Project description:The phototrophic microbial mat community of Mushroom Spring, an alkaline siliceous hot spring in Yellowstone National Park, was studied by metatranscriptomic methods. RNA was extracted from mat specimens collected at four timepoints during light-to-dark and dark-to-light transitions in one diel cycle, and these RNA samples were analyzed by both pyrosequencing and SOLiD technologies. Pyrosequencing was used to assess the community composition, which showed that ~84% of the rRNA was derived from members of four kingdoms Cyanobacteria, Chloroflexi, Chlorobi and Acidobacteria. Transcription of photosynthesis-related genes conclusively demonstrated the phototrophic nature of two newly discovered populations; these organisms, which were discovered through metagenomics, are currently uncultured and previously undescribed members of Chloroflexi and Chlorobi. Data sets produced by SOLiD sequencing of complementary DNA provided >100-fold greater sequence coverage. The much greater sequencing depth allowed transcripts to be detected from ~15,000 genes and could be used to demonstrate statistically significant differential transcription of thousands of genes. Temporal differences for in situ transcription patterns of photosynthesis-related genes suggested that the six types of chlorophototrophs in the mats may use different strategies for maximizing their solar-energy capture, usage and growth. On the basis of both temporal pattern and transcript abundance, intra-guild gene expression differences were also detected for two populations of the oxygenic photosynthesis guild. This study showed that, when community-relevant genomes and metagenomes are available, SOLiD sequencing technology can be used for metatranscriptomic analyses, and the results suggested that this method can potentially reveal new insights into the ecophysiology of this model microbial community.
Project description:Phototrophic microbial mats are assemblages of vertically layered microbial populations dominated by photosynthetic microorganisms. In order to elucidate the vertical distribution and diversity of phototrophic microorganisms in a hot spring-associated microbial mat in Nakabusa (Japan), we analyzed the 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequences of the microbial mat separated into five depth horizons, and correlated them with microsensor measurements of O2 and spectral scalar irradiance. A stable core community and high diversity of phototrophic organisms dominated by the filamentous anoxygenic phototrophs, Roseiflexus castenholzii and Chloroflexus aggregans were identified together with the spectral signatures of bacteriochlorophylls (BChls) a and c absorption in all mat layers. In the upper mat layers, a high abundance of cyanobacteria (Thermosynechococcus sp.) correlated with strong spectral signatures of chlorophyll a and phycobiliprotein absorption near the surface in a zone of high O2 concentrations during the day. Deeper mat layers were dominated by uncultured chemotrophic Chlorobi such as the novel putatively sulfate-reducing "Ca. Thermonerobacter sp.", which showed increasing abundance with depth correlating with low O2 in these layers enabling anaerobic metabolism. Oxygen tolerance and requirements for the novel phototroph "Ca. Chloroanaerofilum sp." and the uncultured chemotrophic Armatimonadetes member type OS-L detected in Nakabusa hot springs, Japan appeared to differ from previously suggested lifestyles for close relatives identified in hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, USA. The present study identified various microenvironmental gradients and niche differentiation enabling the co-existence of diverse chlorophototrophs in metabolically diverse communities in hot springs.
Project description:The phylum Acidobacteria contains a single known phototrophic member, Chloracidobacterium thermophilum, which was recovered from a hot spring metagenome from Yellowstone National Park. Here, we expand the diversity of the genus Chloracidobacterium with a genome recovered from a hot spring in Japan, extending the known range of this lineage to a new continent.
Project description:Alkaline hot springs in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) provide a framework to study the relationship between photoautotrophs and temperature. Previous work has focused on studying how cyanobacteria (oxygenic phototrophs) vary with temperature, sulfide, and pH, but many questions remain regarding the ecophysiology of anoxygenic photosynthesis due to the taxonomic and metabolic diversity of these taxa. To this end, we examined the distribution of genes involved in phototrophy, carbon fixation, and nitrogen fixation in eight alkaline (pH 7.3-9.4) hot spring sites near the upper temperature limit of photosynthesis (71ºC) in YNP using metagenome sequencing. Based on genes encoding key reaction center proteins, geographic isolation plays a larger role than temperature in selecting for distinct phototrophic Chloroflexi, while genes typically associated with autotrophy in anoxygenic phototrophs, did not have distinct distributions with temperature. Additionally, we recovered Calvin cycle gene variants associated with Chloroflexi, an alternative carbon fixation pathway in anoxygenic photoautotrophs. Lastly, we recovered several abundant nitrogen fixation gene sequences associated with Roseiflexus, providing further evidence that genes involved in nitrogen fixation in Chloroflexi are more common than previously assumed. Together, our results add to the body of work on the distribution and functional potential of phototrophic bacteria in Yellowstone National Park hot springs and support the hypothesis that a combination of abiotic and biotic factors impact the distribution of phototrophic bacteria in hot springs. Future studies of isolates and metagenome assembled genomes (MAGs) from these data and others will further our understanding of the ecology and evolution of hot spring anoxygenic phototrophs. <b>IMPORTANCE</b> Photosynthetic bacteria in hot springs are of great importance to both microbial evolution and ecology. While a large body of work has focused on oxygenic photosynthesis in cyanobacteria in Mushroom and Octopus Springs in Yellowstone National Park, many questions remain regarding the metabolic potential and ecology of hot spring anoxygenic phototrophs. Anoxygenic phototrophs are metabolically and taxonomically diverse, and further investigations into their physiology will lead to a deeper understanding of microbial evolution and ecology of these taxa. Here, we have quantified the distribution of key genes involved in carbon and nitrogen metabolism in both oxygenic and anoxygenic phototrophs. Our results suggest that temperature >68ºC selects for distinct groups of cyanobacteria and that carbon fixation pathways associated with these taxa are likely subject to the same selective pressure. Additionally, our data suggest that phototrophic Chloroflexi genes and carbon fixation genes are largely influenced by local conditions as evidenced by our gene variant analysis. Lastly, we recovered several genes associated with potentially novel phototrophic Chloroflexi. Together, our results add to the body of work on hot springs in Yellowstone National Park and set the stage for future work on metagenome assembled genomes.
Project description:We examined the population of unicellular cyanobacteria (Synechococcus) in the upper 3-mm vertical interval of a 68 degrees C region of a microbial mat in a hot spring effluent channel (Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming). Fluorescence microscopy and microsensor measurements of O(2) and oxygenic photosynthesis demonstrated the existence of physiologically distinct Synechococcus populations at different depths along a light gradient quantified by scalar irradiance microprobes. Molecular methods were used to evaluate whether physiologically distinct populations could be correlated with genetically distinct populations over the vertical interval. We were unable to identify patterns in genetic variation in Synechococcus 16S rRNA sequences that correlate with different vertically distributed populations. However, patterns of variation at the internal transcribed spacer locus separating 16S and 23S rRNA genes suggested the existence of closely related but genetically distinct populations corresponding to different functional populations occurring at different depths.
Project description:The importance of sulfate respiration in the microbial mat found in the low-sulfate thermal outflow of Mushroom Spring in Yellowstone National Park was evaluated using a combination of molecular, microelectrode, and radiotracer studies. Despite very low sulfate concentrations, this mat community was shown to sustain a highly active sulfur cycle. The highest rates of sulfate respiration were measured close to the surface of the mat late in the day when photosynthetic oxygen production ceased and were associated with a Thermodesulfovibrio-like population. Reduced activity at greater depths was correlated with novel populations of sulfate-reducing microorganisms, unrelated to characterized species, and most likely due to both sulfate and carbon limitation.
Project description:Microbial mat communities in the effluent channels of Octopus and Mushroom Springs within the Lower Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park have been extensively characterized. Previous studies have focused on the chlorophototrophic organisms of the phyla Cyanobacteria and Chloroflexi. However, the diversity and metabolic functions of the other portion of the community in the microoxic/anoxic region of the mat are poorly understood. We recently described the diverse but extremely uneven microbial assemblage in the undermat of Mushroom Spring based on 16S rRNA amplicon sequences, which was dominated by Roseiflexus members, filamentous anoxygenic chlorophototrophs. In this study, we analyzed the orange-colored undermat portion of the community of Mushroom Spring mats in a genome-centric approach and discuss the metabolic potentials of the major members. Metagenome binning recovered partial genomes of all abundant community members, ranging in completeness from ~28 to 96%, and allowed affiliation of function with taxonomic identity even for representatives of novel and Candidate phyla. Less complete metagenomic bins correlated with high microdiversity. The undermat portion of the community was found to be a mixture of phototrophic and chemotrophic organisms, which use bicarbonate as well as organic carbon sources derived from different cell components and fermentation products. The presence of rhodopsin genes in many taxa strengthens the hypothesis that light energy is of major importance. Evidence for the usage of all four bacterial carbon fixation pathways was found in the metagenome. Nitrogen fixation appears to be limited to Synechococcus spp. in the upper mat layer and Thermodesulfovibrio sp. in the undermat, and nitrate/nitrite metabolism was limited. A closed sulfur cycle is indicated by biological sulfate reduction combined with the presence of genes for sulfide oxidation mainly in phototrophs. Finally, a variety of undermat microorganisms have genes for hydrogen production and consumption, which leads to the observed diel hydrogen concentration patterns.
Project description:Previous research has shown that sequences of 16S rRNA genes and 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer regions may not have enough genetic resolution to define all ecologically distinct Synechococcus populations (ecotypes) inhabiting alkaline, siliceous hot spring microbial mats. To achieve higher molecular resolution, we studied sequence variation in three protein-encoding loci sampled by PCR from 60°C and 65°C sites in the Mushroom Spring mat (Yellowstone National Park, WY). Sequences were analyzed using the ecotype simulation (ES) and AdaptML algorithms to identify putative ecotypes. Between 4 and 14 times more putative ecotypes were predicted from variation in protein-encoding locus sequences than from variation in 16S rRNA and 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer sequences. The number of putative ecotypes predicted depended on the number of sequences sampled and the molecular resolution of the locus. Chao estimates of diversity indicated that few rare ecotypes were missed. Many ecotypes hypothesized by sequence analyses were different in their habitat specificities, suggesting different adaptations to temperature or other parameters that vary along the flow channel.
Project description:The draft genome sequence of the thermophilic filamentous anoxygenic phototrophic bacterium Chloroflexus sp. strain MS-G (Chloroflexi), isolated from Mushroom Spring (Yellowstone National Park, WY, USA) was sequenced and comprises 4,784,183 bp in 251 contigs. The draft genome is predicted to encode 4,059 protein coding genes, 49 tRNA encoding genes, and 3 rRNA operons.
Project description:We investigated the diversity, distribution, and phenotypes of uncultivated Chloroflexaceae-related bacteria in photosynthetic microbial mats of an alkaline hot spring (Mushroom Spring, Yellowstone National Park). By applying a directed PCR approach, molecular cloning, and sequence analysis of 16S rRNA genes, an unexpectedly large phylogenetic diversity among these bacteria was detected. Oligonucleotide probes were designed to target 16S rRNAs from organisms affiliated with the genus Chloroflexus or with the type C cluster, a group of previously discovered Chloroflexaceae relatives of this mat community. The application of peroxidase-labeled probes in conjunction with tyramide signal amplification enabled the identification of these organisms within the microbial mats by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and the investigation of their morphology, abundance, and small-scale distribution. FISH was combined with oxygen microelectrode measurements, microscope spectrometry, and microautoradiography to examine their microenvironment, pigmentation, and carbon source usage. Abundant type C-related, filamentous bacteria were found to flourish within the cyanobacterium-dominated, highly oxygenated top layers and to predominate numerically in deeper orange-colored zones of the investigated microbial mats, correlating with the distribution of bacteriochlorophyll a. Chloroflexus sp. filaments were rare at 60 degrees C but were more abundant at 70 degrees C, where they were confined to the upper millimeter of the mat. Both type C organisms and Chloroflexus spp. were observed to assimilate radiolabeled acetate under in situ conditions.