface layer.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Marine bacteria in the Roseobacter and SAR11 lineages successfully exploit the ocean habitat, together accounting for ~40% of bacteria in surface waters, yet have divergent life histories that exemplify patch-adapted versus free-living ecological roles. Here, we use a phylogenetic birth-and-death model to understand how genome content supporting different life history strategies evolved in these related alphaproteobacterial taxa, showing that the streamlined genomes of free-living SAR11 were gradually downsized from a common ancestral genome only slightly larger than the extant members (~2,000 genes), while the larger and variably sized genomes of roseobacters evolved along dynamic pathways from a sizeable common ancestor (~8,000 genes). Genome changes in the SAR11 lineage occurred gradually over ~800 million years, whereas Roseobacter genomes underwent more substantial modifications, including major periods of expansion, over ~260 million years. The timing of the first Roseobacter genome expansion was coincident with the predicted radiation of modern marine eukaryotic phytoplankton of sufficient size to create nutrient-enriched microzones and is consistent with present-day ecological associations between these microbial groups. We suggest that diversification of red-lineage phytoplankton is an important driver of divergent life history strategies among the heterotrophic bacterioplankton taxa that dominate the present-day ocean. IMPORTANCE:One-half of global primary production occurs in the oceans, and more than half of this is processed by heterotrophic bacterioplankton through the marine microbial food web. The diversity of life history strategies that characterize different bacterioplankton taxa is an important subject, since the locations and mechanisms whereby bacteria interact with seawater organic matter has effects on microbial growth rates, metabolic pathways, and growth efficiencies, and these in turn affect rates of carbon mineralization to the atmosphere and sequestration into the deep sea. Understanding the evolutionary origins of the ecological strategies that underlie biochemical interactions of bacteria with the ocean system, and which scale up to affect globally important biogeochemical processes, will improve understanding of how microbial diversity is maintained and enable useful predictions about microbial response in the future ocean.
Project description:Sequencing the metatranscriptome can provide information about the response of organisms to varying environmental conditions. We present a methodology for obtaining random whole-community mRNA from a complex microbial assemblage using Pyrosequencing. The metatranscriptome had, with minimum contamination by ribosomal RNA, significant coverage of abundant transcripts, and included significantly more potentially novel proteins than in the metagenome. Keywords: metatranscriptome, mesocosm, ocean acidification This experiment is part of a much larger experiment. We have produced 4 454 metatranscriptomic datasets and 6 454 metagenomic datasets. These were derived from 4 samples. The experiment is an ocean acidification mesocosm set up in a Norwegian Fjord in 2006. We suspended 6 bags containing 11,000 L of sea water in a Coastal Fjord and then we bubbled CO2 through three of these bags to simulate ocean acidification conditions in the year 2100. The other three bags were bubbled with air. We then induced a phytoplankton bloom in all six bags and took measurements and performed analyses of phytoplankton, bacterioplankton and physiochemical characteristics over a 22 day period. We took water samples from the peak of the phytoplankton bloom and following the decline of the phytoplankton bloom to analyses using 454 metagenomics and 454 metatranscriptomics. Day 1, High CO2 Bag and Day 1, Present Day Bag, refer to the metatranscriptomes from the peak of the bloom. Day 2, High CO2 Bag and Day 2, Present Day Bag, refer to the metatranscriptomes following the decline of the bloom. Obviously High CO2 refers to the ocean acidification mesocosm and Present Day refers to the control mesocosm. Raw data for both the metagenomic and metatranscriptomic components are available at NCBI's Short Read Archive at ftp://ftp.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sra/Studies/SRP000/SRP000101
Project description:The exploration of bacterial diversity in the global ocean has revealed new taxa and previously unrecognized metabolic potential; however, our understanding of what regulates this diversity is limited. Using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) data from bacterial small-subunit ribosomal RNA genes we show that, independent of depth and time, a large fraction of bacterioplankton co-occurrence patterns are non-random in the oligotrophic North Pacific subtropical gyre (NPSG). Pair-wise correlations of all identified operational taxonomic units (OTUs) revealed a high degree of significance, with 6.6% of the pair-wise co-occurrences being negatively correlated and 20.7% of them being positive. The most abundant OTUs, putatively identified as Prochlorococcus, SAR11, and SAR116 bacteria, were among the most correlated OTUs. As expected, bacterial community composition lacked statistically significant patterns of seasonality in the mostly stratified water column except in a few depth horizons of the sunlit surface waters, with higher frequency variations in community structure apparently related to populations associated with the deep chlorophyll maximum. Communities were structured vertically into epipelagic, mesopelagic, and bathypelagic populations. Permutation-based statistical analyses of T-RFLP data and their corresponding metadata revealed a broad range of putative environmental drivers controlling bacterioplankton community composition in the NPSG, including concentrations of inorganic nutrients and phytoplankton pigments. Together, our results suggest that deterministic forces such as environmental filtering and interactions among taxa determine bacterioplankton community patterns, and consequently affect ecosystem functions in the NPSG.
Project description:Arctic Ocean microbial eukaryote phytoplankton form subsurface chlorophyll maximum (SCM), where much of the annual summer production occurs. This SCM is particularly persistent in the Western Arctic Ocean, which is strongly salinity stratified. The recent loss of multiyear sea ice and increased particulate-rich river discharge in the Arctic Ocean results in a greater volume of fresher water that may displace nutrient-rich saltier waters to deeper depths and decrease light penetration in areas affected by river discharge. Here, we surveyed microbial eukaryotic assemblages in the surface waters, and within and below the SCM. In most samples, we detected the pronounced SCM that usually occurs at the interface of the upper mixed layer and Pacific Summer Water (PSW). Poorly developed SCM was seen under two conditions, one above PSW and associated with a downwelling eddy, and the second in a region influenced by the Mackenzie River plume. Four phylogenetically distinct communities were identified: surface, pronounced SCM, weak SCM and a deeper community just below the SCM. Distance-decay relationships and phylogenetic structure suggested distinct ecological processes operating within these communities. In the pronounced SCM, picophytoplanktons were prevalent and community assembly was attributed to water mass history. In contrast, environmental filtering impacted the composition of the weak SCM communities, where heterotrophic Picozoa were more numerous. These results imply that displacement of Pacific waters to greater depth and increased terrigenous input may act as a control on SCM development and result in lower net summer primary production with a more heterotroph dominated eukaryotic microbial community.
Project description:Growth limitation of phytoplankton and unicellular nitrogen (N(2)) fixers (diazotrophs) were investigated in the oligotrophic Western South Pacific Ocean. Based on change in abundances of nifH or 23S rRNA gene copies during nutrient-enrichment experiments, the factors limiting net growth of the unicellular diazotrophs UCYN-A (Group A), Crocosphaera watsonii, ?-Proteobacterium 24774A11, and the non-diazotrophic picocyanobacterium Prochlorococcus, varied within the region. At the westernmost stations, numbers were enhanced by organic carbon added as simple sugars, a combination of iron and an organic chelator, or iron added with phosphate. At stations nearest the equator, the nutrient-limiting growth was not apparent. Maximum net growth rates for UCYN-A, C. watsonii and ?-24774A11 were 0.19, 0.61 and 0.52 d(-1), respectively, which are the first known empirical growth rates reported for the uncultivated UCYN-A and the ?-24774A11. The addition of N enhanced total phytoplankton biomass up to 5-fold, and the non-N(2)-fixing Synechococcus was among the groups that responded favorably to N addition. Nitrogen was the major nutrient-limiting phytoplankton biomass in the Western South Pacific Ocean, while availability of organic carbon or iron and organic chelator appear to limit abundances of unicellular diazotrophs. Lack of phytoplankton response to nutrient additions in the Pacific warm pool waters suggests diazotroph growth in this area is controlled by different factors than in the higher latitudes, which may partially explain previously observed variability in community composition in the region.