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FEMS Microbiol Ecol ; 96(2)2020 Feb 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31905236


Ecological communities are regulated by the flow of energy through environments. Energy flow is typically limited by access to photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and oxygen concentration (O2). The microbial mats growing on the bottom of Lake Fryxell, Antarctica, have well-defined environmental gradients in PAR and (O2). We analyzed the metagenomes of layers from these microbial mats to test the extent to which access to oxygen and light controls community structure. We found variation in the diversity and relative abundances of Archaea, Bacteria and Eukaryotes across three (O2) and PAR conditions: high (O2) and maximum PAR, variable (O2) with lower maximum PAR, and low (O2) and maximum PAR. We found distinct communities structured by the optimization of energy use on a millimeter-scale across these conditions. In mat layers where (O2) was saturated, PAR structured the community. In contrast, (O2) positively correlated with diversity and affected the distribution of dominant populations across the three habitats, suggesting that meter-scale diversity is structured by energy availability. Microbial communities changed across covarying gradients of PAR and (O2). The comprehensive metagenomic analysis suggests that the benthic microbial communities in Lake Fryxell are structured by energy flow across both meter- and millimeter-scales.

Geobiology ; 17(5): 551-563, 2019 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31325234


Bacteriohopanepolyols (BHPs) are pentacyclic triterpenoid lipids that contribute to the structural integrity and physiology of some bacteria. Because some BHPs originate from specific classes of bacteria, BHPs have potential as taxonomically and environmentally diagnostic biomarkers. For example, a stereoisomer of bacteriohopanetetrol (informally BHT II) has been associated with anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) bacteria and suboxic to anoxic marine environments where anammox is active. As a result, the detection of BHT II in the sedimentary record and fluctuations in the relative abundance of BHT II may inform reconstructions of nitrogen cycling and ocean redox changes through the geological record. However, there are uncertainties concerning the sources of BHT II and whether or not BHT II is produced in abundance in non-marine environments, both of which are pertinent to interpretations of BHT II signatures in sediments. To address these questions, we investigate the BHP composition of benthic microbial mats from Lake Fryxell, Antarctica. Lake Fryxell is a perennially ice-covered lake with a sharp oxycline in a density-stabilized water column. We describe the diversity and abundance of BHPs in benthic microbial mats across a transect from oxic to anoxic conditions. Generally, BHP abundances and diversity vary with the morphologies of microbial mats, which were previously shown to reflect local environmental conditions, such as irradiance and oxygen and sulfide concentrations. BHT II was identified in mats that exist within oxic to anoxic portions of the lake. However, anammox bacteria have yet to be identified in Lake Fryxell. We examine our results in the context of BHPs as biomarkers in modern and ancient environments.

Bactérias/metabolismo , Sedimentos Geológicos/análise , Lipídeos/análise , Triterpenos Pentacíclicos/análise , Regiões Antárticas , Bactérias/química , Fenômenos Fisiológicos Bacterianos , Lagos/química , Polímeros/análise
Geobiology ; 17(3): 308-319, 2019 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30707499


Bacteriohopanepolyols (BHPs) are bacterial membrane lipids that may be used as biological or environmental biomarkers. Previous studies have described the diversity, distribution, and abundance of BHPs in a variety of modern environments. However, the regulation of BHP production in polar settings is not well understood. Benthic microbial mats from ice-covered lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica provide an opportunity to investigate the sources, physiological roles, and preservation of BHPs in high-latitude environments. Lake Vanda is one of the most stable lakes on Earth, with microbial communities occupying specific niches along environmental gradients. We describe the influence of mat morphology and local environmental conditions on the diversity and distribution of BHPs and their biological sources in benthic microbial mats from Lake Vanda. The abundance and diversity of C-2 methylated hopanoids (2-MeBHP) are of particular interest, given that their stable degradation products, 2-methylhopanes, are among the oldest and most prevalent taxonomically informative biomarkers preserved in sedimentary rocks. Furthermore, the interpretation of sedimentary 2-methylhopanes is of great interest to the geobiology community. We identify cyanobacteria as the sole source of 2-MeBHP in benthic microbial mats from Lake Vanda and assess the hypothesis that 2-MeBHP are regulated in response to a particular environmental variable, namely solar irradiance.

Cianobactérias/metabolismo , Lagos/química , Lipídeos de Membrana/análise , Regiões Antárticas , Cianobactérias/isolamento & purificação , Meio Ambiente , Camada de Gelo , Lagos/microbiologia
Appl Environ Microbiol ; 82(2): 620-30, 2016 01 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26567300


Lake Fryxell is a perennially ice-covered lake in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, with a sharp oxycline in a water column that is density stabilized by a gradient in salt concentration. Dissolved oxygen falls from 20 mg liter(-1) to undetectable over one vertical meter from 8.9- to 9.9-m depth. We provide the first description of the benthic mat community that falls within this oxygen gradient on the sloping floor of the lake, using a combination of micro- and macroscopic morphological descriptions, pigment analysis, and 16S rRNA gene bacterial community analysis. Our work focused on three macroscopic mat morphologies that were associated with different parts of the oxygen gradient: (i) "cuspate pinnacles" in the upper hyperoxic zone, which displayed complex topography and were dominated by phycoerythrin-rich cyanobacteria attributable to the genus Leptolyngbya and a diverse but sparse assemblage of pennate diatoms; (ii) a less topographically complex "ridge-pit" mat located immediately above the oxic-anoxic transition containing Leptolyngbya and an increasing abundance of diatoms; and (iii) flat prostrate mats in the upper anoxic zone, dominated by a green cyanobacterium phylogenetically identified as Phormidium pseudopriestleyi and a single diatom, Diadesmis contenta. Zonation of bacteria was by lake depth and by depth into individual mats. Deeper mats had higher abundances of bacteriochlorophylls and anoxygenic phototrophs, including Chlorobi and Chloroflexi. This suggests that microbial communities form assemblages specific to niche-like locations. Mat morphologies, underpinned by cyanobacterial and diatom composition, are the result of local habitat conditions likely defined by irradiance and oxygen and sulfide concentrations.

Bactérias/isolamento & purificação , Camada de Gelo/microbiologia , Lagos/microbiologia , Oxigênio/análise , Regiões Antárticas , Bactérias/classificação , Bactérias/genética , Bactérias/metabolismo , Biodiversidade , Camada de Gelo/química , Lagos/análise , Dados de Sequência Molecular , Filogenia
Biology (Basel) ; 2(1): 151-76, 2013 Jan 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24832656


Lake Vanda is a perennially ice-covered, closed-basin lake in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Laminated photosynthetic microbial mats cover the floor of the lake from below the ice cover to >40 m depth. In recent decades, the water level of Lake Vanda has been rising, creating a "natural experiment" on development of mat communities on newly flooded substrates and the response of deeper mats to declining irradiance. Mats in recently flooded depths accumulate one lamina (~0.3 mm) per year and accrue ~0.18 µg chlorophyll-a cm-2 y-1. As they increase in thickness, vertical zonation becomes evident, with the upper 2-4 laminae forming an orange-brown zone, rich in myxoxanthophyll and dominated by intertwined Leptolyngbya trichomes. Below this, up to six phycobilin-rich green/pink-pigmented laminae form a subsurface zone, inhabited by Leptolyngbya, Oscillatoria and Phormidium morphotypes. Laminae continued to increase in thickness for several years after burial, and PAM fluorometry indicated photosynthetic potential in all pigmented laminae. At depths that have been submerged for >40 years, mats showed similar internal zonation and formed complex pinnacle structures that were only beginning to appear in shallower mats. Chlorophyll-a did not change over time and these mats appear to represent resource-limited "climax" communities. Acclimation of microbial mats to changing environmental conditions is a slow process, and our data show how legacy effects of past change persist into the modern community structure.