WorldWideScience

Sample records for microbial mat ecosystems

  1. Microbial mat ecosystems: Structure types, functional diversity, and biotechnological application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina M. Prieto-Barajas

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbial mats are horizontally stratified microbial communities, exhibiting a structure defined by physiochemical gradients, which models microbial diversity, physiological activities, and their dynamics as a whole system. These ecosystems are commonly associated with aquatic habitats, including hot springs, hypersaline ponds, and intertidal coastal zones and oligotrophic environments, all of them harbour phototrophic mats and other environments such as acidic hot springs or acid mine drainage harbour non-photosynthetic mats. This review analyses the complex structure, diversity, and interactions between the microorganisms that form the framework of different types of microbial mats located around the globe. Furthermore, the many tools that allow studying microbial mats in depth and their potential biotechnological applications are discussed.

  2. Molecular ecology of microbial mats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bolhuis, H.; Cretoiu, M.S.; Stal, L.J.

    2014-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are ideal model systems for ecological and evolutionary analysis of highly diverse microbial communities. Microbial mats are small-scale, nearly closed, and self-sustaining benthic ecosystems that comprise the major element cycles, trophic levels, and food webs. The steep

  3. Diazotrophic microbial mats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Severin, I.; Stal, L.J.; Seckbach, J.; Oren, A.

    2010-01-01

    Microbial mats have been the focus of scientific research for a few decades. These small-scale ecosystems are examples of versatile benthic communities of microorganisms, usually dominated by phototrophic bacteria (e.g., Krumbein et al., 1977; Jørgensen et al., 1983). They develop as vertically

  4. Microbial diversity in sediment ecosystems (evaporites domes, microbial mats and crusts of hypersaline Laguna Tebenquiche, Salar de Atacama, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Beatriz Fernandez

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available We combined nucleic acid-based molecular methods, biogeochemical measurements and physicochemical characteristics to investigate microbial sedimentary ecosystems of Laguna Tebenquiche, Atacama Desert, Chile. Molecular diversity and biogeochemistry of hypersaline microbial mats, rhizome-associated concretions and an endoevaporite were compared with: The V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified by pyrosequencing to analyze the total microbial diversity (i.e., bacteria and archaea in bulk samples and, in addition, in detail on a millimeter scale in one microbial mat and in one evaporite. Archaea were more abundant than bacteria. Euryarchaeota was one of the most abundant phyla in all samples, and particularly dominant (97% of total diversity in the most lithified ecosystem, the evaporite. Most of the euryarchaeal OTUs could be assigned to the class Halobacteria or anaerobic and methanogenic archaea. Planctomycetes potentially also play a key role in mats and rhizome-associated concretions, notably the aerobic organoheterotroph members of the class Phycisphaerae. In addition to cyanobacteria, members of Chromatiales and possibly the candidate family Chlorotrichaceae contributed to photosynthetic carbon fixation. Other abundant uncultured taxa such as the candidate division MSBL1, the uncultured MBGB and the phylum Acetothermia potentially play an important metabolic role in these ecosystems. Lithifying microbial mats contained calcium carbonate precipitates, whereas endoevoporites consisted of gypsum and halite. Biogeochemical measurements revealed that based on depth profiles of O2 and sulfide, metabolic activities were much higher in the non-lithifying mat (peaking in the least lithified systems than in lithifying mats with the lowest activity in endoevaporites. This trend in decreasing microbial activity reflects the increase in salinity, which may play an important role in the biodiversity.

  5. Coastal microbial mats: the physiology of a small-scale ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stal, L.J.

    2001-01-01

    Coastal inter-tidal sandy sediments, salt marshes and mangrove forests often support the development of microbial mats. Microbial mats are complex associations of one or several functional groups of microorganisms and their formation usually starts with the growth of a cyanobacterial population on a

  6. Earth's Earliest Ecosystems in the C: The Use of Microbial Mats to Demonstrate General Principles of Scientific Inquiry and Microbial Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebout, Brad M.; Bucaria, Robin

    2006-01-01

    Microbial mats are living examples of the most ancient biological communities on Earth. As Earth's earliest ecosystems, they are centrally important to understanding the history of life on our planet and are useful models for the search for life elsewhere. As relatively compact (but complete) ecosystems, microbial mats are also extremely useful for educational activities. Mats may be used to demonstrate a wide variety of concepts in general and microbial ecology, including the biogeochemical cycling of elements, photosynthesis and respiration, and the origin of the Earth's present oxygen containing atmosphere. Microbial mats can be found in a number of common environments accessible to teachers, and laboratory microbial mats can be constructed using materials purchased from biological supply houses. With funding from NASA's Exobiology program, we have developed curriculum and web-based activities centered on the use of microbial mats as tools for demonstrating general principles in ecology, and the scientific process. Our web site (http://microbes.arc.nasa.gov) includes reference materials, lesson plans, and a "Web Lab", featuring living mats maintained in a mini-aquarium. The site also provides information as to how research on microbial mats supports NASA's goals, and various NASA missions. A photo gallery contains images of mats, microscopic views of the organisms that form them, and our own research activities. An animated educational video on the web site uses computer graphic and video microscopy to take students on a journey into a microbial mat. These activities are targeted to a middle school audience and are aligned with the National Science Standards.

  7. Effect of salinity on carbon and sulfur cycles in Umm Alhool sabkha microbial mat ecosystem in Qatar

    KAUST Repository

    Alnajjar, Mohammad Ahmad

    2012-10-19

    Microbial mats are only present under extreme conditions, where grazing by higher organisms is limited. Therefore, microbial mats may provide insight into extraterrestrial life, due to their adaptations to extreme temperatures, desiccation or salinity. They are faced with a diurnal cycle with variable length based on their location, which exposes them to extreme salinity conditions (i.e., water withdrawal and high evaporation). Cyanobacteria in the photic zone of a mat ecosystem supply the other microorganism with the required organic material to produce energy and grow. Subsequently, this will reproduce the nutrients needed by the phototrophs through elemental re-mineralization. In this work, we investigated the effect of water salinity that covers the microbial mat ecosystem of Umm Alhool sabkha, Qatar, regarding the most important processes within microbial mats: photosynthesis and sulfate reduction (SR). Our results showed that both photosynthetic and sulfate reduction rates decreased with increasing the salinity. The microbial community structure, assessed by 454 pyro-sequencing, revealed that the cyanobacterial community structure changed in response to the change in salinity. This was not the case for the sulfate reducer community structure, which stayed as it is in the mats incubated at different salinities. Therefore, we speculate that salinity affects the photosynthetic community structure, and consequently affects the photosynthetic activity of the whole ecosystem. However, sulfate reduction rates decreased due to less organic material supply from the upper layers and not due to change in microbial community structure of SR. Other factors such as the activity of the enzymes could also have an effect on SRR, but it was not investigated in this study.

  8. MICROBIAL MATS - A JOINT VENTURE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VANGEMERDEN, H

    Microbial mats characteristically are dominated by a few functional groups of microbes: cyanobacteria, colorless sulfur bacteria, purple sulfur bacteria, and sulfate-reducing bacteria. Their combined metabolic activities result in steep environmental microgradients, particularly of oxygen and

  9. Earth's Earliest Ecosystems in the Classroom: The Use of Microbial Mats to Teach General Principles in Microbial Ecology, and Scientific Inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beboutl, Brad M.; Bucaria, Robin

    2004-01-01

    Microbial mats are living examples of the most ancient biological communities on earth, and may also be useful models for the search for life elsewhere. They are centrally important to Astrobiology. In this lecture, we will present an introduction to microbial mats, as well as an introduction to our web-based educational module on the subject of microbial ecology, featuring living mats maintained in a mini "Web Lab" complete with remotely-operable instrumentation. We have partnered with a number of outreach specialists in order to produce an informative and educational web-based presentation, aspects of which will be exported to museum exhibits reaching a wide audience. On our web site, we will conduct regularly scheduled experimental manipulations, linking the experiments to our research activities, and demonstrating fundamental principles of scientific research.

  10. Effects of Elevated Carbon Dioxide and Salinity on the Microbial Diversity in Lithifying Microbial Mats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven R. Ahrendt

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2 are rising at an accelerated rate resulting in changes in the pH and carbonate chemistry of the world’s oceans. However, there is uncertainty regarding the impact these changing environmental conditions have on carbonate-depositing microbial communities. Here, we examine the effects of elevated CO2, three times that of current atmospheric levels, on the microbial diversity associated with lithifying microbial mats. Lithifying microbial mats are complex ecosystems that facilitate the trapping and binding of sediments, and/or the precipitation of calcium carbonate into organosedimentary structures known as microbialites. To examine the impact of rising CO2 and resulting shifts in pH on lithifying microbial mats, we constructed growth chambers that could continually manipulate and monitor the mat environment. The microbial diversity of the various treatments was compared using 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. The results indicated that elevated CO2 levels during the six month exposure did not profoundly alter the microbial diversity, community structure, or carbonate precipitation in the microbial mats; however some key taxa, such as the sulfate-reducing bacteria Deltasulfobacterales, were enriched. These results suggest that some carbonate depositing ecosystems, such as the microbialites, may be more resilient to anthropogenic-induced environmental change than previously thought.

  11. Structural and functional analysis of a microbial mat ecosystem from a unique permanent hypersaline inland lake: ‘La Salada de Chiprana’ (NE Spain)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jonkers, Henk M.; Ludwig, Rebecca; De Wit, Rutger

    2003-01-01

    The benthic microbial mat community of the only permanent hypersaline natural inland lake of Western Europe, ‘La Salada de Chiprana’, northeastern Spain, was structurally and functionally analyzed. The ionic composition of the lake water is characterized by high concentrations of magnesium...

  12. Structural and functional analysis of a microbial mat ecosystem from a unique permanent hypersaline inland lake: 'La Salada de Chiprana' (NE Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonkers, Henk M; Ludwig, Rebecca; Wit, Rutger; Pringault, Olivier; Muyzer, Gerard; Niemann, Helge; Finke, Niko; Beer, Dirk

    2003-05-01

    The benthic microbial mat community of the only permanent hypersaline natural inland lake of Western Europe, 'La Salada de Chiprana', northeastern Spain, was structurally and functionally analyzed. The ionic composition of the lake water is characterized by high concentrations of magnesium and sulfate, which were respectively 0.35 and 0.5 M at the time of sampling while the total salinity was 78 g l(-1). Community composition was analyzed by microscopy, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) pigment analyses and by studying culturable bacteria from different functional groups. Therefore, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was applied on most probable number (MPN) dilution cultures. Microscopy revealed that a thin layer of Chloroflexus-like bacteria overlaid various cyanobacteria-dominated layers each characterized by different morphotypes. DGGE analysis of MPN dilution cultures from distinct mat layers showed that various phylotypes of anoxygenic phototrophic, aerobic heterotrophic, colorless sulfur-, and sulfate-reducing bacteria were present. The mats were furthermore functionally studied and attention was focussed on the relationship between oxygenic primary production and the flow of carbon through the microbial community. Microsensor techniques, porewater and sediment photopigment analysis were applied in order to estimate oxygenic photosynthetic rates, daily dynamics of (in)organic carbon porewater concentration and migration behavior of phototrophs. Chiprana microbial mats produced dissolved organic carbon (DOC) both during the day and night. It was estimated that 14% of the mats gross photosynthetic production and 49% of the mats net photosynthetic production diffused out of the mat in the form of low molecular mass fatty acids, although these compounds made up only 2% of the total DOC pool. The high flux of dissolved fatty acids from the microbial mat to the water column may explain why in this system Chloroflexus-like bacteria

  13. Diversity and stratification of archaea in a hypersaline microbial mat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Charles E; Spear, John R; Harris, J Kirk; Pace, Norman R

    2009-04-01

    The Guerrero Negro (GN) hypersaline microbial mats have become one focus for biogeochemical studies of stratified ecosystems. The GN mats are found beneath several of a series of ponds of increasing salinity that make up a solar saltern fed from Pacific Ocean water pumped from the Laguna Ojo de Liebre near GN, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Molecular surveys of the laminated photosynthetic microbial mat below the fourth pond in the series identified an enormous diversity of bacteria in the mat, but archaea have received little attention. To determine the bulk contribution of archaeal phylotypes to the pond 4 study site, we determined the phylogenetic distribution of archaeal rRNA gene sequences in PCR libraries based on nominally universal primers. The ratios of bacterial/archaeal/eukaryotic rRNA genes, 90%/9%/1%, suggest that the archaeal contribution to the metabolic activities of the mat may be significant. To explore the distribution of archaea in the mat, sequences derived using archaeon-specific PCR primers were surveyed in 10 strata of the 6-cm-thick mat. The diversity of archaea overall was substantial albeit less than the diversity observed previously for bacteria. Archaeal diversity, mainly euryarchaeotes, was highest in the uppermost 2 to 3 mm of the mat and decreased rapidly with depth, where crenarchaeotes dominated. Only 3% of the sequences were specifically related to known organisms including methanogens. While some mat archaeal clades corresponded with known chemical gradients, others did not, which is likely explained by heretofore-unrecognized gradients. Some clades did not segregate by depth in the mat, indicating broad metabolic repertoires, undersampling, or both.

  14. Microbial communities and exopolysaccharides from Polynesian mats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rougeaux, H; Guezennec, M; Che, L M; Payri, C; Deslandes, E; Guezennec, J

    2001-03-01

    Microbial mats present in two shallow atolls of French Polynesia were characterized by high amounts of exopolysaccharides associated with cyanobacteria as the predominating species. Cyanobacteria were found in the first centimeters of the gelatinous mats, whereas deeper layers showing the occurrence of the sulfate reducers Desulfovibrio and Desulfobacter species as determined by the presence of specific biomarkers. Exopolysaccharides were extracted from these mats and partially characterized. All fractions contained both neutral sugars and uronic acids with a predominance of the former. The large diversity in monosaccharides can be interpreted as the result of exopolymer biosynthesis by either different or unidentified cyanobacterial species.

  15. Simulated Carbon Cycling in a Model Microbial Mat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decker, K. L.; Potter, C. S.

    2006-12-01

    We present here the novel addition of detailed organic carbon cycling to our model of a hypersaline microbial mat ecosystem. This ecosystem model, MBGC (Microbial BioGeoChemistry), simulates carbon fixation through oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis, and the release of C and electrons for microbial heterotrophs via cyanobacterial exudates and also via a pool of dead cells. Previously in MBGC, the organic portion of the carbon cycle was simplified into a black-box rate of accumulation of simple and complex organic compounds based on photosynthesis and mortality rates. We will discuss the novel inclusion of fermentation as a source of carbon and electrons for use in methanogenesis and sulfate reduction, and the influence of photorespiration on labile carbon exudation rates in cyanobacteria. We will also discuss the modeling of decomposition of dead cells and the ultimate release of inorganic carbon. The detailed modeling of organic carbon cycling is important to the accurate representation of inorganic carbon flux through the mat, as well as to accurate representation of growth models of the heterotrophs under different environmental conditions. Because the model ecosystem is an analog of ancient microbial mats that had huge impacts on the atmosphere of early earth, this MBGC can be useful as a biological component to either early earth models or models of other planets that potentially harbor life.

  16. Lipid Biomarkers for a Hypersaline Microbial Mat Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahnke, Linda L.; Embaye, Tsege; Turk, Kendra A.

    2003-01-01

    The use of lipid biomarkers and their carbon isotopic compositions are valuable tools for establishing links to ancient microbial ecosystems. As witnessed by the stromatolite record, benthic microbial mats grew in shallow water lagoonal environments where microorganisms had virtually no competition apart from the harsh conditions of hypersalinity, desiccation and intense light. Today, the modern counterparts of these microbial ecosystems find appropriate niches in only a few places where extremes eliminate eukaryotic grazers. Answers to many outstanding questions about the evolution of microorganisms and their environments on early Earth are best answered through study of these extant analogs. Lipids associated with various groups of bacteria can be valuable biomarkers for identification of specific groups of microorganisms both in ancient organic-rich sedimentary rocks (geolipids) and contemporary microbial communities (membrane lipids). Use of compound specific isotope analysis adds additional refinement to the identification of biomarker source, so that it is possible to take advantage of the 3C-depletions associated with various functional groups of organisms (i.e. autotrophs, heterotrophs, methanotrophs, methanogens) responsible for the cycling of carbon within a microbial community. Our recent work has focused on a set of hypersaline evaporation ponds at Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico which support the abundant growth of Microcoleus-dominated microbial mats. Specific biomarkers for diatoms, cyanobacteria, archaea, green nonsulfur (GNS), sulfate reducing, and methanotrophic bacteria have been identified. Analyses of the ester-bound fatty acids indicate a highly diverse microbial community, dominated by photosynthetic organisms at the surface.

  17. Photosynthetic Microbial Mats are Exemplary Sources of Diverse Biosignatures (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, D. J.; Jahnke, L. L.

    2013-12-01

    Marine cyanobacterial microbial mats are widespread, compact, self-contained ecosystems that create diverse biosignatures and have an ancient fossil record. Within the mats, oxygenic photosynthesis provides organic substrates and O2 to the community. Both the absorption and scattering of light change the intensity and spectral composition of incident radiation as it penetrates a mat. Some phototrophs utilize infrared light near the base of the photic zone. A mat's upper layers can become highly reduced and sulfidic at night. Counteracting gradients of O2 and sulfide shape the chemical environment and provide daily-contrasting microenvironments separated on a scale of a few mm. Radiation hazards (UV, etc.), O2 and sulfide toxicity elicit motility and other physiological responses. This combination of benefits and hazards of light, O2 and sulfide promotes the allocation of various essential mat processes between light and dark periods and to various depths in the mat. Associated nonphotosynthetic communities, including anaerobes, strongly influence many of the ecosystem's overall characteristics, and their processes affect any biosignatures that enter the fossil record. A biosignature is an object, substance and/or pattern whose origin specifically requires a biological agent. The value of a biosignature depends not only on the probability of life creating it, but also on the improbability of nonbiological processes producing it. Microbial mats create biosignatures that identify particular groups of organisms and also reveal attributes of the mat ecosystem. For example, branched hydrocarbons and pigments can be diagnostic of cyanobacteria and other phototrophic bacteria, and isoprenoids can indicate particular groups of archea. Assemblages of lipid biosignatures change with depth due to changes in microbial populations and diagenetic transformations of organic matter. The 13C/12C values of organic matter and carbonates reflect isotopic discrimination by particular

  18. Flow of light energy in benthic photosynthetic microbial mats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al-Najjar, Mohammad Ahmad A.

    2010-12-15

    The work in this thesis demonstrates the assessment of the energy budget inside microbial mat ecosystems, and the factors affecting light utilization efficiency. It presents the first balanced light energy budget for benthic microbial mat ecosystems, and shows how the budget and the spatial distribution of the local photosynthetic efficiencies within the euphotic zone depend on the absorbed irradiance (Jabs). The energy budget was dominated by heat dissipation on the expense of photosynthesis. The maximum efficiency of photosynthesis was at light limiting conditions When comparing three different marine benthic photosynthetic ecosystems (originated from Abu-Dhabi, Arctic, and Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia), differences in the efficiencies were calculated. The results demonstrated that the maximum efficiency depended on mat characteristics affecting light absorption and scattering; such as, photopigments ratio and distribution, and the structural organization of the photosynthetic organisms relative to other absorbing components of the ecosystem (i.e., EPS, mineral particles, detritus, etc.). The maximum efficiency decreased with increasing light penetration depth, and increased with increasing the accessory pigments (phycocyanin and fucoxanthin)/chlorophyll ratio. Spatial heterogeneity in photosynthetic efficiency, pigment distribution, as well as light acclimation in microbial mats originating from different geographical locations was investigated. We used a combined pigment imaging approach (variable chlorophyll fluorescence and hyperspectral imaging), and fingerprinting approach. For each mat, the photosynthetic activity was proportional to the local pigment concentration in the photic zone, but not for the deeper layers and between different mats. In each mat, yield of PSII and E1/2 (light acclimation) generally decreased in parallel with depth, but the gradients in both parameters varied greatly between samples. This mismatch between pigments concentration

  19. Studying Microbial Mat Functioning Amidst "Unexpected Diversity": Methodological Approaches and Initial Results from Metatranscriptomes of Mats Over Diel cycles, iTags from Long Term Manipulations, and Biogeochemical Cycling in Simplified Microbial Mats Constructed from Cultures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebout, B.; Bebout, L. E.; Detweiler, A. M.; Everroad, R. C.; Lee, J.; Pett-Ridge, J.; Weber, P. K.

    2014-12-01

    Microbial mats are famously amongst the most diverse microbial ecosystems on Earth, inhabiting some of the most inclement environments known, including hypersaline, dry, hot, cold, nutrient poor, and high UV environments. The high microbial diversity of microbial mats makes studies of microbial ecology notably difficult. To address this challenge, we have been using a combination of metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, iTags and culture-based simplified microbial mats to study biogeochemical cycling (H2 production, N2 fixation, and fermentation) in microbial mats collected from Elkhorn Slough, Monterey Bay, California. Metatranscriptomes of microbial mats incubated over a diel cycle have revealed that a number of gene systems activate only during the day in Cyanobacteria, while the remaining appear to be constitutive. The dominant cyanobacterium in the mat (Microcoleus chthonoplastes) expresses several pathways for nitrogen scavenging undocumented in cultured strains, as well as the expression of two starch storage and utilization cycles. Community composition shifts in response to long term manipulations of mats were assessed using iTags. Changes in community diversity were observed as hydrogen fluxes increased in response to a lowering of sulfate concentrations. To produce simplified microbial mats, we have isolated members of 13 of the 15 top taxa from our iTag libraries into culture. Simplified microbial mats and simple co-cultures and consortia constructed from these isolates reproduce many of the natural patterns of biogeochemical cycling in the parent natural microbial mats, but against a background of far lower overall diversity, simplifying studies of changes in gene expression (over the short term), interactions between community members, and community composition changes (over the longer term), in response to environmental forcing.

  20. Comparison of the active and resident community of a coastal microbial mat

    OpenAIRE

    Cardoso, Daniela Clara; Sandionigi, Anna; Cretoiu, Mariana Silvia; Casiraghi, Maurizio; Stal, Lucas; Bolhuis, Henk

    2017-01-01

    Coastal microbial mats form a nearly closed micro-scale ecosystem harboring a complex microbial community. Previous DNA based analysis did not necessarily provide information about the active fraction of the microbial community because it includes dormant, inactive cells as well as a potential stable pool of extracellular DNA. Here we focused on the active microbial community by comparing 16S rRNA sequences obtained from the ribosomal RNA pool with gene sequences obtained from the DNA fractio...

  1. Counting viruses and bacteria in photosynthetic microbial mats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carreira, C; Staal, M.; Middelboe, M.; Brussaard, C.P.D.

    2015-01-01

    Viral abundances in benthic environments are the highest found in aquatic systems. Photosynthetic microbial mats represent benthic environments with high microbial activity and possibly high viral densities, yet viral abundances have not been examined in such systems. Existing extraction procedures

  2. Unravelling core microbial metabolisms in the hypersaline microbial mats of Shark Bay using high-throughput metagenomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruvindy, Rendy; White III, Richard Allen; Neilan, Brett Anthony; Burns, Brendan Paul

    2015-05-29

    Modern microbial mats are potential analogues of some of Earth’s earliest ecosystems. Excellent examples can be found in Shark Bay, Australia, with mats of various morphologies. To further our understanding of the functional genetic potential of these complex microbial ecosystems, we conducted for the first time shotgun metagenomic analyses. We assembled metagenomic nextgeneration sequencing data to classify the taxonomic and metabolic potential across diverse morphologies of marine mats in Shark Bay. The microbial community across taxonomic classifications using protein-coding and small subunit rRNA genes directly extracted from the metagenomes suggests that three phyla Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Bacteriodetes dominate all marine mats. However, the microbial community structure between Shark Bay and Highbourne Cay (Bahamas) marine systems appears to be distinct from each other. The metabolic potential (based on SEED subsystem classifications) of the Shark Bay and Highbourne Cay microbial communities were also distinct. Shark Bay metagenomes have a metabolic pathway profile consisting of both heterotrophic and photosynthetic pathways, whereas Highbourne Cay appears to be dominated almost exclusively by photosynthetic pathways. Alternative non-rubisco-based carbon metabolism including reductive TCA cycle and 3-hydroxypropionate/4-hydroxybutyrate pathways is highly represented in Shark Bay metagenomes while not represented in Highbourne Cay microbial mats or any other mat forming ecosystems investigated to date. Potentially novel aspects of nitrogen cycling were also observed, as well as putative heavy metal cycling (arsenic, mercury, copper and cadmium). Finally, archaea are highly represented in Shark Bay and may have critical roles in overall ecosystem function in these modern microbial mats.

  3. Tracing biosignatures from the Recent to the Jurassic in sabkha-associated microbial mats

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Land, Cees; Dutton, Kirsten; Andrade, Luiza; Paul, Andreas; Sherry, Angela; Fender, Tom; Hewett, Guy; Jones, Martin; Lokier, Stephen W.; Head, Ian M.

    2017-04-01

    Microbial mat ecosystems have been operating at the sediment-fluid interface for over 3400 million years, influencing the flux, transformation and preservation of carbon from the biosphere to the physical environment. These ecosystems are excellent recorders of rapid and profound changes in earth surface environments and biota as they often survive crisis-induced extreme paleoenvironmental conditions. Their biosignatures, captured in the preserved organic matter and the biominerals that form the microbialite rock, constitute a significant tool in understanding geobiological processes and the interactions of the microbial communities with sediments and with the prevailing physical chemical parameters, as well as the environmental conditions at a local and global scale. Nevertheless, the exact pathways of diagenetic organic matter transformation and early-lithification, essential for the accretion and preservation in the geological record as microbialites, are not well understood. The Abu Dhabi coastal sabkha system contains a vast microbial mat belt that is dominated by continuous polygonal and internally-laminated microbial mats across the upper and middle intertidal zones. This modern system is believed to be the best analogue for the Upper Jurassic Arab Formation, which is both a prolific hydrocarbon reservoir and source rock facies in the United Arab Emirates and in neighbouring countries. In order to characterise the processes that lead to the formation of microbialites we investigated the modern and Jurassic system using a multidisciplinary approach, including growth of field-sampled microbial mats under controlled conditions in the laboratory and field-based analysis of microbial communities, mat mineralogy and organic biomarker analysis. In this study, we focus on hydrocarbon biomarker data obtained from the surface of microbial mats actively growing in the intertidal zone of the modern system. By comparing these findings to data obtained from recently

  4. Marine Microbial Mats and the Search for Evidence of Life in Deep Time and Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, David J.

    2011-01-01

    Cyanobacterial mats in extensive seawater evaporation ponds at Guerrero Negro, Baja California, Mexico, have been excellent subjects for microbial ecology research. The studies reviewed here have documented the steep and rapidly changing environmental gradients experienced by mat microorganisms and the very high rates of biogeochemical processes that they maintained. Recent genetic studies have revealed an enormous diversity of bacteria as well as the spatial distribution of Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya. These findings, together with emerging insights into the intimate interactions between these diverse populations, have contributed substantially to our understanding of the origins, environmental impacts, and biosignatures of photosynthetic microbial mats. The biosignatures (preservable cells, sedimentary fabrics, organic compounds, minerals, stable isotope patterns, etc.) potentially can serve as indicators of past life on early Earth. They also can inform our search for evidence of any life on Mars. Mars exploration has revealed evidence of evaporite deposits and thermal spring deposits; similar deposits on Earth once hosted ancient microbial mat ecosystems.

  5. Community structure and function of high-temperature chlorophototrophic microbial mats inhabiting diverse geothermal environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klatt, Christian G.; Inskeep, William P.; Herrgard, Markus

    2013-01-01

    Six phototrophic microbial mat communities from different geothermal springs (YNP) were studied using metagenome sequencing and geochemical analyses. The primary goals of this work were to determine differences in community composition of high-temperature phototrophic mats distributed across...... the Yellowstone geothermal ecosystem, and to identify metabolic attributes of predominant organisms present in these communities that may correlate with environmental attributes important in niche differentiation. Random shotgun metagenome sequences from six phototrophic communities (average 53Mbp/site) were...

  6. Biodiversity of the microbial mat of the Garga hot spring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozanov, Alexey Sergeevich; Bryanskaya, Alla Victorovna; Ivanisenko, Timofey Vladimirovich; Malup, Tatyana Konstantinovna; Peltek, Sergey Evgenievich

    2017-12-28

    Microbial mats are a good model system for ecological and evolutionary analysis of microbial communities. There are more than 20 alkaline hot springs on the banks of the Barguzin river inflows. Water temperature reaches 75 °C and pH is usually 8.0-9.0. The formation of microbial mats is observed in all hot springs. Microbial communities of hot springs of the Baikal rift zone are poorly studied. Garga is the biggest hot spring in this area. In this study, we investigated bacterial and archaeal diversity of the Garga hot spring (Baikal rift zone, Russia) using 16S rRNA metagenomic sequencing. We studied two types of microbial communities: (i) small white biofilms on rocks in the points with the highest temperature (75 °C) and (ii) continuous thick phototrophic microbial mats observed at temperatures below 70 °C. Archaea (mainly Crenarchaeota; 19.8% of the total sequences) were detected only in the small biofilms. The high abundance of Archaea in the sample from hot springs of the Baikal rift zone supplemented our knowledge of the distribution of Archaea. Most archaeal sequences had low similarity to known Archaea. In the microbial mats, primary products were formed by cyanobacteria of the genus Leptolyngbya. Heterotrophic microorganisms were mostly represented by Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria in all studied samples of the microbial mats. Planctomycetes, Chloroflexi, and Chlorobi were abundant in the middle layer of the microbial mats, while heterotrophic microorganisms represented mostly by Firmicutes (Clostridia, strict anaerobes) dominated in the bottom part. Besides prokaryotes, we detect some species of Algae with help of detection their chloroplasts 16 s rRNA. High abundance of Archaea in samples from hot springs of the Baikal rift zone supplemented our knowledge of the distribution of Archaea. Most archaeal sequences had low similarity to known Archaea. Metagenomic analysis of microbial communities of the microbial mat of Garga hot spring showed that

  7. Linking phylogenetic and functional diversity to nutrient spiraling in microbial mats from Lower Kane Cave (USA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Annette Summers; Meisinger, Daniela B; Porter, Megan L; Payn, Robert A; Schmid, Michael; Stern, Libby A; Schleifer, K H; Lee, Natuschka M

    2010-01-01

    Microbial mats in sulfidic cave streams offer unique opportunities to study redox-based biogeochemical nutrient cycles. Previous work from Lower Kane Cave, Wyoming, USA, focused on the aerobic portion of microbial mats, dominated by putative chemolithoautotrophic, sulfur-oxidizing groups within the Epsilonproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria. To evaluate nutrient cycling and turnover within the whole mat system, a multidisciplinary strategy was used to characterize the anaerobic portion of the mats, including application of the full-cycle rRNA approach, the most probable number method, and geochemical and isotopic analyses. Seventeen major taxonomic bacterial groups and one archaeal group were retrieved from the anaerobic portions of the mats, dominated by Deltaproteobacteria and uncultured members of the Chloroflexi phylum. A nutrient spiraling model was applied to evaluate upstream to downstream changes in microbial diversity based on carbon and sulfur nutrient concentrations. Variability in dissolved sulfide concentrations was attributed to changes in the abundance of sulfide-oxidizing microbial groups and shifts in the occurrence and abundance of sulfate-reducing microbes. Gradients in carbon and sulfur isotopic composition indicated that released and recycled byproduct compounds from upstream microbial activities were incorporated by downstream communities. On the basis of the type of available chemical energy, the variability of nutrient species in a spiraling model may explain observed differences in microbial taxonomic affiliations and metabolic functions, thereby spatially linking microbial diversity to nutrient spiraling in the cave stream ecosystem.

  8. Sequester of metals and mineralization of organic contaminants with microbial mats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bender, J.; Phillips, P.; Gould, J.P.

    1995-01-01

    Several recalcitrant organic contaminants are completely mineralized to simple products by microbial mats. Contaminants include chlordane, PCB, TNT, petroleum distillates, BM compounds and TCE in a mixed contaminant solution containing Zn. Degradation rates are relatively rapid under both dark and light conditions. In addition to complete degradation of organic materials, mats have been used to reduce selenate to elemental selenium, remove Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, Co, Cr, Fe and Mn from water and sequester uranium (U 238 ) at a rate of 3.19 mg/m 2 /h. Results of three pilot projects, including field pond treatment of mine drainage and bioreactor treatment of BTEX compounds will be reported. Microbial mats are natural heterotrophic and autotrophic communities dominated by cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). They are self-organized laminated structures annealed fightly together by slimy secretions from various microbial components. The surface slime of the mats effectively immobilizes the ecosystem to a variety of substrates, thereby stabilizing the most efficient internal microbial structure. Cyanobacteria mats are generated for bioremediation applications by enriching a water surface with ensiled grass clippings together with mat inocula developed in the laboratory

  9. Carbon cycling and calcification in hypersaline microbial mats

    OpenAIRE

    Ludwig, Rebecca

    2004-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are laminated aggregations of microorganisms that thrive in extreme and oligotrophic environments. Primary production rates by oxygenic phototrophs are extremely high. Primary producers supply heterotrophic mat members with organic carbon, which in turn regenerate CO2 needed for autotrophic carbon fixation. Another potential source of CO2 is calcification, which is known to shift the carbonate equilibrium towards CO2. This thesis investigated the carbon cycle of mi...

  10. Community Structure of Lithotrophically-Driven Hydrothermal Microbial Mats from the Mariana Arc and Back-Arc

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin W. Hager

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The Mariana region exhibits a rich array of hydrothermal venting conditions in a complex geological setting, which provides a natural laboratory to study the influence of local environmental conditions on microbial community structure as well as large-scale patterns in microbial biogeography. We used high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the bacterial small subunit (SSU rRNA gene from 22 microbial mats collected from four hydrothermally active locations along the Mariana Arc and back-arc to explore the structure of lithotrophically-based microbial mat communities. The vent effluent was classified as iron- or sulfur-rich corresponding with two distinct community types, dominated by either Zetaproteobacteria or Epsilonproteobacteria, respectively. The Zetaproteobacterial-based communities had the highest richness and diversity, which supports the hypothesis that Zetaproteobacteria function as ecosystem engineers creating a physical habitat within a chemical environment promoting enhanced microbial diversity. Gammaproteobacteria were also high in abundance within the iron-dominated mats and some likely contribute to primary production. In addition, we also compare sampling scale, showing that bulk sampling of microbial mats yields higher diversity than micro-scale sampling. We present a comprehensive analysis and offer new insights into the community structure and diversity of lithotrophically-driven microbial mats from a hydrothermal region associated with high microbial biodiversity. Our study indicates an important functional role of for the Zetaproteobacteria altering the mat habitat and enhancing community interactions and complexity.

  11. Microbial mat-induced sedimentary structures in siliciclastic sediments

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    This paper addresses macroscopic signatures of microbial mat-related structures within the. 1.6Ga-old Chorhat Sandstone ... Sandstone differentiated in facies superposed one over the other and their respective structural assemblages (b). may be ..... within the classification of primary sedimentary struc- tures; J. Sed. Res.

  12. Coastal Microbial Mat Diversity along a Natural Salinity Gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bolhuis, H.; Fillinger, L.; Stal, L.J.

    2013-01-01

    The North Sea coast of the Dutch barrier island of Schiermonnikoog is covered by microbial mats that initiate a succession of plant communities that eventually results in the development of a densely vegetated salt marsh. The North Sea beach has a natural elevation running from the low water mark to

  13. Assembly and Succession of Iron Oxide Microbial Mat Communities in Acidic Geothermal Springs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob P. Beam

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Biomineralized ferric oxide microbial mats are ubiquitous features on Earth, are common in hot springs of Yellowstone National Park (YNP, WY, USA, and form due to direct interaction between microbial and physicochemical processes. The overall goal of this study was to determine the contribution of different community members to the assembly and succession of acidic high-temperature Fe(III-oxide mat ecosystems. Spatial and temporal changes in Fe(III-oxide accretion and the abundance of relevant community members were monitored over 70 days using sterile glass microscope slides incubated in the outflow channels of two acidic geothermal springs (pH = 3 - 3.5; temperature = 68 - 75 °C in YNP. Hydrogenobaculum spp. were the most abundant taxon identified during early successional stages (4 - 40 d, and have been shown to oxidize arsenite, sulfide, and hydrogen coupled to oxygen reduction. Iron-oxidizing populations of Metallosphaera yellowstonensis were detected within 4 d, and reached steady-state levels within 14 - 30 d, corresponding to visible Fe(III-oxide accretion. Heterotrophic archaea colonized near 30 d, and emerged as the dominant functional guild after 70 d and in mature Fe(III-oxide mats (1 - 2 cm thick. First-order rate constants of Fe(III-oxide accretion ranged from 0.046 - 0.05 d-1, and in situ microelectrode measurements showed that the oxidation of Fe(II is limited by the diffusion of O2 into the Fe(III-oxide mat. The formation of microterracettes also implicated O2 as a major variable controlling microbial growth and subsequent mat morphology. The assembly and succession of Fe(III-oxide mat communities follows a repeatable pattern of colonization by lithoautotrophic organisms, and the subsequent growth of diverse organoheterotrophs. The unique geochemical signatures and micromorphology of extant biomineralized Fe(III-oxide mats are useful for understanding other Fe(II-oxidizing systems.

  14. EVAPORITE MICROBIAL FILMS, MATS, MICROBIALITES AND STROMATOLITES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brigmon, R; Penny Morris, P; Garriet Smith, G

    2008-01-28

    Evaporitic environments are found in a variety of depositional environments as early as the Archean. The depositional settings, microbial community and mineralogical composition vary significantly as no two settings are identical. The common thread linking all of the settings is that evaporation exceeds precipitation resulting in elevated concentrations of cations and anions that are higher than in oceanic systems. The Dead Sea and Storrs Lake are examples of two diverse modern evaporitic settings as the former is below sea level and the latter is a coastal lake on an island in the Caribbean. Each system varies in water chemistry as the Dead Sea dissolved ions originate from surface weathered materials, springs, and aquifers while Storrs Lake dissolved ion concentration is primarily derived from sea water. Consequently some of the ions, i.e., Sr, Ba are found at significantly lower concentrations in Storrs Lake than in the Dead Sea. The origin of the dissolved ions are ultimately responsible for the pH of each system, alkaline versus mildly acidic. Each system exhibits unique biogeochemical properties as the extreme environments select certain microorganisms. Storrs Lake possesses significant biofilms and stromatolitic deposits and the alkalinity varies depending on rainfall and storm activity. The microbial community Storrs Lake is much more diverse and active than those observed in the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea waters are mildly acidic, lack stromatolites, and possess a lower density of microbial populations. The general absence of microbial and biofilm fossilization is due to the depletion of HCO{sub 3} and slightly acidic pH.

  15. Phylogenetic stratigraphy in the Guerrero Negro hypersaline microbial mat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, J Kirk; Caporaso, J Gregory; Walker, Jeffrey J; Spear, John R; Gold, Nicholas J; Robertson, Charles E; Hugenholtz, Philip; Goodrich, Julia; McDonald, Daniel; Knights, Dan; Marshall, Paul; Tufo, Henry; Knight, Rob; Pace, Norman R

    2013-01-01

    The microbial mats of Guerrero Negro (GN), Baja California Sur, Mexico historically were considered a simple environment, dominated by cyanobacteria and sulfate-reducing bacteria. Culture-independent rRNA community profiling instead revealed these microbial mats as among the most phylogenetically diverse environments known. A preliminary molecular survey of the GN mat based on only ∼1500 small subunit rRNA gene sequences discovered several new phylum-level groups in the bacterial phylogenetic domain and many previously undetected lower-level taxa. We determined an additional ∼119,000 nearly full-length sequences and 28,000 >200 nucleotide 454 reads from a 10-layer depth profile of the GN mat. With this unprecedented coverage of long sequences from one environment, we confirm the mat is phylogenetically stratified, presumably corresponding to light and geochemical gradients throughout the depth of the mat. Previous shotgun metagenomic data from the same depth profile show the same stratified pattern and suggest that metagenome properties may be predictable from rRNA gene sequences. We verify previously identified novel lineages and identify new phylogenetic diversity at lower taxonomic levels, for example, thousands of operational taxonomic units at the family-genus levels differ considerably from known sequences. The new sequences populate parts of the bacterial phylogenetic tree that previously were poorly described, but indicate that any comprehensive survey of GN diversity has only begun. Finally, we show that taxonomic conclusions are generally congruent between Sanger and 454 sequencing technologies, with the taxonomic resolution achieved dependent on the abundance of reference sequences in the relevant region of the rRNA tree of life.

  16. UV B-induced vertical migrations of cyanobacteria in a microbial mat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rebout, B.M.; Garcia-Pichel, F.

    1995-01-01

    Exposure to moderate doses of UV B (0.35 to 0.79 W m -2 s -1 or 0.98 to 2.2 μmol of photons m -2 s -1 at 310 nm) caused the surface layers of microbial mats from Solar Lake, Sinai, Egypt, to become visibly lighter green. Concurrent with the color change were rapid and dramatic reductions in gross photosynthesis and in the resultant high porewater oxygen concentrations in the surface layers of the mats. The depths at which both maximum gross photosynthesis and maximum oxygen concentrations occurred were displaced downward. In contrast, gross photosynthesis in the deeper layers of the mats increased in response to UV B incident upon the surface. The cessation of exposure to UV B partially reversed all of these changes. Taken together, these responses suggest that photoautotrophic members of the mat community, most likely the dominant cyanobacterium Microcoleus chthonoplastes, were migrating in response to the added UV B. The migration phenomenon was also observed in response to increases in visible radiation and UV A, but UV B was ca. 100-fold more effective than visible radiation and ca. 20-fold more effective than UV A in provoking the response. Migrating microorganisms within this mat are apparently able to sense UV B directly and respond behaviorally to limit their exposure to UV. Because of strong vertical gradients of light and dissolved substances in microbial mats, the migration and the resultant vertical redistribution of photosynthetic activity have important consequences for both the photobiology of the cyanobacteria and the net primary productivity of the mat ecosystem

  17. Rapid spectrofluorometric screening of poly-hydroxyalkanoate-producing bacteria from microbial mats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berlanga, Mercedes; Montero, M T; Fernández-Borrell, Jordi; Guerrero, Ricardo

    2006-06-01

    Microbial mat ecosystems are characterized by both seasonal and diel fluctuations in several physicochemical variables, so that resident microorganisms must frequently adapt to the changing conditions of their environment. It has been pointed out that, under stress conditions, bacterial cells with higher contents of poly-hydroxyalkanoates (PHA) survive longer than those with lower PHA content. In the present study, PHA-producing strains from Ebro Delta microbial mats were selected using the Nile red dying technique and the relative accumulation of PHA was monitored during further laboratory cultivation. The number of heterotrophic isolates in trypticase soy agar (TSA) was ca. 107 colony-forming units/g microbial mat. Of these, 100 randomly chosen colonies were replicated on mineral salt agar limited in nitrogen, and Nile red was added to the medium to detect PHA. Orange fluorescence, produced upon binding of the dye to polymer granules in the cell, was detected in approximately 10% of the replicated heterotrophic isolates. The kinetics of PHA accumulation in Pseudomonas putida, and P. oleovorans were compared with those of several of the environmental isolates spectrofluorometry. PHA accumulation, measured as relative fluorescence intensity, resulted in a steady-state concentration after 48 h of incubation in all strains assayed. At 72 h, the maximum fluorescence intensity of each strain incubated with glucose and fructose was usually similar. MAT-28 strain accumulated more PHA than the other isolates. The results show that data obtained from environmental isolates can highly improve studies based on modeling-simulation programs, and that microbial mats constitute an excellent source for the isolation of PHA-producing strains with industrial applications.

  18. Insights into the Processing of Carbon by Early Microbial Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, D.; Bebout, B.; Carpenter, S.; Discipulo, S.; Londry, K.; Habicht, K.; Turk, K.

    2003-01-01

    Interactions between Earth and the biosphere that were crucial for early biological evolution also influenced substantially the processes that circulate C between its reservoirs in the atmosphere, ocean, crust and mantle. The C-13 C-12 values of crustal carbonates and organics have recorded changes both in biological discrimination and in the relative rates of burial of organics and carbonates. A full interpretation of these patterns needs further isotopic studies of microbial ecosystems and individual anaerobes. Thus we measured carbon isotope discrimination during autotrophic and heterotrophic growth of pure cultures of sulfate-reducing bacteria and archaea (SRB and SRA). Discrimination during CO2 assimilation is significantly larger than during heterotrophic growth on lactate or acetate. SRB grown lithoautotrophically consumed less than 3% of available CO2 and exhibited substantial discrimination, as follows: Desulfobacterium autotrophicum (alpha 1.0100 to 1.0123), Desulfobacter hydrogenophilus (alpha = 0.0138), and Desulfotomuculum acetoxidans (alpha = 1.0310). Mixotrophic growth of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans on acetate and CO2 resulted in biomass with delta C-13 composition intermediate to that of the substrates. We have recently extended these experiments to include the thermophilic SRA Archeoglobus spp. Ecological forces also influence isotopic discrimination. Accordingly, we quantified the flow of C and other constituents in modern marine cyanobacterial mats, whose ancestry extends back billions of years. Such ecosystem processes shaped the biosignatures that entered sediments and atmospheres. At Guerrero Negro, BCS, Mexico, we examined mats dominated by Microcoleus (subtidal) and Lyngbya (intertidal to supratidal) cyanobacteria. During 24 hour cycles, we observed the exchange of O2 and dissolved inorganic C (DIC) between mats and the overlying water. Microcoleus mats assimilated near-equal amounts of DIC during the day as they released at night, but

  19. Photosynthetic microbial mats today, on early Earth, (and on early Mars?)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, D. J.

    2008-05-01

    Marine hypersaline cyanobacterial mats offer insights about their ancient ancestors, whose fossil record is 3.43 billion years old. Studies of mat microbiota have greatly expanded the known diversity of ancient microbial lineages. Their evolution was shaped by mat microenvironments, which can differ substantially from their surroundings. Oxygenic photosynthesis perhaps developed in microbial mats and probably triggered a major evolutionary transformation and diversification of the early biosphere. Gross primary production rates in cyanobacterial mats can rival the most productive ecosystems known. Sunlight changes in intensity and spectral composition as it penetrates mats, and counteracting gradients of O2 and sulfide shape the chemical microenvironment. A combination of benefits and hazards of light, O2 and sulfide promotes the allocation of the various essential mat processes between light and dark periods and to various depths in the mat. Close inspection has revealed surprises, for example: anoxygenic phototrophs inside cyanobacterial sheaths, record- high sulfate reduction rates in O2-saturated conditions, and high H2 fluxes into overlying waters. Diverse organic biomarker compounds have been documented that are amenable to long-term preservation. Such coordinated observations of populations, processes and products are making fundamental questions in ecology accessible. Cyanobacterial mats have robust fossil records in part because they populated stable continental platforms and margins, contributing to sediments having high preservation potential. Proterozoic cyanobacterial fossils and organic biomarkers are well documented. The 3.43 Ga Strelley Pool cherts, W. Australia, reveal diverse stromatolites that populated a partially restricted, low-energy shallow hypersaline basin. Molecular studies of extant bacteria hint that early chlorophyll-utilizing photosynthesizers required geochemical sources of reductants. Did these anoxygenic phototrophs once sustain an

  20. Coastal microbial mat diversity along a natural salinity gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henk Bolhuis

    Full Text Available The North Sea coast of the Dutch barrier island of Schiermonnikoog is covered by microbial mats that initiate a succession of plant communities that eventually results in the development of a densely vegetated salt marsh. The North Sea beach has a natural elevation running from the low water mark to the dunes resulting in gradients of environmental factors perpendicular to the beach. These gradients are due to the input of seawater at the low water mark and of freshwater from upwelling groundwater at the dunes and rainfall. The result is a natural and dynamic salinity gradient depending on the tide, rainfall and wind. We studied the microbial community composition in thirty three samples taken every ten meters along this natural salinity gradient by using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE of rRNA gene fragments. We looked at representatives from each Domain of life (Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya and with a particular emphasis on Cyanobacteria. Analysis of the DGGE fingerprints together with pigment composition revealed three distinct microbial mat communities, a marine community dominated by diatoms as primary producers, an intermediate brackish community dominated by Cyanobacteria as primary producers and a freshwater community with Cyanobacteria and freshwater green algae.

  1. Microbial mat structures in profile: The Neoproterozoic Sonia Sandstone, Rajasthan, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samanta, Pradip; Mukhopadhyay, Soumik; Mondal, Anudeb; Sarkar, Subir

    2011-01-01

    Ubiquitous microorganisms, especially cyanobacteria preferably grow on the sediment surface thereby producing microbial mats. In the absence of grazers and bioturbators, microbial mat is a unique feature of the Proterozoic. Most of the papers so far published described a wide variety of bed surface microbial mat structures with rare illustrations from sections perpendicular to bedding. Nonetheless, bed surface exposures are relatively rare in rock records. This limitation of bed surface exposures in rock records suggest that a study of microbial mats in bed-across sections is needed. The 60 m thick coastal marine interval of the Sonia Sandstone Formation is bounded between two terrestrial intervals, a transgressive lag at the base and an unconformity at the top, and has been chosen for exploration of microbial mat structures in bed-across sections. A wide variety of microbial mat-induced structures in bed-across sections are preserved within the coastal interval of the Sonia Sandstone. Though many of these structures are similar in some aspects with bed surface structures, some of those presented here are new. The palaeogeographic range of these microbial structures extends from supralittoral to neritic. Diagenetic alterations of microbial mats produce pyrite and those zones are suitable for the preservation of microbial remains. SEM and EDAX analyses show fossil preservation of filamentous microbial remains that confirm the presence of microbial mats within the coastal interval of the Sonia Sandstone. Effects of proliferation of microbial mats in the siliciclastic depositional setting are numerous. The mat-cover on sediment surfaces hinders reworking and/or erosion of the sediments thereby increases the net sedimentation rate. Successive deposition and preservation of thick microbial mat layer under reducing environments should have a great potential for hydrocarbon production and preservation and therefore these Proterozoic formations could be a target for

  2. Proliferation of MISS-related microbial mats following the end-Permian mass extinction in terrestrial ecosystems: Evidence from the Lower Triassic of the Yiyang area, Henan Province, North China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Chenyi; Chen, Zhong-Qiang; Retallack, Gregory J.; Huang, Yuangeng; Fang, Yuheng

    2016-03-01

    Microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISSs) are commonly present in siliciclastic shallow marine settings following the end-Permian mass extinction, but have been rarely reported in the post-extinction terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we present six types of well-preserved MISSs from the upper Sunjiagou Formation and lower Liujiagou Formation of Induan (Early Triassic) age in the Yiyang area, Henan Province, North China. These MISSs include: polygonal sand cracks, worm-like structures, wrinkle structures, sponge pore fabrics, gas domes, and leveled ripple marks. Microanalysis shows that these MISSs are characterized by thin clayey laminae and filamentous mica grains arranged parallel to bedding plane as well as oriented matrix supported quartz grains, which are indicative of biogenic origin. Facies analysis suggests that the MISS-hosting sediments were deposited in a fluvial sedimentary system during the Early Triassic, including lake delta, riverbeds/point bars, and flood plain paleoenvironments. Abundant MISSs from Yiyang indicate that microbes also proliferated in terrestrial ecosystems in the aftermath of the Permian-Triassic (P-Tr) biocrisis, like they behaved in marine ecosystems. Microbial blooms, together with dramatic loss of metazoans, may reflect environmental stress and degradation of terrestrial ecosystems or arid climate immediately after the severe Permian-Triassic ecologic crisis.

  3. The cyanobacterium Mastigocladus fulfills the nitrogen demand of a terrestrial hot spring microbial mat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estrella Alcamán, María; Fernandez, Camila; Delgado, Antonio; Bergman, Birgitta; Díez, Beatriz

    2015-10-01

    Cyanobacteria from Subsection V (Stigonematales) are important components of microbial mats in non-acidic terrestrial hot springs. Despite their diazotrophic nature (N2 fixers), their impact on the nitrogen cycle in such extreme ecosystems remains unknown. Here, we surveyed the identity and activity of diazotrophic cyanobacteria in the neutral hot spring of Porcelana (Northern Patagonia, Chile) during 2009 and 2011-2013. We used 16S rRNA and the nifH gene to analyze the distribution and diversity of diazotrophic cyanobacteria. Our results demonstrate the dominance of the heterocystous genus Mastigocladus (Stigonematales) along the entire temperature gradient of the hot spring (69-38 °C). In situ nitrogenase activity (acetylene reduction), nitrogen fixation rates (cellular uptake of (15)N2) and nifH transcription levels in the microbial mats showed that nitrogen fixation and nifH mRNA expression were light-dependent. Nitrogen fixation activities were detected at temperatures ranging from 58 °C to 46 °C, with maximum daily rates of 600 nmol C2H4 cm(-2) per day and 94.1 nmol N cm(-2) per day. These activity patterns strongly suggest a heterocystous cyanobacterial origin and reveal a correlation between nitrogenase activity and nifH gene expression during diurnal cycles in thermal microbial mats. N and C fixation in the mats contributed ~3 g N m(-2) per year and 27 g C m(-2) per year, suggesting that these vital demands are fully met by the diazotrophic and photoautotrophic capacities of the cyanobacteria in the Porcelana hot spring.

  4. The contribution of microbial mats to the arsenic geochemistry of an ancient gold mine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drewniak, Lukasz; Maryan, Natalia; Lewandowski, Wiktor; Kaczanowski, Szymon; Sklodowska, Aleksandra

    2012-01-01

    The ancient Zloty Stok (SW Poland) gold mine is such an environment, where different microbial communities, able to utilize inorganic arsenic species As(III) and As(V), are found. The purpose of the present study was to (i) estimate prokaryotic diversity in the microbial mats in bottom sediments of this gold mine, (ii) identify microorganisms that can metabolize arsenic, and (iii) estimate their potential role in the arsenic geochemistry of the mine and in the environment. The oxidation/reduction experiments showed that the microbial mat community may significantly contribute to arsenic contamination in groundwater. The presence of both arsenite oxidizing and dissimilatory arsenate reducing bacteria in the mat was confirmed by the detection of arsenite oxidase and dissimilatory arsenate reductase genes, respectively. This work also demonstrated that microorganisms utilizing other compounds that naturally co-occur with arsenic are present within the microbial mat community and may contribute to the arsenic geochemistry in the environment. - Highlights: ► The microbial mats from this ancient gold mine are highly diverse community. ► As(III) oxidizing and As(V) reducing bacteria are present in the mats. ► As redox transformations are linked to the metabolism of microbial mats bacteria. ► Microbial mats play a crucial role in the As biogeochemical cycle within the mine. - The microbial mats from this ancient gold mine can mediate oxidation/reduction reaction of arsenic and in this way may significantly contribute to arsenic contamination in groundwater.

  5. Metagenomic Assembly of the Dominant Zetaproteobacteria in an Iron-oxidizing Hydrothermal Microbial Mat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyer, C. L.; Fullerton, H.

    2013-12-01

    TCA cycle. The presence of Molybdopterin oxidoreductase, ferric uptake regulation protein, cytochromes, thioredoxin, RuBisCo and other TCA related genes support our hypothesis of chemoautotrophic primary production with the notion that Zetaproteobacteria act as ecosystem engineers driving microbial mat formation and maintenance of their habitat.

  6. Trade-offs between microbiome diversity and productivity in a stratified microbial mat

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bernstein, Hans C.; Brislawn, Colin; Renslow, Ryan S.; Dana, Karl; Morton, Beau; Lindemann, Stephen R.; Song, Hyun-Seob; Atci, Erhan; Beyenal, Haluk; Fredrickson, James K.; Jansson, Janet K.; Moran, James J.

    2016-11-01

    Productivity is a major determinant of ecosystem diversity. Microbial ecosystems are the most diverse on the planet yet very few relationships between diversity and productivity have been reported as compared to macro-ecological studies. Here we evaluated the spatial relationships of productivity and microbiome diversity in a laboratory-cultivated photosynthetic mat. The goal was to determine how spatial diversification of microorganisms drives localized carbon and energy acquisition rates. We measured sub-millimeter depth profiles of net primary-productivity and gross oxygenic photosynthesis in the context of the localized microenvironment and community structure and observed negative correlations between species richness and productivity within the energy-replete, photic zone. Variations between localized community structures were associated with distinct taxa as well as environmental profiles describing a continuum of biological niches. Spatial regions corresponding to high primary productivity and photosynthesis rates had relatively low species richness and high evenness. Hence, this system exhibited negative species-productivity and species–energy relationships. These negative relationships may be indicative of photosynthetically-driven, light-controlled mat ecosystems that are able to be the most productive with a relatively smaller, even distributions of species that specialize within the highly-oxic, photic zones.

  7. Community Structure and Activity of a Highly Dynamic and Nutrient-Limited Hypersaline Microbial Mat in Um Alhool Sabkha, Qatar

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Thani, Roda

    2014-03-21

    The Um Alhool area in Qatar is a dynamic evaporative ecosystem that receives seawater from below as it is surrounded by sand dunes. We investigated the chemical composition, the microbial activity and biodiversity of the four main layers (L1–L4) in the photosynthetic mats. Chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentration and distribution (measured by HPLC and hyperspectral imaging, respectively), the phycocyanin distribution (scanned with hyperspectral imaging), oxygenic photosynthesis (determined by microsensor), and the abundance of photosynthetic microorganisms (from 16S and 18S rRNA sequencing) decreased with depth in the euphotic layer (L1). Incident irradiance exponentially attenuated in the same zone reaching 1% at 1.7-mm depth. Proteobacteria dominated all layers of the mat (24%–42% of the identified bacteria). Anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria (dominated by Chloroflexus) were most abundant in the third red layer of the mat (L3), evidenced by the spectral signature of Bacteriochlorophyll as well as by sequencing. The deep, black layer (L4) was dominated by sulfate reducing bacteria belonging to the Deltaproteobacteria, which were responsible for high sulfate reduction rates (measured using 35S tracer). Members of Halobacteria were the dominant Archaea in all layers of the mat (92%–97%), whereas Nematodes were the main Eukaryotes (up to 87%). Primary productivity rates of Um Alhool mat were similar to those of other hypersaline microbial mats. However, sulfate reduction rates were relatively low, indicating that oxygenic respiration contributes more to organic material degradation than sulfate reduction, because of bioturbation. Although Um Alhool hypersaline mat is a nutrient-limited ecosystem, it is interestingly dynamic and phylogenetically highly diverse. All its components work in a highly efficient and synchronized way to compensate for the lack of nutrient supply provided during regular inundation periods.

  8. Electron microscopy study of microbial mat in the North Fiji basin hydrothermal vent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, H.; Kim, J. W.; Lee, J. W.

    2017-12-01

    Hydrothermal vent systems consisting of hydrothermal vent, hydrothermal sediment and microbial mat are widely spread around the ocean, particularly spreading axis, continental margin and back-arc basin. Scientists have perceived that the hydrothermal systems, which reflect the primeval earth environment, are one of the best places to reveal the origin of life and extensive biogeochemical process of microbe-mineral interaction. In the present study multiline of analytical methods (X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)) were utilized to investigate the mineralogy/chemistry of microbe-mineral interaction in hydrothermal microbial mat. Microbial mat samples were recovered by Canadian scientific submersible ROPOS on South Pacific North Fiji basin KIOST hydrothermal vent expedition 1602. XRD analysis showed that red-colored microbial mat contains Fe-oxides and Fe-oxyhydroxides. Various morphologies of minerals in the red-colored microbial mat observed by SEM are mainly showed sheath shaped, resembled with Leptothrix microbial structure, stalks shaped, similar with Marioprofundus microbial structure and globule shaped microbial structures. They are also detected with DNA analysis. The cross sectional observation of microbial structures encrusted with Fe-oxide and Fe-oxyhydroxide at a nano scale by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Focused Ion Beam (FIB) technique was developed to verify the structural/biogeochemical properties in the microbe-mineral interaction. Systematic nano-scale measurements on the biomineralization in the microbial mat leads the understandings of biogeochemical environments around the hydrothermal vent.

  9. Characterization of chemosynthetic microbial mats associated with intertidal hydrothermal sulfur vents in White Point, San Pedro, CA, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priscilla J Miranda

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The shallow-sea hydrothermal vents at White Point (WP in Palos Verdes (PV on the southern California coast support microbial mats and provide easily accessed settings in which to study chemolithoautotrophic sulfur cycling. Previous studies have cultured sulfur-oxidizing bacteria from the WP mats; however, almost nothing is known about the in situ diversity and activity of the microorganisms in these habitats. We studied the diversity, micron-scale spatial associations and metabolic activity of the mat community via sequence analysis of 16S rRNA and aprA genes, Fluorescence in situ Hybridization (FISH microscopy and sulfate-reduction rate (SRR measurements. Sequence analysis revealed a diverse group of bacteria, dominated by sulfur cycling gamma-, epsilon- and deltaproteobacterial lineages such as Marithrix, Sulfurovum and Desulfuromusa. FISH microscopy suggests a close physical association between sulfur-oxidizing and sulfur-reducing genotypes, while radiotracer studies showed low, but detectable, SRR. Comparative 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses indicate the WP sulfur vent microbial mat community is similar, but distinct from other hydrothermal vent communities representing a range of biotopes and lithologic settings. These findings suggest a complete biological sulfur cycle is operating in the WP mat ecosystem mediated by diverse bacterial lineages, with some similarity with deep-sea hydrothermal vent communities.

  10. COMPETITION BETWEEN ANOXYGENIC PHOTOTROPHIC BACTERIA AND COLORLESS SULFUR BACTERIA IN A MICROBIAL MAT

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VISSCHER, PT; VANDENENDE, FP; SCHAUB, BEM; VANGEMERDEN, H

    The populations of chemolithoautotrophic (colorless) sulfur bacteria and anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria were enumerated in a marine microbial mat. The highest population densities were found in the 0-5 mm layer of the mat: 2.0 X 10(9) cells CM-3 sediment, and 4.0 X 10(7) cells cm-3 sediment for

  11. Microbial Diversity and Lipid Abundance in Microbial Mats from a Sulfidic, Saline, Warm Spring in Utah, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, J.; Edwardson, C.; Mackey, T. J.; Dzaugis, M.; Ibarra, Y.; Course 2012, G.; Frantz, C. M.; Osburn, M. R.; Hirst, M.; Williamson, C.; Hanselmann, K.; Caporaso, J.; Sessions, A. L.; Spear, J. R.

    2012-12-01

    The microbial diversity of Stinking Springs, a sulfidic, saline, warm spring northeast of the Great Salt Lake was investigated. The measured pH, temperature, salinity, and sulfide concentration along the flow path ranged from 6.64-7.77, 40-28° C, 2.9-2.2%, and 250 μM to negligible, respectively. Five sites were selected along the flow path and within each site microbial mats were dissected into depth profiles based on the color and texture of the mat layers. Genomic DNA was extracted from each layer, and the 16S rRNA gene was amplified and sequenced on the Roche 454 Titanium platform. Fatty acids were also extracted from the mat layers and analyzed by liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. The mats at Stinking Springs were classified into roughly two morphologies with respect to their spatial distribution: loose, sometimes floating mats proximal to the spring source; and thicker, well-laminated mats distal to the spring source. Loosely-laminated mats were found in turbulent stream flow environments, whereas well-laminated mats were common in less turbulent sheet flows. Phototrophs, sulfur oxidizers, sulfate reducers, methanogens, other bacteria and archaea were identified by 16S rRNA gene sequences. Diatoms, identified by microscopy and lipid analysis were found to increase in abundance with distance from the source. Methanogens were generally more abundant in deeper mat laminae. Photoheterotrophs were found in all mat layers. Microbial diversity increased significantly with depth at most sites. In addition, two distinct microbial streamers were identified and characterized at the two fast flowing sites. These two streamer varieties were dominated by either cyanobacteria or flavobacteria. Overall, our genomic and lipid analysis suggest that the physical and chemical environment is more predictive of the community composition than mat morphology. Site Map

  12. Methylmercury enters an aquatic food web through acidophilic microbial mats in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, Eric S; King, Susan; Tomberlin, Jeffery K; Nordstrom, D Kirk; Krabbenhoft, David P; Barkay, Tamar; Geesey, Gill G

    2009-04-01

    Microbial mats are a visible and abundant life form inhabiting the extreme environments in Yellowstone National Park (YNP), WY, USA. Little is known of their role in food webs that exist in the Park's geothermal habitats. Eukaryotic green algae associated with a phototrophic green/purple Zygogonium microbial mat community that inhabits low-temperature regions of acidic (pH approximately 3.0) thermal springs were found to serve as a food source for stratiomyid (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) larvae. Mercury in spring source water was taken up and concentrated by the mat biomass. Monomethylmercury compounds (MeHg(+)), while undetectable or near the detection limit (0.025 ng l(-1)) in the source water of the springs, was present at concentrations of 4-7 ng g(-1) dry weight of mat biomass. Detection of MeHg(+) in tracheal tissue of larvae grazing the mat suggests that MeHg(+) enters this geothermal food web through the phototrophic microbial mat community. The concentration of MeHg(+) was two to five times higher in larval tissue than mat biomass indicating MeHg(+) biomagnification occurred between primary producer and primary consumer trophic levels. The Zygogonium mat community and stratiomyid larvae may also play a role in the transfer of MeHg(+) to species in the food web whose range extends beyond a particular geothermal feature of YNP.

  13. Localized electron transfer rates and microelectrode-based enrichment of microbial communities within a phototrophic microbial mat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerome eBabauta

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Phototrophic microbial mats frequently exhibit sharp, light-dependent redox gradients that regulate microbial respiration on specific electron acceptors as a function of depth. In this work, a benthic phototrophic microbial mat from Hot Lake, a hypersaline, epsomitic lake located near Oroville in north-central Washington, was used to develop a microscale electrochemical method to study local electron transfer processes within the mat. To characterize the physicochemical variables influencing electron transfer, we initially quantified redox potential, pH and dissolved oxygen gradients by depth in the mat under photic and aphotic conditions. We further demonstrated that power output of a mat fuel cell was light-dependent. To study local electron transfer processes, we deployed a microscale electrode (microelectrode with tip size ~20 µm. To enrich a subset of microorganisms capable of interacting with the microelectrode, we anodically polarized the microelectrode in the mat. Subsequently, to characterize the microelectrode-associated community and compare it to the neighboring mat community, we performed amplicon sequencing of the V1-V3 region of the 16S gene. Differences in Bray-Curtis beta diversity, illustrated by large changes in relative abundance at the phylum level, suggested successful enrichment of specific mat community members on the microelectrode surface. The microelectrode-associated community exhibited substantially reduced alpha diversity and elevated relative abundances of Prosthecochloris, Loktanella, Catellibacterium, other unclassified members of Rhodobacteraceae, Thiomicrospira, and Limnobacter, compared with the community at an equivalent depth in the mat. Our results suggest that local electron transfer to an anodically polarized microelectrode selected for a specific microbial population, with substantially more abundance and diversity of sulfur-oxidizing phylotypes compared with the neighboring mat community.

  14. Localized electron transfer rates and microelectrode-based enrichment of microbial communities within a phototrophic microbial mat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babauta, Jerome T; Atci, Erhan; Ha, Phuc T; Lindemann, Stephen R; Ewing, Timothy; Call, Douglas R; Fredrickson, James K; Beyenal, Haluk

    2014-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats frequently exhibit sharp, light-dependent redox gradients that regulate microbial respiration on specific electron acceptors as a function of depth. In this work, a benthic phototrophic microbial mat from Hot Lake, a hypersaline, epsomitic lake located near Oroville in north-central Washington, was used to develop a microscale electrochemical method to study local electron transfer processes within the mat. To characterize the physicochemical variables influencing electron transfer, we initially quantified redox potential, pH, and dissolved oxygen gradients by depth in the mat under photic and aphotic conditions. We further demonstrated that power output of a mat fuel cell was light-dependent. To study local electron transfer processes, we deployed a microscale electrode (microelectrode) with tip size ~20 μm. To enrich a subset of microorganisms capable of interacting with the microelectrode, we anodically polarized the microelectrode at depth in the mat. Subsequently, to characterize the microelectrode-associated community and compare it to the neighboring mat community, we performed amplicon sequencing of the V1-V3 region of the 16S gene. Differences in Bray-Curtis beta diversity, illustrated by large changes in relative abundance at the phylum level, suggested successful enrichment of specific mat community members on the microelectrode surface. The microelectrode-associated community exhibited substantially reduced alpha diversity and elevated relative abundances of Prosthecochloris, Loktanella, Catellibacterium, other unclassified members of Rhodobacteraceae, Thiomicrospira, and Limnobacter, compared with the community at an equivalent depth in the mat. Our results suggest that local electron transfer to an anodically polarized microelectrode selected for a specific microbial population, with substantially more abundance and diversity of sulfur-oxidizing phylotypes compared with the neighboring mat community.

  15. Metagenomic analysis reveals that modern microbialites and polar microbial mats have similar taxonomic and functional potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Allen White III

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Within the subarctic climate of Clinton Creek, Yukon, Canada, lies an abandoned and flooded open-pit asbestos mine that harbors rapidly growing microbialites. To understand their formation we completed a metagenomic community profile of the microbialites and their surrounding sediments. Assembled metagenomic data revealed that bacteria within the phylum Proteobacteria numerically dominated this system, although the relative abundances of taxa within the phylum varied among environments. Bacteria belonging to Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria were dominant in the microbialites and sediments, respectively. The microbialites were also home to many other groups associated with microbialite formation including filamentous cyanobacteria and dissimilatory sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria, consistent with the idea of a shared global microbialite microbiome. Other members were present that are typically not associated with microbialites including Gemmatimonadetes and iron-oxidizing Betaproteobacteria, which participate in carbon metabolism and iron cycling. Compared to the sediments, the microbialite microbiome has significantly more genes associated with photosynthetic processes (e.g., photosystem II reaction centers, carotenoid and chlorophyll biosynthesis and carbon fixation (e.g., CO dehydrogenase. The Clinton Creek microbialite communities had strikingly similar functional potentials to non-lithifying microbial mats from the Canadian High Arctic and Antarctica, but are functionally distinct, from non-lithifying mats or biofilms from Yellowstone. Clinton Creek microbialites also share metabolic genes (R2 0.900. These metagenomic profiles from an anthropogenic microbialite-forming ecosystem provide context to microbialite formation on a human-relevant timescale.

  16. Toward Understanding, Managing, and Protecting Microbial Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodelier, Paul L. E.

    2011-01-01

    Microbial communities are at the very basis of life on earth, catalyzing biogeochemical reactions driving global nutrient cycles. However, unlike for plants and animals, microbial diversity is not on the biodiversity–conservation agenda. The latter, however, would imply that microbial diversity is not under any threat by anthropogenic disturbance or climate change. This maybe a misconception caused by the rudimentary knowledge we have concerning microbial diversity and its role in ecosystem functioning. This perspective paper identifies major areas with knowledge gaps within the field of environmental microbiology that preclude a comprehension of microbial ecosystems on the level we have for plants and animals. Opportunities and challenges are pointed out to open the microbial black box and to go from descriptive to predictive microbial ecology. PMID:21747797

  17. Towards understanding, managing and protecting microbial ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul eBodelier

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Microbial communities are at the very basis of life on earth, catalysing biogeochemical reactions driving global nutrient cycles. However, unlike for plants and animals, microbial diversity is not on the biodiversity conservation agenda. The latter, however, would imply that microbial diversity is not under any threat by anthropogenic disturbance or climate change. This maybe a misconception caused by the rudimentary knowledge we have concerning microbial diversity and its role in ecosystem functioning. This perspective paper indentifies major areas with knowledge gaps within the field of environmental microbiology that preclude a comprehension of microbial ecosystems on the level we have for plants and animals. Opportunities and challenges are pointed out to open the microbial black box and to go from descriptive to predictive microbial ecology.

  18. Toward understanding, managing, and protecting microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodelier, Paul L E

    2011-01-01

    Microbial communities are at the very basis of life on earth, catalyzing biogeochemical reactions driving global nutrient cycles. However, unlike for plants and animals, microbial diversity is not on the biodiversity-conservation agenda. The latter, however, would imply that microbial diversity is not under any threat by anthropogenic disturbance or climate change. This maybe a misconception caused by the rudimentary knowledge we have concerning microbial diversity and its role in ecosystem functioning. This perspective paper identifies major areas with knowledge gaps within the field of environmental microbiology that preclude a comprehension of microbial ecosystems on the level we have for plants and animals. Opportunities and challenges are pointed out to open the microbial black box and to go from descriptive to predictive microbial ecology.

  19. A niche for cyanobacteria producing chlorophyll f within a microbial mat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohkubo, Satoshi; Miyashita, Hideaki

    2017-10-01

    Acquisition of additional photosynthetic pigments enables photosynthetic organisms to survive in particular niches. To reveal the ecological significance of chlorophyll (Chl) f, we investigated the distribution of Chl and cyanobacteria within two microbial mats. In a 7-mm-thick microbial mat beneath the running water of the Nakabusa hot spring, Japan, Chl f was only distributed 4.0-6.5 mm below the surface, where the intensity of far-red light (FR) was higher than that of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). In the same mat, two ecotypes of Synechococcus and two ecotypes of Chl f-producing Leptolyngbya were detected in the upper and deeper layers, respectively. Only the Leptolyngbya strains could grow when FR was the sole light source. These results suggest that the deeper layer of the microbial mat was a habitat for Chl f-producing cyanobacteria, and Chl f enabled them to survive in a habitat with little PAR.

  20. Preservation in microbial mats: mineralization by a talc-like phase of a fish embedded in a microbial sarcophagus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iniesto, Miguel; Zeyen, Nina; López-Archilla, Ana; Bernard, Sylvain; Buscalioni, Ángela; Guerrero, M. Carmen; Benzerara, Karim

    2015-09-01

    Microbial mats have been repeatedly suggested to promote early fossilization of macroorganisms. Yet, experimental simulations of this process remain scarce. Here, we report results of 5 year-long experiments performed onfish carcasses to document the influence of microbial mats on mineral precipitation during early fossilization. Carcasses were initially placed on top of microbial mats. After two weeks, fishes became coated by the mats forming a compact sarcophagus, which modified the microenvironment close to the corpses. Our results showed that these conditions favoured the precipitation of a poorly crystalline silicate phase rich in magnesium. This talc-like mineral phase has been detected in three different locations within the carcasses placed in microbial mats for more than 4 years: 1) within inner tissues, colonized by several bacillary cells; 2) at the surface of bones of the upper face of the corpse buried in the mat; and 3) at the surface of several bones such as the dorsal fin which appeared to be gradually replaced by the Mg-silicate phase. This mineral phase has been previously shown to promote bacteria fossilization. Here we provide first experimental evidence that such Mg-rich phase can also be involved in exceptional preservation of animals.

  1. A Modeling Comparison of Methanogenesis from Noncompetitive vs Competitive Substrates in a Simulated Hypersaline Microbial Mat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decker, K. L.; Potter, C.; Hoehler, T.

    2005-12-01

    The well-documented assumption about methanogens that co-occur in hypersaline mat communities with sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) is that they rely entirely on non-competitive substrates for methanogenesis. The reason for this is that during sulfate reduction, sulfur-reducing bacteria efficiently utilize H2, leaving a concentration too low for methanogenesis. Early results from recent work on a hypersaline microbial mat from salt evaporation ponds of Guerrero Negro, Baja, Mexico cast doubt that methanogenesis only occurs via non-competitive substrates, because it shows an excess of H2 in the mat rather than a paucity. We explore the use of our simulation model of the microbial biogeochemistry of a hypersaline mat (named MBGC) to compare methane production rates in a 1 cm thick mat when the methanogens use competitive substrates versus noncompetitive substrates. In the `non-competitive substrate' version of the model, methanogens rely exclusively on methylated amines that are accumulated as compatible solutes in cyanobacteria and released after lysis. In contrast, the `competitive substrate' models examine methanogen use of substrates (such as H2 + acetate) with different SRB population sizes (from absent to low). The comparison of these models of methane and sulfide biogeochemistry of a hypersaline mat has both ecological and geobiological significance, as one hypothesis of Archean microbial mats is that they existed in a low sulfate environment.

  2. Characterizing Microbial Mat Morphology with Structure from Motion Techniques in Ice-Covered Lake Joyce, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackey, T. J.; Leidman, S. Z.; Allen, B.; Hawes, I.; Lawrence, J.; Jungblut, A. D.; Krusor, M.; Coleman, L.; Sumner, D. Y.

    2015-12-01

    Structure from Motion (SFM) techniques can provide quantitative morphological documentation of otherwise inaccessible benthic ecosystems such as microbial mats in Lake Joyce, a perennially ice-covered lake of the Antarctic McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV). Microbial mats are a key ecosystem of MDV lakes, and diverse mat morphologies like pinnacles emerge from interactions among microbial behavior, mineralization, and environmental conditions. Environmental gradients can be isolated to test mat growth models, but assessment of mat morphology along these gradients is complicated by their inaccessibility: the Lake Joyce ice cover is 4-5 m thick, water depths containing diverse pinnacle morphologies are 9-14 m, and relevant mat features are cm-scale. In order to map mat pinnacle morphology in different sedimentary settings, we deployed drop cameras (SeaViewer and GoPro) through 29 GPS referenced drill holes clustered into six stations along a transect spanning 880 m. Once under the ice cover, a boom containing a second GoPro camera was unfurled and rotated to collect oblique images of the benthic mats within dm of the mat-water interface. This setup allowed imaging from all sides over a ~1.5 m diameter area of the lake bottom. Underwater lens parameters were determined for each camera in Agisoft Lens; images were reconstructed and oriented in space with the SFM software Agisoft Photoscan, using the drop camera axis of rotation as up. The reconstructions were compared to downward facing images to assess accuracy, and similar images of an object with known geometry provided a test for expected error in reconstructions. Downward facing images identify decreasing pinnacle abundance in higher sedimentation settings, and quantitative measurements of 3D reconstructions in KeckCAVES LidarViewer supplement these mat morphological facies with measurements of pinnacle height and orientation. Reconstructions also help isolate confounding variables for mat facies trends with measurements

  3. Fermentation couples Chloroflexi and sulfate-reducing bacteria to Cyanobacteria in hypersaline microbial mats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jackson Z Lee

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Past studies of hydrogen cycling in hypersaline microbial mats have shown an active nighttime cycle, with production largely from Cyanobacteria and consumption from sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB. However, the mechanisms and magnitude of hydrogen cycling have not been extensively studied. Two mats types near Guerrero Negro, Mexico -- permanently submerged Microcoleus microbial mats (GN-S, and intertidal Lyngbya microbial mats (GN-I -- were used in microcosm diel manipulation experiments with 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl-1,1-dimethylurea (DCMU, molybdate, ammonium addition, and physical disruption to understand the processes responsible for hydrogen cycling between mat microbes. Across microcosms, H2 production occurred under dark anoxic conditions with simultaneous production of a suite of organic acids. H2 production was not significantly affected by inhibition of nitrogen fixation, but rather appears to result from constitutive fermentation of photosynthetic storage products by oxygenic phototrophs. Comparison to accumulated glycogen and to CO2 flux indicated that, in the GN-I mat, fermentation released almost all of the carbon fixed via photosynthesis during the preceding day, primarily as organic acids. Across mats, although oxygenic and anoxygenic phototrophs were detected, cyanobacterial [NiFe]-hydrogenase transcripts predominated. Molybdate inhibition experiments indicated that SRBs from a wide distribution of dsrA phylotypes were responsible for H2 consumption. Incubation with 13C-acetate and nanoSIMS (secondary ion mass-spectrometry indicated higher uptake in both Chloroflexi and SRBs relative to other filamentous bacteria. These manipulations and diel incubations confirm that Cyanobacteria were the main fermenters in Guerrero Negro mats and that the net flux of nighttime fermentation byproducts (not only hydrogen was largely regulated by the interplay between Cyanobacteria, SRBs, and Chloroflexi.

  4. Low-Light Anoxygenic Photosynthesis and Fe-S-Biogeochemistry in a Microbial Mat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Sebastian; de Beer, Dirk; Klatt, Judith M; Fink, Artur; Rench, Rebecca McCauley; Hamilton, Trinity L; Meyer, Volker; Kakuk, Brian; Macalady, Jennifer L

    2018-01-01

    We report extremely low-light-adapted anoxygenic photosynthesis in a thick microbial mat in Magical Blue Hole, Abaco Island, The Bahamas. Sulfur cycling was reduced by iron oxides and organic carbon limitation. The mat grows below the halocline/oxycline at 30 m depth on the walls of the flooded sinkhole. In situ irradiance at the mat surface on a sunny December day was between 0.021 and 0.084 μmol photons m -2 s -1 , and UV light (97% sequence identity) of clones affiliated with Prosthecochloris , a genus within the green sulfur bacteria (GSB), which are obligate anoxygenic phototrophs. Typical photopigments of brown-colored GSB, bacteriochlorophyll e and (β-)isorenieratene, were abundant in mat samples and their absorption properties are well-adapted to harvest light in the available green and possibly even UV-A spectra. Sulfide from the water column (3-6 μmol L -1 ) was the main source of sulfide to the mat as sulfate reduction rates in the mats were very low (undetectable-99.2 nmol cm -3 d -1 ). The anoxic water column was oligotrophic and low in dissolved organic carbon (175-228 μmol L -1 ). High concentrations of pyrite (FeS 2 ; 1-47 μmol cm -3 ) together with low microbial process rates (sulfate reduction, CO 2 fixation) indicate that the mats function as net sulfide sinks mainly by abiotic processes. We suggest that abundant Fe(III) (4.3-22.2 μmol cm -3 ) is the major source of oxidizing power in the mat, and that abiotic Fe-S-reactions play the main role in pyrite formation. Limitation of sulfate reduction by low organic carbon availability along with the presence of abundant sulfide-scavenging iron oxides considerably slowed down sulfur cycling in these mats.

  5. Community Structure and Function of High-temperature Chlorophototrophic Microbial Mats Inhabiting Diverse Geothermal Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William P. Inskeep

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Six phototrophic microbial mat communities from different geothermal springs (YNP were studied using metagenome sequencing and geochemical analyses. The primary goals of this work were to determine differences in community composition of high-temperature phototrophic mats distributed across the Yellowstone geothermal ecosystem, and to identify metabolic attributes of predominant organisms present in these communities that may correlate with environmental attributes important in niche differentiation. Random shotgun metagenome sequences from six phototrophic communities (average~ 53 Mbp/site were subjected to multiple taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional analyses. All methods, including G+C content distribution, MEGAN analyses and oligonucleotide frequency-based clustering, provided strong support for the dominant community members present in each site. Cyanobacteria were only observed in non-sulfidic sites; de novo assemblies were obtained for Synechococcus-like populations at Chocolate Pots (CP_7 and Fischerella-like populations at White Creek (WC_6. Chloroflexi-like sequences (esp. Roseiflexus and/or Chloroflexus spp. were observed in all six samples and contained genes involved in bacteriochlorophyll biosynthesis and the 3-hydroxypropionate carbon fixation pathway. Other major sequence assemblies were obtained for a Chlorobiales population from CP_7 (proposed family Thermochlorobacteriaceae, and an anoxygenic, sulfur-oxidizing Thermochromatium-like (Gamma-proteobacteria population from Bath Lake Vista Annex (BLVA_20. Additional sequence coverage is necessary to establish more complete assemblies of other novel bacteria in these sites (e.g., Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes; however, current assemblies suggested that several of these organisms play important roles in heterotrophic and fermentative metabolisms. Definitive linkages were established between several of the dominant phylotypes present in these habitats and important functional

  6. Effect of salinity on nitrogenase activity and composition of the active diazotrophic community in intertidal microbial mats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Severin, I.; Confurius-Guns, V.; Stal, L.J.

    2012-01-01

    Microbial mats are often found in intertidal areas experiencing a large range of salinities. This study investigated the effect of changing salinities on nitrogenase activity and on the composition of the active diazotrophic community ( transcript libraries) of three types of microbial mats situated

  7. Regulation of electron transfer processes affects phototrophic mat structure and activity

    OpenAIRE

    Ha, Phuc T.; Renslow, Ryan S.; Atci, Erhan; Reardon, Patrick N.; Lindemann, Stephen R.; Fredrickson, James K.; Call, Douglas R.; Beyenal, Haluk

    2015-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are among the most diverse ecosystems in nature. These systems undergo daily cycles in redox potential caused by variations in light energy input and metabolic interactions among the microbial species. In this work, solid electrodes with controlled potentials were placed under mats to study the electron transfer processes between the electrode and the microbial mat. The phototrophic microbial mat was harvested from Hot Lake, a hypersaline, epsomitic lake located ne...

  8. Contribution of Chloroflexus respiration to oxygen cycling in a hypersaline microbial mat from Lake Chiprana, Spain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Polerecky, Lubos; Bachar, Ami; Schoon, Raphaela

    2007-01-01

    In dense stratified systems such as microbial mats, photosynthesis and respiration are coupled due to a tight spatial overlap between oxygen-producing and -consuming microorganisms. We combined microsensors and a membrane inlet mass spectrometer with two independent light sources emitting in the ...

  9. The Diffusive Boundary-Layer of Sediments - Oxygen Microgradients Over a Microbial Mat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    JØRGENSEN, BB; MARAIS, DJD

    1990-01-01

    Oxygen microelectrodes were used to analyze the distribution of the diffusive boundary layer (DBL) at the sedimen-water interface in relation to surface topography and flow velocity. The sediment, collected from saline ponds, was covered by a microbial mat that had high oxygen consumption rate...

  10. Diatom, cyanobacterial and microbial mats as indicators of hydrocarbon contaminated Arctic streams and waters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ziervogel, H.; Selann, J.; Adeney, B. [EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Nelson, J.A. [J.B. Services, Sarnia, ON (Canada); Murdock, E. [Nunavut Power, Iqaluit (Canada)

    2003-07-01

    An environmental assessment conducted at Repulse Bay, Nunavut in the summer of 2001 revealed a recent diesel spill flowing from the groundwater into a creek. The spill had not been reported. When Arctic surface waters mix with hydrocarbon impacted groundwater and sediments, distinctive mats of diatom, cyanobacteria and other bacteria are formed. These mats have the potential for phytoremediation of hydrocarbons. This paper explained the apparent dominance of mats in contaminated Arctic waters and why they promote biodegradation of hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbon-contaminated soils and groundwater are generally anaerobic. The higher dissolved carbon dioxide in polluted soils and groundwater can benefit photosynthetic cyanobacteria and diatom found in oligotrophic, lower alkalinity Arctic waters. The anaerobic and aerobic bacteria can potentially take advantage of the hydrogen substrate and the nitrogen fixing abilities of the cyanobacteria. Zooplankton predators may be killed off by the toxicity of the polluted groundwater. The paper provides examples where a microbial mat reduced the sulfate content of a hydrocarbon-impacted Arctic stream by 100 ppm, and where a pond covered in a benthic microbial mat showed no evidence of hydrocarbons in the water overlying sediments contaminated with hydrocarbons at concentrations measured at 30,000 ppm. 19 refs., 3 tabs., 8 figs.

  11. Living Dendrolitic Microbial Mats in Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica P. Suosaari

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia, is home to the largest and most diverse assemblage of living marine stromatolites, with shapes and sizes comparable to ancient structures. A recent field-intensive program revealed seasonally ephemeral occurrences of modern dendrolitic microbial mats forming in intertidal, low energy settings. Dominated by filamentous cyanobacteria, dendrolitic microbial mats are formed when filaments provide a supporting framework as a result of gliding mobility, to build a shrubby morphology. Dendrolites, known throughout the rock record, refer to macroscopic microbialites with mesostuctures composed of unlaminated arborescent structures called shrubs. In these modern examples, thick filaments of Lyngbya aestuarii form the “trunk” of the bush, with finer filaments of Lyngbya fragilis, Phormidium sp. and Schizothrix sp. forming the “branches” These biologically-influenced dendrolitic structures provide insight into the complex interplay of microbial communities and the environment, broadening our understanding of shrub and dendrolite formation throughout the rock record.

  12. Spatial patterns and links between microbial community composition and function in cyanobacterial mats

    KAUST Repository

    Alnajjar, Mohammad Ahmad; Ramette, Alban; Kü hl, Michael; Hamza, Waleed; Klatt, Judith M.; Polerecky, Lubos

    2014-01-01

    We imaged reflectance and variable fluorescence in 25 cyanobacterial mats from four distant sites around the globe to assess, at different scales of resolution, spatial variabilities in the physiological parameters characterizing their photosynthetic capacity, including the absorptivity by chlorophyll a (Achl), maximum quantum yield of photosynthesis (Ymax), and light acclimation irradiance (Ik). Generally, these parameters significantly varied within individual mats on a sub-millimeter scale, with about 2-fold higher variability in the vertical than in the horizontal direction. The average vertical profiles of Ymax and Ik decreased with depth in the mat, while Achl exhibited a sub-surface maximum. The within-mat variability was comparable to, but often larger than, the between-sites variability, whereas the within-site variabilities (i.e., between samples from the same site) were generally lowest. When compared based on averaged values of their photosynthetic parameters, mats clustered according to their site of origin. Similar clustering was found when the community composition of the mats' cyanobacterial layers were compared by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA), indicating a significant link between the microbial community composition and function. Although this link is likely the result of community adaptation to the prevailing site-specific environmental conditions, our present data is insufficient to identify the main factors determining these patterns. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that the spatial variability in the photosynthetic capacity and light acclimation of benthic phototrophic microbial communities is at least as large on a sub-millimeter scale as it is on a global scale, and suggests that this pattern of variability scaling is similar for the microbial community composition. © 2014 Al-Najjar, Ramette, Kühl, Hamza, Klatt and Polerecky.

  13. Spatial patterns and links between microbial community composition and function in cyanobacterial mats

    KAUST Repository

    Alnajjar, Mohammad Ahmad

    2014-08-06

    We imaged reflectance and variable fluorescence in 25 cyanobacterial mats from four distant sites around the globe to assess, at different scales of resolution, spatial variabilities in the physiological parameters characterizing their photosynthetic capacity, including the absorptivity by chlorophyll a (Achl), maximum quantum yield of photosynthesis (Ymax), and light acclimation irradiance (Ik). Generally, these parameters significantly varied within individual mats on a sub-millimeter scale, with about 2-fold higher variability in the vertical than in the horizontal direction. The average vertical profiles of Ymax and Ik decreased with depth in the mat, while Achl exhibited a sub-surface maximum. The within-mat variability was comparable to, but often larger than, the between-sites variability, whereas the within-site variabilities (i.e., between samples from the same site) were generally lowest. When compared based on averaged values of their photosynthetic parameters, mats clustered according to their site of origin. Similar clustering was found when the community composition of the mats\\' cyanobacterial layers were compared by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA), indicating a significant link between the microbial community composition and function. Although this link is likely the result of community adaptation to the prevailing site-specific environmental conditions, our present data is insufficient to identify the main factors determining these patterns. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that the spatial variability in the photosynthetic capacity and light acclimation of benthic phototrophic microbial communities is at least as large on a sub-millimeter scale as it is on a global scale, and suggests that this pattern of variability scaling is similar for the microbial community composition. © 2014 Al-Najjar, Ramette, Kühl, Hamza, Klatt and Polerecky.

  14. Plant, microbial and ecosystem carbon use efficiencies interact to stabilize microbial growth as a fraction of gross primary production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L; Moorhead, Daryl L; Xu, Xiaofeng; Litvak, Marcy E

    2017-06-01

    The carbon use efficiency of plants (CUE a ) and microorganisms (CUE h ) determines rates of biomass turnover and soil carbon sequestration. We evaluated the hypothesis that CUE a and CUE h counterbalance at a large scale, stabilizing microbial growth (μ) as a fraction of gross primary production (GPP). Collating data from published studies, we correlated annual CUE a , estimated from satellite imagery, with locally determined soil CUE h for 100 globally distributed sites. Ecosystem CUE e , the ratio of net ecosystem production (NEP) to GPP, was estimated for each site using published models. At the ecosystem scale, CUE a and CUE h were inversely related. At the global scale, the apparent temperature sensitivity of CUE h with respect to mean annual temperature (MAT) was similar for organic and mineral soils (0.029°C -1 ). CUE a and CUE e were inversely related to MAT, with apparent sensitivities of -0.009 and -0.032°C -1 , respectively. These trends constrain the ratio μ : GPP (= (CUE a  × CUE h )/(1 - CUE e )) with respect to MAT by counterbalancing the apparent temperature sensitivities of the component processes. At the ecosystem scale, the counterbalance is effected by modulating soil organic matter stocks. The results suggest that a μ : GPP value of c. 0.13 is a homeostatic steady state for ecosystem carbon fluxes at a large scale. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  15. Total mercury and methyl-mercury contents and accumulation in polar microbial mats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, Antonio; Rochera, Carlos; Hennebelle, Raphaëlle; Ferrari, Christophe; Quesada, Antonio

    2015-03-15

    Although polar regions are considered isolated and pristine areas, the organisms that inhabit these zones are exposed to global pollution. Heavy metals, such as mercury, are global pollutants and can reach almost any location on Earth. Mercury may come from natural, volcanic or geological sources, or result from anthropogenic sources, in particular industrial or mining activities. In this study, we have investigated one of the most prominent biological non-marine communities in both polar regions, microbial mats, in terms of their Hg and methyl-mercury (MeHg) concentrations and accumulation capacities. The main hypotheses posed argued on the importance of different factors, and to test them, we have measured Hg concentrations in microbial mats that were collected from 6 locations in different ecological situations. For this purpose, the direct anthropogenic impacts, volcanic influences, proximity to the seashore, latitudinal gradients and C contents were investigated. Our results show that, other than the direct anthropogenic influence, none of the other hypotheses alone satisfactorily explains the Hg content in microbial mats. In contrast, the MeHg contents were noticeably different between the investigated locations, with a higher proportion of MeHg on the McMurdo Ice Shelf (Antarctica) and a lower proportion on Ward Hunt Island (High Arctic). Furthermore, our results from in situ experiments indicated that the microbial mats from South Shetland Islands could quickly accumulate (48 h) Hg when Hg dissolved salts were supplied. Over short-term periods, these mats do not transform Hg into MeHg under field conditions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Low-Light Anoxygenic Photosynthesis and Fe-S-Biogeochemistry in a Microbial Mat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Haas

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available We report extremely low-light-adapted anoxygenic photosynthesis in a thick microbial mat in Magical Blue Hole, Abaco Island, The Bahamas. Sulfur cycling was reduced by iron oxides and organic carbon limitation. The mat grows below the halocline/oxycline at 30 m depth on the walls of the flooded sinkhole. In situ irradiance at the mat surface on a sunny December day was between 0.021 and 0.084 μmol photons m-2 s-1, and UV light (<400 nm was the most abundant part of the spectrum followed by green wavelengths (475–530 nm. We measured a light-dependent carbon uptake rate of 14.5 nmol C cm-2 d-1. A 16S rRNA clone library of the green surface mat layer was dominated (74% by a cluster (>97% sequence identity of clones affiliated with Prosthecochloris, a genus within the green sulfur bacteria (GSB, which are obligate anoxygenic phototrophs. Typical photopigments of brown-colored GSB, bacteriochlorophyll e and (β-isorenieratene, were abundant in mat samples and their absorption properties are well-adapted to harvest light in the available green and possibly even UV-A spectra. Sulfide from the water column (3–6 μmol L-1 was the main source of sulfide to the mat as sulfate reduction rates in the mats were very low (undetectable-99.2 nmol cm-3 d-1. The anoxic water column was oligotrophic and low in dissolved organic carbon (175–228 μmol L-1. High concentrations of pyrite (FeS2; 1–47 μmol cm-3 together with low microbial process rates (sulfate reduction, CO2 fixation indicate that the mats function as net sulfide sinks mainly by abiotic processes. We suggest that abundant Fe(III (4.3–22.2 μmol cm-3 is the major source of oxidizing power in the mat, and that abiotic Fe-S-reactions play the main role in pyrite formation. Limitation of sulfate reduction by low organic carbon availability along with the presence of abundant sulfide-scavenging iron oxides considerably slowed down sulfur cycling in these mats.

  17. GC and GC-MS characterization of crude oil transformation in sediments and microbial mat samples after the 1991 oil spill in the Saudi Arabian Gulf coast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia de Oteyza, T.; Grimalt, J.O.

    2006-01-01

    The massive oil discharge in the Saudi Arabian coast at the end of the 1991 Gulf War is used here as a natural experiment to study the ability of microbial mats to transform oil residues after major spills. The degree of oil transformation has been evaluated from the analysis of the aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons by gas chromatography (GC) and GC coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The oil-polluted microbial mat samples from coastal environments exhibited an intermediate degree of transformation between that observed in superficial and deep sediments. Evaporation, photo-oxidation and water-washing seemed to lead to more effective and rapid elimination of hydrocarbons than cyanobacteria and its associated microorganisms. Furthermore, comparison of some compounds (e.g. regular isoprenoid hydrocarbons or alkylnaphthalenes) in the oil collected in the area after the spill or in the mixtures retained by cyanobacterial growth gave rise to an apparent effect of hydrocarbon preservation in the microbial mat ecosystems. - Cyanobacterial mats inhibit degradation of oil by reducing exposure to the atmosphere and seawater

  18. Cyanobacterial Diversity in Microbial Mats from the Hypersaline Lagoon System of Araruama, Brazil: An In-depth Polyphasic Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vitor M. C. Ramos

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Microbial mats are complex, micro-scale ecosystems that can be found in a wide range of environments. In the top layer of photosynthetic mats from hypersaline environments, a large diversity of cyanobacteria typically predominates. With the aim of strengthening the knowledge on the cyanobacterial diversity present in the coastal lagoon system of Araruama (state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we have characterized three mat samples by means of a polyphasic approach. We have used morphological and molecular data obtained by culture-dependent and -independent methods. Moreover, we have compared different classification methodologies and discussed the outcomes, challenges, and pitfalls of these methods. Overall, we show that Araruama's lagoons harbor a high cyanobacterial diversity. Thirty-six unique morphospecies could be differentiated, which increases by more than 15% the number of morphospecies and genera already reported for the entire Araruama system. Morphology-based data were compared with the 16S rRNA gene phylogeny derived from isolate sequences and environmental sequences obtained by PCR-DGGE and pyrosequencing. Most of the 48 phylotypes could be associated with the observed morphospecies at the order level. More than one third of the sequences demonstrated to be closely affiliated (best BLAST hit results of ≥99% with cyanobacteria from ecologically similar habitats. Some sequences had no close relatives in the public databases, including one from an isolate, being placed as “loner” sequences within different orders. This hints at hidden cyanobacterial diversity in the mats of the Araruama system, while reinforcing the relevance of using complementary approaches to study cyanobacterial diversity.

  19. Cyanobacterial Diversity in Microbial Mats from the Hypersaline Lagoon System of Araruama, Brazil: An In-depth Polyphasic Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Vitor M C; Castelo-Branco, Raquel; Leão, Pedro N; Martins, Joana; Carvalhal-Gomes, Sinda; Sobrinho da Silva, Frederico; Mendonça Filho, João G; Vasconcelos, Vitor M

    2017-01-01

    Microbial mats are complex, micro-scale ecosystems that can be found in a wide range of environments. In the top layer of photosynthetic mats from hypersaline environments, a large diversity of cyanobacteria typically predominates. With the aim of strengthening the knowledge on the cyanobacterial diversity present in the coastal lagoon system of Araruama (state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), we have characterized three mat samples by means of a polyphasic approach. We have used morphological and molecular data obtained by culture-dependent and -independent methods. Moreover, we have compared different classification methodologies and discussed the outcomes, challenges, and pitfalls of these methods. Overall, we show that Araruama's lagoons harbor a high cyanobacterial diversity. Thirty-six unique morphospecies could be differentiated, which increases by more than 15% the number of morphospecies and genera already reported for the entire Araruama system. Morphology-based data were compared with the 16S rRNA gene phylogeny derived from isolate sequences and environmental sequences obtained by PCR-DGGE and pyrosequencing. Most of the 48 phylotypes could be associated with the observed morphospecies at the order level. More than one third of the sequences demonstrated to be closely affiliated (best BLAST hit results of ≥99%) with cyanobacteria from ecologically similar habitats. Some sequences had no close relatives in the public databases, including one from an isolate, being placed as "loner" sequences within different orders. This hints at hidden cyanobacterial diversity in the mats of the Araruama system, while reinforcing the relevance of using complementary approaches to study cyanobacterial diversity.

  20. Diatom-driven recolonization of microbial mat-dominated siliciclastic tidal flat sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Jerónimo; Cuadrado, Diana G; Bournod, Constanza N

    2017-10-01

    Modern microbial mats and biofilms play a paramount role in sediment biostabilization. When sporadic storms affect tidal flats of Bahía Blanca Estuary, the underlying siliciclastic sediment is exposed by physical disruption of the mat, and in a few weeks' lapse, a microbial community re-establishes. With the objective of studying colonization patterns and the ecological succession of microorganisms at the scale of these erosional structures, these were experimentally made and their biological recolonization followed for 8 weeks, with replication in winter and spring. Motile pennate diatoms led the initial colonization following two distinct patterns: a dominance by Cylindrotheca closterium in winter and by naviculoid and nitzschioid diatoms in spring. During the first 7 days, cell numbers increased 2- to 17-fold. Cell densities further increased exhibiting sigmoidal community growth, reaching 2.9-8.9 × 106 cells cm-3 maxima around day 30; centric diatoms maintained low densities throughout. In 56 days after removal of the original mat, filamentous cyanobacteria that dominate mature mats did not establish a significant biomass, leading to the rejection of the hypothesis that cyanobacteria would drive the colonization. The observed dominance of pennate diatoms is attributed to extrinsic factors determined by tidal flooding, and intrinsic ones, e.g. motility, nutrient affinity and high growth rate. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Biogeochemistry of an iron-rich hypersaline microbial mat (Camargue, France).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieland, A; Zopfi, J; Benthien, M; Kühl, M

    2005-01-01

    In situ microsensor measurements were combined with biogeochemical methods to determine oxygen, sulfur, and carbon cycling in microbial mats growing in a solar saltern (Salin-de-Giraud, France). Sulfate reduction rates closely followed the daily temperature changes and were highest during the day at 25 degrees C and lowest during the night at 11 degrees C, most probably fueled by direct substrate interactions between cyanobacteria and sulfate-reducing bacteria. Sulfate reduction was the major mineralization process during the night and the contribution of aerobic respiration to nighttime DIC production decreased. This decrease of aerobic respiration led to an increasing contribution of sulfide (and iron) oxidation to nighttime O2 consumption. A peak of elemental sulfur in a layer of high sulfate reduction at low sulfide concentration underneath the oxic zone indicated anoxygenic photosynthesis and/or sulfide oxidation by iron, which strongly contributed to sulfide consumption. We found a significant internal carbon cycling in the mat, and sulfate reduction directly supplied DIC for photosynthesis. The mats were characterized by a high iron content of 56 micromol Fe cm(-3), and iron cycling strongly controlled the sulfur cycle in the mat. This included sulfide precipitation resulting in high FeS contents with depth, and reactions of iron oxides with sulfide, especially after sunset, leading to a pronounced gap between oxygen and sulfide gradients and an unusual persistence of a pH peak in the uppermost mat layer until midnight.

  2. Rapid Reactivation of Cyanobacterial Photosynthesis and Migration upon Rehydration of Desiccated Marine Microbial Mats

    KAUST Repository

    Chennu, Arjun

    2015-12-24

    Desiccated cyanobacterial mats are the dominant biological feature in the Earth’s arid zones. While the response of desiccated cyanobacteria to rehydration is well-documented for terrestrial systems, information about the response in marine systems is lacking. We used high temporal resolution hyperspectral imaging, liquid chromatography, pulse-amplitude fluorometry, oxygen microsensors, and confocal laser microscopy to study this response in a desiccated microbial mat from Exmouth Gulf, Australia. During the initial 15 min after rehydration chlorophyll a concentrations increased 2–5 fold and cyanobacterial photosynthesis was re-established. Although the mechanism behind this rapid increase of chlorophyll a remains unknown, we hypothesize that it involves resynthesis from a precursor stored in desiccated cyanobacteria. The subsequent phase (15 min–48 h) involved migration of the reactivated cyanobacteria toward the mat surface, which led, together with a gradual increase in chlorophyll a, to a further increase in photosynthesis. We conclude that the response involving an increase in chlorophyll a and recovery of photosynthetic activity within minutes after rehydration is common for cyanobacteria from desiccated mats of both terrestrial and marine origin. However, the response of upward migration and its triggering factor appear to be mat-specific and likely linked to other factors.

  3. Rapid reactivation of cyanobacterial photosynthesis and migration upon rehydration of desiccated marine microbial mats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arjun eChennu

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Desiccated cyanobacterial mats are the dominant biological feature in the Earth's arid zones. While the response of desiccated cyanobacteria to rehydration is well documented for terrestrial systems, information about the response in marine systems is lacking. We used high temporal resolution hyperspectral imaging, liquid chromatography, pulse-amplitude fluorometry, oxygen microsensors and confocal laser microscopy to study this response in a desiccated microbial mat from Exmouth Gulf, Australia. During the initial 15 minutes after rehydration chlorophyll a concentrations increased 2-5 fold and cyanobacterial photosynthesis was re-established. Although the mechanism behind this rapid increase of chlorophyll a remains unknown, we hypothesize that it involves resynthesis from a precursor stored in desiccated cyanobacteria. The subsequent phase (15 min – 48 h involved migration of the reactivated cyanobacteria towards the mat surface, which led, together with a gradual increase in chlorophyll a, to a further increase in photosynthesis. We conclude that the response involving an increase in chlorophyll a and recovery of photosynthetic activity within minutes after rehydration is common for cyanobacteria from desiccated mats of both terrestrial and aquatic origin. However the response of upward migration and its triggering factor appears to be mat-specific and likely linked to other factors.

  4. Rapid Reactivation of Cyanobacterial Photosynthesis and Migration upon Rehydration of Desiccated Marine Microbial Mats

    KAUST Repository

    Chennu, Arjun; Grinham, Alistair; Polerecky, Lubos; de Beer, Dirk; Alnajjar, Mohammad Ahmad

    2015-01-01

    Desiccated cyanobacterial mats are the dominant biological feature in the Earth’s arid zones. While the response of desiccated cyanobacteria to rehydration is well-documented for terrestrial systems, information about the response in marine systems is lacking. We used high temporal resolution hyperspectral imaging, liquid chromatography, pulse-amplitude fluorometry, oxygen microsensors, and confocal laser microscopy to study this response in a desiccated microbial mat from Exmouth Gulf, Australia. During the initial 15 min after rehydration chlorophyll a concentrations increased 2–5 fold and cyanobacterial photosynthesis was re-established. Although the mechanism behind this rapid increase of chlorophyll a remains unknown, we hypothesize that it involves resynthesis from a precursor stored in desiccated cyanobacteria. The subsequent phase (15 min–48 h) involved migration of the reactivated cyanobacteria toward the mat surface, which led, together with a gradual increase in chlorophyll a, to a further increase in photosynthesis. We conclude that the response involving an increase in chlorophyll a and recovery of photosynthetic activity within minutes after rehydration is common for cyanobacteria from desiccated mats of both terrestrial and marine origin. However, the response of upward migration and its triggering factor appear to be mat-specific and likely linked to other factors.

  5. Microbial mats in Antarctica as models for the search of life on the Jovian moon Europa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dudeja, S.; Bhattacherjee, A.B.; Chela-Flores, J.

    2008-06-01

    The possibility of sulfur patches on the Jovian satellite Europa being of biogenic origin is discussed. The presence of microbial mats and the accumulation of sulfur on the surface of some Antarctic subglacial lakes are correlated with the sulfur traces found on Europa by means of microbiological processes. Special attention has been paid to the influence of temperature and radiation on the icy surface of this Jovian satellite. An optimum penetration depth to look for biomarkers is proposed based on biogeochemical parameters. (author)

  6. Screening of polyhydroxyalkanoate-producing bacteria and PhaC-encoding genes in two hypersaline microbial mats from Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina A. Martínez-Gutiérrez

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Hypersaline microbial mats develop through seasonal and diel fluctuations, as well as under several physicochemical variables. Hence, resident microorganisms commonly employ strategies such as the synthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs in order to resist changing and stressful conditions. However, the knowledge of bacterial PHA production in hypersaline microbial mats has been limited to date, particularly in regard to medium-chain length PHAs (mcl-PHAs, which have biotechnological applications due to their plastic properties. The aim of this study was to obtain evidence for PHA production in two hypersaline microbial mats of Guerrero Negro, Mexico by searching for PHA granules and PHA synthase genes in isolated bacterial strains and environmental samples. Six PHA-producing strains were identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing; three of them corresponded to a Halomonas sp. In addition, Paracoccus sp., Planomicrobium sp. and Staphylococcus sp. were also identified as PHA producers. Presumptive PHA granules and PHA synthases genes were detected in both sampling sites. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis showed that most of the phylotypes were distantly related to putative PhaC synthases class I sequences belonging to members of the classes Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria distributed within eight families, with higher abundances corresponding mainly to Rhodobacteraceae and Rhodospirillaceae. This analysis also showed that PhaC synthases class II sequences were closely related to those of Pseudomonas putida, suggesting the presence of this group, which is probably involved in the production of mcl-PHA in the mats. According to our state of knowledge, this study reports for the first time the occurrence of phaC and phaC1 sequences in hypersaline microbial mats, suggesting that these ecosystems may be a novel source for the isolation of short- and medium-chain length PHA producers.

  7. Carbon nanotube fiber mats for microbial fuel cell electrodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delord, Brigitte; Neri, Wilfrid; Bertaux, Karen; Derre, Alain; Ly, Isabelle; Mano, Nicolas; Poulin, Philippe

    2017-11-01

    Novel carbon nanotube based electrodes of microbial fuel cells (MFC) have been developed. MFC is a promising technology for the wastewater treatment and the production of electrical energy from redox reactions of natural substrates. Performances of such bio-electrochemical systems depend critically on the structure and properties of the electrodes. The presently developed materials are made by weaving fibers solely comprised of carbon nanotubes. They exhibit a large scale porosity controlled by the weaving process. This porosity allows an easy colonization by electroactive bacteria. In addition, the fibers display a nanostructuration that promotes excellent growth and adhesion of the bacteria at the surface of the electrodes. This unique combination of large scale porosity and nanostructuration allows the present electrodes to perform better than carbon reference. When used as anode in a bioelectrochemical reactor in presence of Geobacter sulfurreducens bacteria, the present electrodes show a maximal current density of about 7.5mA/cm 2 . Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Novel Large Sulfur Bacteria in the Metagenomes of Groundwater-Fed Chemosynthetic Microbial Mats in the Lake Huron Basin

    OpenAIRE

    Allison M. Sharrar; Beverly E. Flood; Jake V. Bailey; Daniel S. Jones; Daniel S. Jones; Bopaiah A. Biddanda; Steven A. Ruberg; Daniel N. Marcus; Gregory J. Dick

    2017-01-01

    Little is known about large sulfur bacteria (LSB) that inhabit sulfidic groundwater seeps in large lakes. To examine how geochemically relevant microbial metabolisms are partitioned among community members, we conducted metagenomic analysis of a chemosynthetic microbial mat in the Isolated Sinkhole, which is in a deep, aphotic environment of Lake Huron. For comparison, we also analyzed a white mat in an artesian fountain that is fed by groundwater similar to Isolated Sinkhole, but that sits i...

  9. Microbial Mats on the Orkney Islands Revisited: Microenvironment and Microbial Community Composition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wieland, A.; Kühl, M.; McGowan, L.

    2003-01-01

    of these sediments. High amounts of algal lipids and slightly higher numbers (genera, abundances) of cyanobacteria were found in Waulkmill Bay mats. However, overall only a few genera and low numbers of unicellular and filamentous cyanobacteria were present in mats from Waulkmill and Swanbister beach, as deduced...... fragment length polymorphism) analysis in Swanbister beach mats, the depth distribution of different populations of purple and sulfate-reducing bacteria could be related to the microenvironmental conditions. Oxygen, but also sulfide and other (inorganic and organic) sulfur compounds, seems to play...

  10. Microbial biodiversity of Sardinian oleic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santona, Mario; Sanna, Maria Lina; Multineddu, Chiara; Fancello, Francesco; de la Fuente, Sara Audije; Dettori, Sandro; Zara, Severino

    2018-04-01

    The olives are rich in microorganisms that, during the extraction process may persist in the oils and can influence their physicochemical and sensory characteristics. In this work, and for the first time, we isolated and identified microbial species, yeast and bacteria, present during the production process in four Sardinian (Italy) oleic ecosystems. Among these varieties, we found that Nera di Gonnos was associated to the highest microbial biodiversity, which was followed by Bosana, Nocellara del Belice and Semidana. Among the different microbial species isolated, some are specific of olive ecological niches, such as Cryptococcus spp and Serratia spp; and others to olive oils such as Candida spp and Saccharomyces. Some other species identified in this work were not found before in oleic ecosystems. The enzymatic analyses of yeast and bacteria showed that they have good β-glucosidase activity and yeast also showed good β-glucanase activity. The majority of bacteria presented lipolytic and catalase activities while in yeast were species-specific. Interestingly, yeast and bacteria isolates presented a high resistance to bile acid, and about 65% of the yeast were able to resist at pH 2.5 for 2 h. Finally, bacteria showed no biofilm activity compared to yeast. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. A multi-objective constraint-based approach for modeling genome-scale microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budinich, Marko; Bourdon, Jérémie; Larhlimi, Abdelhalim; Eveillard, Damien

    2017-01-01

    Interplay within microbial communities impacts ecosystems on several scales, and elucidation of the consequent effects is a difficult task in ecology. In particular, the integration of genome-scale data within quantitative models of microbial ecosystems remains elusive. This study advocates the use of constraint-based modeling to build predictive models from recent high-resolution -omics datasets. Following recent studies that have demonstrated the accuracy of constraint-based models (CBMs) for simulating single-strain metabolic networks, we sought to study microbial ecosystems as a combination of single-strain metabolic networks that exchange nutrients. This study presents two multi-objective extensions of CBMs for modeling communities: multi-objective flux balance analysis (MO-FBA) and multi-objective flux variability analysis (MO-FVA). Both methods were applied to a hot spring mat model ecosystem. As a result, multiple trade-offs between nutrients and growth rates, as well as thermodynamically favorable relative abundances at community level, were emphasized. We expect this approach to be used for integrating genomic information in microbial ecosystems. Following models will provide insights about behaviors (including diversity) that take place at the ecosystem scale.

  12. A multi-objective constraint-based approach for modeling genome-scale microbial ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marko Budinich

    Full Text Available Interplay within microbial communities impacts ecosystems on several scales, and elucidation of the consequent effects is a difficult task in ecology. In particular, the integration of genome-scale data within quantitative models of microbial ecosystems remains elusive. This study advocates the use of constraint-based modeling to build predictive models from recent high-resolution -omics datasets. Following recent studies that have demonstrated the accuracy of constraint-based models (CBMs for simulating single-strain metabolic networks, we sought to study microbial ecosystems as a combination of single-strain metabolic networks that exchange nutrients. This study presents two multi-objective extensions of CBMs for modeling communities: multi-objective flux balance analysis (MO-FBA and multi-objective flux variability analysis (MO-FVA. Both methods were applied to a hot spring mat model ecosystem. As a result, multiple trade-offs between nutrients and growth rates, as well as thermodynamically favorable relative abundances at community level, were emphasized. We expect this approach to be used for integrating genomic information in microbial ecosystems. Following models will provide insights about behaviors (including diversity that take place at the ecosystem scale.

  13. Dynamics of bacterial populations during bench-scale bioremediation of oily seawater and desert soil bioaugmented with coastal microbial mats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Nidaa; Dashti, Narjes; Salamah, Samar; Sorkhoh, Naser; Al-Awadhi, Husain; Radwan, Samir

    2016-03-01

    This study describes a bench-scale attempt to bioremediate Kuwaiti, oily water and soil samples through bioaugmentation with coastal microbial mats rich in hydrocarbonoclastic bacterioflora. Seawater and desert soil samples were artificially polluted with 1% weathered oil, and bioaugmented with microbial mat suspensions. Oil removal and microbial community dynamics were monitored. In batch cultures, oil removal was more effective in soil than in seawater. Hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria associated with mat samples colonized soil more readily than seawater. The predominant oil degrading bacterium in seawater batches was the autochthonous seawater species Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus. The main oil degraders in the inoculated soil samples, on the other hand, were a mixture of the autochthonous mat and desert soil bacteria; Xanthobacter tagetidis, Pseudomonas geniculata, Olivibacter ginsengisoli and others. More bacterial diversity prevailed in seawater during continuous than batch bioremediation. Out of seven hydrocarbonoclastic bacterial species isolated from those cultures, only one, Mycobacterium chlorophenolicum, was of mat origin. This result too confirms that most of the autochthonous mat bacteria failed to colonize seawater. Also culture-independent analysis of seawater from continuous cultures revealed high-bacterial diversity. Many of the bacteria belonged to the Alphaproteobacteria, Flavobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria, and were hydrocarbonoclastic. Optimal biostimulation practices for continuous culture bioremediation of seawater via mat bioaugmentation were adding the highest possible oil concentration as one lot in the beginning of bioremediation, addition of vitamins, and slowing down the seawater flow rate. © 2016 The Author. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  14. Distribution of phototrophic populations and primary production in a microbial mat from the Ebro Delta, Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Alonso, Maira; Mir, Joan; Caumette, Pierre; Gaju, Núria; Guerrero, Ricardo; Esteve, Isabel

    2004-03-01

    Microbial mats arising in the sand flats of the Ebro Delta (Tarragona, Spain) were investigated during the summer season, when the community was highly developed. These mats are composed of three pigmented layers of phototrophic organisms, an upper brown layer mainly composed of Lyngbya aestuarii and diatoms, an intermediate green layer of the cyanobacterium Microcoleus chthonoplastes, and an underlying pink layer of a so-far unidentified purple sulfur bacterium. In the photic zone, oxygenic phototrophs constitute about 58% of total photosynthetic biomass, measured as biovolume, and anoxygenic phototrophs represent 42%. Diatoms constitute 11.8% of the oxygenic biomass, M. chthonoplastes 61.2%, and L. aestuarii and coccoid cyanobacteria 20.6 and 6.4%, respectively. In this laminated community, organic matter has an autochthonous origin, and photosynthesis is the most important source of organic carbon. Oxygen production reaches up to 27.2 mmol O(2) m(-2) h(-1), measured at 1000 microE m(-2) s(-1) light intensity, whereas oxidation of sulfide in the light has been calculated to be 18.6 mmol S m(-2) h(-1). This amount represents 26% of the total photosynthetic production in terms of photoassimilated carbon, demonstrating the important role of anoxygenic phototrophs as primary producers in the pink layer of Ebro Delta microbial mats.

  15. Free-living spirochetes from Cape Cod microbial mats detected by electron microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teal, T. H.; Chapman, M.; Guillemette, T.; Margulis, L.

    1996-01-01

    Spirochetes from microbial mats and anaerobic mud samples collected in salt marshes were studied by light microscopy, whole mount and thin section transmission electron microscopy. Enriched in cellobiose-rifampin medium, selective for Spirochaeta bajacaliforniensis, seven distinguishable spirochete morphotypes were observed. Their diameters ranged from 0.17 micron to > 0.45 micron. Six of these morphotypes came from southwest Cape Cod, Massachusetts: five from Microcoleus-dominated mat samples collected at Sippewissett salt marsh and one from anoxic mud collected at School Street salt marsh (on the east side of Eel Pond). The seventh morphotype was enriched from anoxic mud sampled from the north central Cape Cod, at the Sandy Neck salt marsh. Five of these morphotypes are similar or identical to previously described spirochetes (Leptospira, Spirochaeta halophila, Spirochaeta bajacaliforniensis, Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi and Treponema), whereas the other two have unique features that suggest they have not been previously described. One of the morphotypes resembles Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi (the largest free-living spirochete described), in its large variable diameter (0.4-3.0 microns), cytoplasmic granules, and spherical (round) bodies with composite structure. This resemblance permits its tentative identification as a Sippewissett strain of Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi. Microbial mats samples collected in sterile Petri dishes and stored dry for more than four years yielded many organisms upon rewetting, including small unidentified spirochetes in at least 4 out of 100 enrichments.

  16. Microbial mat of the thermal springs Kuchiger Republic of Buryatia: species composition, biochemical properties and electrogenic activity in biofuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleksandrovich Yuriev, Denis; Viktorovna Zaitseva, Svetlana; Olegovna Zhdanova, Galina; Yurievich Tolstoy, Mikhail; Dondokovna Barkhutova, Darima; Feodorovna Vyatchina, Olga; Yuryevna Konovalova, Elena; Iosifovich Stom, Devard

    2018-02-01

    Electrogenic, molecular and some other properties of a microbial mat isolated from the Kuchiger hot spring (Kurumkansky District, Republic of Buryatia) were studied. Molecular analysis showed that representatives of Proteobacteria (85.5 % of the number of classified bacterial sequences) prevailed in the microbial mat of the Kuchiger springs, among which sulfur bacteria of the genus Thiothrix were the most numerous. In the microbial mat there were bacteria from the families Rhodocyclaceae, Comamonadaceae and Flavobacteriaceae. Phylum Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria/Chloroplast, Fusobacteria, Fibrobacteres, Acidobacteria, Chlorobi, Spirochaetes, Verrucomicrobia, Firmicutes, Deinococcus-Thermus, Chloroflexi and Actinobacteria are also noted in the composition of the microbial mat. Under the experimental conditions using Kuchiger-mat 16 as bioagents, glucose and peptone as substrates, the power of BFC was 240 and 221 mW / m2, respectively. When replacing the substrate with sodium acetate, the efficiency of the BFC was reduced by a factor of 10 (20 mW / m2). The prospects of using a microbial mat “Kuchiger-16” as an electrogen in BFC when utilizing alkaline waste water components to generate electricity are discussed.

  17. Mobilifilum chasei: morphology and ecology of a spirochete from an intertidal stratified microbial mat community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margulis, L.; Hinkle, G.; Stolz, J.; Craft, F.; Esteve, I.; Guerrero, R.

    1990-01-01

    Spirochetes were found in the lower anoxiphototrophic layer of a stratified microbial mat (North Pond, Laguna Figueroa, Baja California, Mexico). Ultra-structural analysis of thin sections of field samples revealed spirochetes approximately 0.25 micrometer in diameter with 10 or more periplasmic flagella, leading to the interpretation that these spirochetes bear 10 flagellar insertions on each end. Morphometric study showed these free-living spirochetes greatly resemble certain symbiotic ones, i.e., Borrelia and certain termite spirochetes, the transverse sections of which are presented here. The ultrastructure of this spirochete also resembles Hollandina and Diplocalyx (spirochetes symbiotic in arthropods) more than it does Spirochaeta, the well known genus of mud-dwelling spirochetes. The new spirochete was detected in mat material collected both in 1985 and in 1987. Unique morphology (i.e., conspicuous outer coat of inner membrane, large number of periplasmic flagella) and ecology prompt us to name a new free-living spirochete.

  18. Interactions in the Geo-Biosphere: Processes of Carbonate Precipitation in Microbial Mats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupraz, C.; Visscher, P. T.

    2009-12-01

    Microbial communities are situated at the interface between the biosphere, the lithosphere and the hydrosphere. These microbes are key players in the global carbon cycle, where they influence the balance between the organic and inorganic carbon reservoirs. Microbial populations can be organized in microbial mats, which can be defined as organosedimentary biofilms that are dominated by cyanobacteria, and exhibit tight coupling of element cycles. Complex interactions between mat microbes and their surrounding environment can result in the precipitation of carbonate minerals. This process refers as ‘organomineralization sensu lato' (Dupraz et al. in press), which differs from ‘biomineralization’ (e.g., in shells and bones) by lacking genetic control on the mineral product. Organomineralization can be: (1) active, when microbial metabolic reactions are responsible for the precipitation (“biologically-induced” mineralization) or (2) passive, when mineralization within a microbial organic matrix is environmentally driven (e.g., through degassing or desiccation) (“biologically-influenced” mineralization). Studying microbe-mineral interactions is essential to many emerging fields of the biogeoscience, such as the study of life in extreme environments (e.g, deep biosphere), the origin of life, the search for traces of extraterrestrial life or the seek of new carbon sink. This research approach combines sedimentology, biogeochemistry and microbiology. Two tightly coupled components that control carbonate organomineralization s.l.: (1) the alkalinity engine and (2) the extracellular organic matter (EOM), which is ultimately the location of mineral nucleation. Carbonate alkalinity can be altered both by microbial metabolism and environmental factors. In microbial mats, the net accumulation of carbonate minerals often reflect the balance between metabolic activities that consume/produce CO2 and/or organic acids. For example, photosynthesis and sulfate reduction

  19. Microbial Diversity of a Heavily Polluted Microbial Mat and Its Community Changes following Degradation of Petroleum Compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abed, Raeid M. M.; Safi, Nimer M. D.; Köster, Jürgen; de Beer, Dirk; El-Nahhal, Yasser; Rullkötter, Jürgen; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran

    2002-01-01

    We studied the microbial diversity of benthic cyanobacterial mats inhabiting a heavily polluted site in a coastal stream (Wadi Gaza) and monitored the microbial community response induced by exposure to and degradation of four model petroleum compounds in the laboratory. Phormidium- and Oscillatoria-like cyanobacterial morphotypes were dominant in the field. Bacteria belonging to different groups, mainly the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteriodes group, the γ and β subclasses of the class Proteobacteria, and the green nonsulfur bacteria, were also detected. In slurry experiments, these communities efficiently degraded phenanthrene and dibenzothiophene completely in 7 days both in the light and in the dark. n-Octadecane and pristane were degraded to 25 and 34% of their original levels, respectively, within 7 days, but there was no further degradation until 40 days. Both cyanobacterial and bacterial communities exhibited noticeable changes concomitant with degradation of the compounds. The populations enriched by exposure to petroleum compounds included a cyanobacterium affiliated phylogenetically with Halomicronema. Bacteria enriched both in the light and in the dark, but not bacteria enriched in any of the controls, belonged to the newly described Holophaga-Geothrix-Acidobacterium phylum. In addition, another bacterial population, found to be a member of green nonsulfur bacteria, was detected only in the bacteria treated in the light. All or some of the populations may play a significant role in metabolizing the petroleum compounds. We concluded that the microbial mats from Wadi Gaza are rich in microorganisms with high biodegradative potential. PMID:11916684

  20. Biomarkers at the microscopic range : ToF-SIMS molecular imaging of Archaea-derived lipids in a microbial mat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thiel, V.; Heim, C.; Arp, G.; Hahmann, U.; Sjovall, P.; Lausmaa, J.

    2007-01-01

    Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) with a bismuth cluster primary ion source was used for analysing microbial lipid biomarkers in 10-mu m-thick microscopic cryosections of methanotrophic microbial mats from the Black Sea. Without further sample preparation, archaeal isopranyl

  1. Selection of bioindicators to detect lead pollution in Ebro delta microbial mats, using high-resolution microscopic techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maldonado, J.; Sole, A.; Puyen, Z.M.; Esteve, I.

    2011-01-01

    Lead (Pb) is a metal that is non-essential to any metabolic process and, moreover, highly deleterious to life. In microbial mats - benthic stratified ecosystems - located in coastal areas, phototrophic microorganisms (algae and oxygenic phototrophic bacteria) are the primary producers and they are exposed to pollution by metals. In this paper we describe the search for bioindicators among phototrophic populations of Ebro delta microbial mats, using high-resolution microscopic techniques that we have optimized in previous studies. Confocal laser scanning microscopy coupled to a spectrofluorometric detector (CLSM-λscan) to determine in vivo sensitivity of different cyanobacteria to lead, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), both coupled to energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDX), to determine the extra- and intracellular sequestration of this metal in cells, were the techniques used for this purpose. Oscillatoria sp. PCC 7515, Chroococcus sp. PCC 9106 and Spirulina sp. PCC 6313 tested in this paper could be considered bioindicators for lead pollution, because all of these microorganisms are indigenous, have high tolerance to high concentrations of lead and are able to accumulate this metal externally in extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and intracellularly in polyphosphate (PP) inclusions. Experiments made with microcosms demonstrated that Phormidium-like and Lyngbya-like organisms selected themselves at the highest concentrations of lead assayed. In the present study it is shown that all cyanobacteria studied (both in culture and in microcosms) present PP inclusions in their cytoplasm and that these increase in number in lead polluted cultures and microcosms. We believe that the application of these microscopic techniques open up broad prospects for future studies of metal ecotoxicity.

  2. Selection of bioindicators to detect lead pollution in Ebro delta microbial mats, using high-resolution microscopic techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maldonado, J.; Sole, A.; Puyen, Z.M. [Departament de Genetica i Microbiologia, Facultat de Biociencies, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Edifici C, Campus de la UAB, Cerdanyola del Valles, Bellaterra (Spain); Esteve, I., E-mail: isabel.esteve@uab.cat [Departament de Genetica i Microbiologia, Facultat de Biociencies, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Edifici C, Campus de la UAB, Cerdanyola del Valles, Bellaterra (Spain)

    2011-07-15

    Lead (Pb) is a metal that is non-essential to any metabolic process and, moreover, highly deleterious to life. In microbial mats - benthic stratified ecosystems - located in coastal areas, phototrophic microorganisms (algae and oxygenic phototrophic bacteria) are the primary producers and they are exposed to pollution by metals. In this paper we describe the search for bioindicators among phototrophic populations of Ebro delta microbial mats, using high-resolution microscopic techniques that we have optimized in previous studies. Confocal laser scanning microscopy coupled to a spectrofluorometric detector (CLSM-{lambda}scan) to determine in vivo sensitivity of different cyanobacteria to lead, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), both coupled to energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDX), to determine the extra- and intracellular sequestration of this metal in cells, were the techniques used for this purpose. Oscillatoria sp. PCC 7515, Chroococcus sp. PCC 9106 and Spirulina sp. PCC 6313 tested in this paper could be considered bioindicators for lead pollution, because all of these microorganisms are indigenous, have high tolerance to high concentrations of lead and are able to accumulate this metal externally in extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and intracellularly in polyphosphate (PP) inclusions. Experiments made with microcosms demonstrated that Phormidium-like and Lyngbya-like organisms selected themselves at the highest concentrations of lead assayed. In the present study it is shown that all cyanobacteria studied (both in culture and in microcosms) present PP inclusions in their cytoplasm and that these increase in number in lead polluted cultures and microcosms. We believe that the application of these microscopic techniques open up broad prospects for future studies of metal ecotoxicity.

  3. Selection of bioindicators to detect lead pollution in Ebro delta microbial mats, using high-resolution microscopic techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maldonado, J; Solé, A; Puyen, Z M; Esteve, I

    2011-07-01

    Lead (Pb) is a metal that is non-essential to any metabolic process and, moreover, highly deleterious to life. In microbial mats - benthic stratified ecosystems - located in coastal areas, phototrophic microorganisms (algae and oxygenic phototrophic bacteria) are the primary producers and they are exposed to pollution by metals. In this paper we describe the search for bioindicators among phototrophic populations of Ebro delta microbial mats, using high-resolution microscopic techniques that we have optimized in previous studies. Confocal laser scanning microscopy coupled to a spectrofluorometric detector (CLSM-λscan) to determine in vivo sensitivity of different cyanobacteria to lead, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), both coupled to energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDX), to determine the extra- and intracellular sequestration of this metal in cells, were the techniques used for this purpose. Oscillatoria sp. PCC 7515, Chroococcus sp. PCC 9106 and Spirulina sp. PCC 6313 tested in this paper could be considered bioindicators for lead pollution, because all of these microorganisms are indigenous, have high tolerance to high concentrations of lead and are able to accumulate this metal externally in extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and intracellularly in polyphosphate (PP) inclusions. Experiments made with microcosms demonstrated that Phormidium-like and Lyngbya-like organisms selected themselves at the highest concentrations of lead assayed. In the present study it is shown that all cyanobacteria studied (both in culture and in microcosms) present PP inclusions in their cytoplasm and that these increase in number in lead polluted cultures and microcosms. We believe that the application of these microscopic techniques open up broad prospects for future studies of metal ecotoxicity. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Community Structure Comparisons of Hydrothermal Vent Microbial Mats Along the Mariana Arc and Back-arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hager, K. W.; Fullerton, H.; Moyer, C. L.

    2015-12-01

    Hydrothermal vents along the Mariana Arc and back-arc represent a hotspot of microbial diversity that has not yet been fully recognized. The Mariana Arc and back-arc contain hydrothermal vents with varied vent effluent chemistry and temperature, which translates to diverse community composition. We have focused on iron-rich sites where the dominant primary producers are iron oxidizing bacteria. Because microbes from these environments have proven elusive in culturing efforts, we performed culture independent analysis among different microbial communities found at these hydrothermal vents. Terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and Illumina sequencing of small subunit ribosomal gene amplicons were used to characterize community members and identify samples for shotgun metagenomics. Used in combination, these methods will better elucidate the composition and characteristics of the bacterial communities at these hydrothermal vent systems. The overarching goal of this study is to evaluate and compare taxonomic and metabolic diversity among different communities of microbial mats. We compared communities collected on a fine scale to analyze the bacterial community based on gross mat morphology, geography, and nearby vent effluent chemistry. Taxa richness and evenness are compared with rarefaction curves to visualize diversity. As well as providing a survey of diversity this study also presents a juxtaposition of three methods in which ribosomal small subunit diversity is compared with T-RFLP, next generation amplicon sequencing, and metagenomic shotgun sequencing.

  5. Groundwater mixing at fracture intersections triggers massive iron-rich microbial mats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bochet, O.; Le Borgne, T.; Bethencourt, L.; Aquilina, L.; Dufresne, A.; Pédrot, M.; Farasin, J.; Abbott, B. W.; Labasque, T.; Chatton, E.; Lavenant, N.; Petton, C.

    2017-12-01

    While most freshwater on Earth resides and flows in groundwater systems, these deep subsurface environments are often assumed to have little biogeochemical activity compared to surface environments. Here we report a massive microbial mat of iron-oxidizing bacteria, flourishing 60 meters below the surface, far below the mixing zone where most microbial activity is believed to occur. The abundance of microtubular structures in the mat hinted at the prevalence of of Leptothrix ochracea, but metagenomic analysis revealed a diverse consortium of iron-oxidizing bacteria dominated by unknown members of the Gallionellaceae family. This deep biogeochemical hot spot formed at the intersection of bedrock fractures, which maintain redox gradients by mixing water with different residence times and chemical compositions. Using measured fracture properties and hydrological conditions we developed a quantitative model to simulate the reactive zone where such deep hot spots could occur. While seasonal fluctuations are generally thought to decrease with depth, we found that meter-scale changes in water table level moved the depth of the reactive zone hundreds of meters because the microaerophilic threshold for ironoxidizers is highly sensitive to changes in mixing rates at fracture intersections. These results demonstrate that dynamic microbial communities can be sustained deep below the surface in bedrock fractures. Given the ubiquity of fractures at multiple scales in Earth's subsurface, such deep hot spots may strongly influence global biogeochemical cycles.

  6. Geochemical characterization of the hydrous pyrolysis products from a recent cyanobacteria-dominated microbial mat

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Franco, N.; Mendoça-Filho, J.G.; Silva, T.F.; Stojanovic, K.; Fontana, L.F.; Carvalhal-Gomes, S.B.V.; Silva, F.S.; Furukawa, G.G.

    2016-07-01

    Hydrous pyrolysis experiments were performed on a recent microbial mat sample from Lagoa Vermelha, Brazil, to determine whether crude oil can be generated and expelled during artificial maturation of the Organic Matter (OM). The experiments were conducted at 280ºC, 330ºC and 350ºC during 20h. Two types of liquid pyrolysis products, assigned as free oil and bitumen, were isolated and analyzed. Free oil represents free organic phase released by hydrous pyrolysis, whereas bitumen was obtained by extraction from the solid pyrolysis residue with dichloromethane. Changes in the OM maturity were determined using Rock-Eval parameters and biomarker maturity ratios of original sample and pyrolysis products. Biomarker compositions of original sample extract and liquid pyrolysates were used for determination of dominant bacterial source. The yields of free oil and bitumen showed that a microbial mat OM has a high liquid hydrocarbons generation potential. Rock-Eval maturity parameters, biopolymer and biomarker compositions indicate a significant increase of the OM maturity during hydrous pyrolysis. At 280ºC the release of free, adsorbed and occluded compounds was observed; however, without a cracking of the OM. At 330ºC the generation of bitumen and free oil is mostly related to the OM cracking. The highest yield of free oil was recorded at this temperature. Distribution of biomarkers in the extract of original sample and liquid pyrolysates confirms cyanobacteria-dominated microbial mats, whereas the identification of long chain n-alkane series, with maximum at C26, and prominent C30 hop-17(21)-ene additionally suggest the presence of sulfate reducing bacteria. (Author)

  7. Formation of Microbial Mats and Salt in Radioactive Paddy Soils in Fukushima, Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazue Tazaki

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Coastal areas in Minami-soma City, Fukushima, Japan, were seriously damaged by radioactive contamination from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP accident that caused multiple pollution by tsunami and radionuclide exposure, after the Great East Japan Earthquake, on 11 March 2011. Some areas will remain no-go zones because radiation levels remain high. In Minami-soma, only 26 percent of decontamination work had been finished by the end of July in 2015. Here, we report the characterization of microbial mats and salt found on flooded paddy fields at Karasuzaki, Minami-soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan which have been heavily contaminated by radionuclides, especially by Cs (134Cs, 137Cs, 40K, Sr (89Sr, 90Sr, and 91 or 95Zr even though it is more than 30 km north of the FDNPP. We document the mineralogy, the chemistry, and the micro-morphology, using a combination of micro techniques. The microbial mats were found to consist of diatoms with mineralized halite and gypsum by using X-ray diffraction (XRD. Particular elements concentrated in microbial mats were detected using scanning electron microscopy equipped with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS and X-ray fluorescence (XRF. The objective of this contribution is to illustrate the ability of various diatoms associated with minerals and microorganisms which are capable of absorbing both radionuclides and stable isotopes from polluted paddy soils in extreme conditions. Ge semiconductor analysis of the microbial mats detected 134Cs, 137Cs, and 40K without 131I in 2012 and in 2013. Quantitative analysis associated with the elemental content maps by SEM-EDS indicated the possibility of absorption of radionuclide and stable isotope elements from polluted paddy soils in Fukushima Prefecture. In addition, radionuclides were detected in solar salts made of contaminated sea water collected from the Karasuzaki ocean bath, Minami-soma, Fukushima in 2015, showing high Zr content associated

  8. The Diffusive Boundary-Layer of Sediments - Oxygen Microgradients Over a Microbial Mat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    JØRGENSEN, BB; MARAIS, DJD

    1990-01-01

    Oxygen microelectrodes were used to analyze the distribution of the diffusive boundary layer (DBL) at the sedimen-water interface in relation to surface topography and flow velocity. The sediment, collected from saline ponds, was covered by a microbial mat that had high oxygen consumption rate...... and well-defined surface structure. Diffusion through the DBL constituted an important rate limitation to the oxygen uptake of the sediment. The mean effective DBL thickness decreased from 0.59 to 0.16 mm as the flow velocity of the overlying water was increased from 0.3 to 7.7 cm s-1 (measured 1 cm above...

  9. Microbial Communities and Their Predicted Metabolic Functions in Growth Laminae of a Unique Large Conical Mat from Lake Untersee, East Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyunmin Koo

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we report the distribution of microbial taxa and their predicted metabolic functions observed in the top (U1, middle (U2, and inner (U3 decadal growth laminae of a unique large conical microbial mat from perennially ice-covered Lake Untersee of East Antarctica, using NextGen sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and bioinformatics tools. The results showed that the U1 lamina was dominated by cyanobacteria, specifically Phormidium sp., Leptolyngbya sp., and Pseudanabaena sp. The U2 and U3 laminae had high abundances of Actinobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. Closely related taxa within each abundant bacterial taxon found in each lamina were further differentiated at the highest taxonomic resolution using the oligotyping method. PICRUSt analysis, which determines predicted KEGG functional categories from the gene contents and abundances among microbial communities, revealed a high number of sequences belonging to carbon fixation, energy metabolism, cyanophycin, chlorophyll, and photosynthesis proteins in the U1 lamina. The functional predictions of the microbial communities in U2 and U3 represented signal transduction, membrane transport, zinc transport and amino acid-, carbohydrate-, and arsenic- metabolisms. The Nearest Sequenced Taxon Index (NSTI values processed through PICRUSt were 0.10, 0.13, and 0.11 for U1, U2, and U3 laminae, respectively. These values indicated a close correspondence with the reference microbial genome database, implying high confidence in the predicted metabolic functions of the microbial communities in each lamina. The distribution of microbial taxa observed in each lamina and their predicted metabolic functions provides additional insight into the complex microbial ecosystem at Lake Untersee, and lays the foundation for studies that will enhance our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the formation of these unique mat structures and their evolutionary significance.

  10. USE OF PHOSPHOLIPID FATTY ACID PROFILES TO STUDY THE MICROBIAL COMPOSITION OF CYANOBACTERIAL MATS IN CABO ROJO SOLAR SALTERNS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Cabo Rojo Saltern located in the West side of Puerto Rico is a hypersaline ecosystem that consists of crystallizer ponds surrounded by series of cyanobacterial mats. Although this ecosystem harbors a variety of microorganisms not much is known about their identity and relati...

  11. Production and Consumption of Hydrogen in Hot Spring Microbial Mats Dominated by a Filamentous Anoxygenic Photosynthetic Bacterium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otaki, Hiroyo; Everroad, R. Craig; Matsuura, Katsumi; Haruta, Shin

    2012-01-01

    Microbial mats containing the filamentous anoxygenic photosynthetic bacterium Chloroflexus aggregans develop at Nakabusa hot spring in Japan. Under anaerobic conditions in these mats, interspecies interaction between sulfate-reducing bacteria as sulfide producers and C. aggregans as a sulfide consumer has been proposed to constitute a sulfur cycle; however, the electron donor utilized for microbial sulfide production at Nakabusa remains to be identified. In order to determine this electron donor and its source, ex situ experimental incubation of mats was explored. In the presence of molybdate, which inhibits biological sulfate reduction, hydrogen gas was released from mat samples, indicating that this hydrogen is normally consumed as an electron donor by sulfate-reducing bacteria. Hydrogen production decreased under illumination, indicating that C. aggregans also functions as a hydrogen consumer. Small amounts of hydrogen may have also been consumed for sulfur reduction. Clone library analysis of 16S rRNA genes amplified from the mats indicated the existence of several species of hydrogen-producing fermentative bacteria. Among them, the most dominant fermenter, Fervidobacterium sp., was successfully isolated. This isolate produced hydrogen through the fermentation of organic carbon. Dispersion of microbial cells in the mats resulted in hydrogen production without the addition of molybdate, suggesting that simultaneous production and consumption of hydrogen in the mats requires dense packing of cells. We propose a cyclic electron flow within the microbial mats, i.e., electron flow occurs through three elements: S (elemental sulfur, sulfide, sulfate), C (carbon dioxide, organic carbon) and H (di-hydrogen, protons). PMID:22446313

  12. Archaeal and bacterial diversity in two hot spring microbial mats from a geothermal region in Romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coman, Cristian; Drugă, Bogdan; Hegedus, Adriana; Sicora, Cosmin; Dragoş, Nicolae

    2013-05-01

    The diversity of archaea and bacteria was investigated in two slightly alkaline, mesophilic hot springs from the Western Plain of Romania. Phylogenetic analysis showed a low diversity of Archaea, only three Euryarchaeota taxa being detected: Methanomethylovorans thermophila, Methanomassiliicoccus luminyensis and Methanococcus aeolicus. Twelve major bacterial groups were identified, both springs being dominated by Cyanobacteria, Chloroflexi and Proteobacteria. While at the phylum/class-level the microbial mats share a similar biodiversity; at the species level the geothermal springs investigated seem to be colonized by specific consortia. The dominant taxa were filamentous heterocyst-containing Fischerella, at 45 °C and non-heterocyst Leptolyngbya and Geitlerinema, at 55 °C. Other bacterial taxa (Thauera sp., Methyloversatilis universalis, Pannonibacter phragmitetus, Polymorphum gilvum, Metallibacterium sp. and Spartobacteria) were observed for the first time in association with a geothermal habitat. Based on their bacterial diversity the two mats were clustered together with other similar habitats from Europe and part of Asia, most likely the water temperature playing a major role in the formation of specific microbial communities that colonize the investigated thermal springs.

  13. Cyanobacterial composition of microbial mats from an Australian thermal spring: a polyphasic evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Glenn B; Rasmussen, J Paul

    2008-01-01

    Cyanobacterial composition of microbial mats from an alkaline thermal spring issuing at 43-71 degrees C from tropical north-eastern Australia are described using a polyphasic approach. Eight genera and 10 species from three cyanobacterial orders were identified based on morphological characters. These represented taxa previously known as thermophilic from other continents. Ultrastructural analysis of the tower mats revealed two filamentous morphotypes contributed the majority of the biomass. Both types had ultrastructural characteristics of the family Pseudanabaenaceae. DNA extracts were made from sections of the tentaculiform towers and the microbial community analysed by 16S cyanobacteria-specific PCR and denaturing-gradient gel electrophoresis. Five significant bands were identified and sequenced. Two bands clustered closely with Oscillatoria amphigranulata isolated from New Zealand hot springs; one unique phylotype had only moderate similarity to a range of Leptolyngbya species; and one phylotype was closely related to a number of Geitlerinema species. Generally the approaches yielded complementary information, however the results suggest that species designation based on morphological and ultrastructural criteria alone often fails to recognize their true phylogenetic position. Conversely some molecular techniques may fail to detect rare taxa suggesting that the widest possible suite of techniques be applied when conducting analyses of cyanobacterial diversity of natural populations. This is the first polyphasic evaluation of thermophilic cyanobacterial communities from the Australian continent.

  14. The development of stromatolitic features from laminated microbial mats in the coastal sabkha of Abu Dhabi (UAE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Andreas; Lessa Andrade, Luiza; Dutton, Kirsten E.; Sherry, Angela; Court, Wesley M.; Van der Land, Cees; Lokier, Stephen W.; Head, Ian M.

    2017-04-01

    Stromatolitic features are documented from both marine and terrestrial environments worldwide. These features form through a combination of trapping and binding of allochthonous grains, and through microbially mediated and/or controlled precipitation of carbonate minerals. The combined effects of these processes result in the continuous vertical and lateral growth of stromatolites. While the Abu Dhabi coastal sabkha is well known for a vast microbial mat belt that is dominated by continuous polygonal and internally-laminated microbial mats, no stromatolitic features have been reported from this area so far. In this study, we report evidence for stromatolitic features from the coastal sabkha of Abu Dhabi, based on observations in an intertidal but permanently submerged pool. This pool lies embedded within the laminated microbial mat zone, and is marked by the development of true laminated stromatolite at its margins and microbial build-ups at its centre. In order to characterise processes that lead to the formation of these stromatolitic features, and to develop a conceptual model that describes their development in the context of variations in sea level, tidal energy and other environmental factors, we employ a multitude of environmental, sedimentological, mineralogical and geochemical methods. These methods include the analysis of water data in terms of temporal variations in temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and water level, the analysis of petrographic thin sections of both lithified and unlithified features as well as an analysis of the stromatolites' mineralogical composition, and the amounts of incorporated organic carbon and calcium carbonate. Initial results suggest that the development of the observed stromatolitic features in the coastal sabkha of Abu Dhabi is the result of a complex interplay between simultaneous erosion of laminated microbial mat, and biotic/abiotic lithification processes. Initially, the location of this pool was characterised by

  15. Exploring ancient microbial community assemblages by creating complex lipid biomarker profiles for stromatolites and microbial mats in Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, E.; Summons, R. E.; Schubotz, F.; Matys, E. D.

    2015-12-01

    Stromatolites that are biogenic in origin, a characteristic that can be determined by the coexistence of microbial mats (active microbial communities) and stromatolites (lithified structures) like in Hamelin Pool, comprise one of the best modern analogs to ancient microbial community assemblages. Comprehensive lipid biomarker profiles that include lipids of varying persistence in the rock record can help determine how previously living microbial communities are represented in lithified stromatolites. To create these profiles, the samples analyzed included non-lithified smooth, pustular, and colloform microbial mats, as well as smooth and colloform stromatolites. Select samples were separated into upper and lower layers of 5cm depth each. Intact polar lipids, glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers, and bacteriohopanepolyols were analyzed via liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) coupled to a Quadropole Time-of-Flight (QTOF) mass spectrometer; additionally, fatty acids from each sample were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to prove consistent signatures with those determined by Allen et al. in 2010 for similar microbial mat samples. In accordance with those findings, 2-methylhopanoids were detected, as well as limited signals from higher (vascular) plants, the latter of which suggests terrestrial inputs, potentially from runoff. The rarely detected presence of 3-methylhopanoids appears in a significant portion of the samples, though further isolations of the molecule are needed to confirm. While all lipid profiles were relatively similar, certain differences in relative composition are likely attributable to morphological differences of the mats, some of which allow deeper oxygen and/or sunlight penetration, which influence the microbial community. However, overall similarities of transient and persistent lipids suggest that the microbial communities of both the non-lithified microbial mats and stromatolites are similar.

  16. Spatial structure and activity of sedimentary microbial communities underlying a Beggiatoa spp. mat in a Gulf of Mexico hydrocarbon seep.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen G Lloyd

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Subsurface fluids from deep-sea hydrocarbon seeps undergo methane- and sulfur-cycling microbial transformations near the sediment surface. Hydrocarbon seep habitats are naturally patchy, with a mosaic of active seep sediments and non-seep sediments. Microbial community shifts and changing activity patterns on small spatial scales from seep to non-seep sediment remain to be examined in a comprehensive habitat study. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted a transect of biogeochemical measurements and gene expression related to methane- and sulfur-cycling at different sediment depths across a broad Beggiatoa spp. mat at Mississippi Canyon 118 (MC118 in the Gulf of Mexico. High process rates within the mat ( approximately 400 cm and approximately 10 cm from the mat's edge contrasted with sharply diminished activity at approximately 50 cm outside the mat, as shown by sulfate and methane concentration profiles, radiotracer rates of sulfate reduction and methane oxidation, and stable carbon isotopes. Likewise, 16S ribosomal rRNA, dsrAB (dissimilatory sulfite reductase and mcrA (methyl coenzyme M reductase mRNA transcripts of sulfate-reducing bacteria (Desulfobacteraceae and Desulfobulbaceae and methane-cycling archaea (ANME-1 and ANME-2 were prevalent at the sediment surface under the mat and at its edge. Outside the mat at the surface, 16S rRNA sequences indicated mostly aerobes commonly found in seawater. The seep-related communities persisted at 12-20 cm depth inside and outside the mat. 16S rRNA transcripts and V6-tags reveal that bacterial and archaeal diversity underneath the mat are similar to each other, in contrast to oxic or microoxic habitats that have higher bacterial diversity. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The visual patchiness of microbial mats reflects sharp discontinuities in microbial community structure and activity over sub-meter spatial scales; these discontinuities have to be taken into account in geochemical and

  17. Regulation of electron transfer processes affects phototrophic mat structure and activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Phuc T.; Renslow, Ryan S.; Atci, Erhan; Reardon, Patrick N.; Lindemann, Stephen R.; Fredrickson, James K.; Call, Douglas R.; Beyenal, Haluk

    2015-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are among the most diverse ecosystems in nature. These systems undergo daily cycles in redox potential caused by variations in light energy input and metabolic interactions among the microbial species. In this work, solid electrodes with controlled potentials were placed under mats to study the electron transfer processes between the electrode and the microbial mat. The phototrophic microbial mat was harvested from Hot Lake, a hypersaline, epsomitic lake located near Oroville (Washington, USA). We operated two reactors: graphite electrodes were polarized at potentials of -700 mVAg/AgCl [cathodic (CAT) mat system] and +300 mVAg/AgCl [anodic (AN) mat system] and the electron transfer rates between the electrode and mat were monitored. We observed a diel cycle of electron transfer rates for both AN and CAT mat systems. Interestingly, the CAT mats generated the highest reducing current at the same time points that the AN mats showed the highest oxidizing current. To characterize the physicochemical factors influencing electron transfer processes, we measured depth profiles of dissolved oxygen (DO) and sulfide in the mats using microelectrodes. We further demonstrated that the mat-to-electrode and electrode-to-mat electron transfer rates were light- and temperature-dependent. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging, we determined that the electrode potential regulated the diffusivity and porosity of the microbial mats. Both porosity and diffusivity were higher in the CAT mats than in the AN mats. We also used NMR spectroscopy for high-resolution quantitative metabolite analysis and found that the CAT mats had significantly higher concentrations of osmoprotectants such as betaine and trehalose. Subsequently, we performed amplicon sequencing across the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene of incubated mats to understand the impact of electrode potential on microbial community structure. These data suggested that variation in the

  18. Regulation of electron transfer processes affects phototrophic mat structure and activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haluk eBeyenal

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Phototrophic microbial mats are among the most diverse ecosystems in nature. These systems undergo daily cycles in redox potential caused by variations in light energy input and metabolic interactions among the microbial species. In this work, solid electrodes with controlled potentials were placed under mats to study the electron transfer processes between the electrode and the microbial mat. The phototrophic microbial mat was harvested from Hot Lake, a hypersaline, epsomitic lake located near Oroville (Washington, USA. We operated two reactors: graphite electrodes were polarized at potentials of -700 mVAg/AgCl (cathodic mat system and +300 mVAg/AgCl (anodic mat system and the electron transfer rates between the electrode and mat were monitored. We observed a diel cycle of electron transfer rates for both anodic and cathodic mat systems. Interestingly, the cathodic mats generated the highest reducing current at the same time points that the anodic mats showed the highest oxidizing current. To characterize the physicochemical factors influencing electron transfer processes, we measured depth profiles of dissolved oxygen and sulfide in the mats using microelectrodes. We further demonstrated that the mat-to-electrode and electrode-to-mat electron transfer rates were light- and temperature-dependent. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR imaging, we determined that the electrode potential regulated the diffusivity and porosity of the microbial mats. Both porosity and diffusivity were higher in the cathodic mats than in the anodic mats. We also used NMR spectroscopy for high-resolution quantitative metabolite analysis and found that the cathodic mats had significantly higher concentrations of osmoprotectants such as betaine and trehalose. Subsequently, we performed amplicon sequencing across the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene of incubated mats to understand the impact of electrode potential on microbial community structure. These data suggested that

  19. Regulation of electron transfer processes affects phototrophic mat structure and activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Phuc T; Renslow, Ryan S; Atci, Erhan; Reardon, Patrick N; Lindemann, Stephen R; Fredrickson, James K; Call, Douglas R; Beyenal, Haluk

    2015-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are among the most diverse ecosystems in nature. These systems undergo daily cycles in redox potential caused by variations in light energy input and metabolic interactions among the microbial species. In this work, solid electrodes with controlled potentials were placed under mats to study the electron transfer processes between the electrode and the microbial mat. The phototrophic microbial mat was harvested from Hot Lake, a hypersaline, epsomitic lake located near Oroville (Washington, USA). We operated two reactors: graphite electrodes were polarized at potentials of -700 mVAg/AgCl [cathodic (CAT) mat system] and +300 mVAg/AgCl [anodic (AN) mat system] and the electron transfer rates between the electrode and mat were monitored. We observed a diel cycle of electron transfer rates for both AN and CAT mat systems. Interestingly, the CAT mats generated the highest reducing current at the same time points that the AN mats showed the highest oxidizing current. To characterize the physicochemical factors influencing electron transfer processes, we measured depth profiles of dissolved oxygen (DO) and sulfide in the mats using microelectrodes. We further demonstrated that the mat-to-electrode and electrode-to-mat electron transfer rates were light- and temperature-dependent. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging, we determined that the electrode potential regulated the diffusivity and porosity of the microbial mats. Both porosity and diffusivity were higher in the CAT mats than in the AN mats. We also used NMR spectroscopy for high-resolution quantitative metabolite analysis and found that the CAT mats had significantly higher concentrations of osmoprotectants such as betaine and trehalose. Subsequently, we performed amplicon sequencing across the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene of incubated mats to understand the impact of electrode potential on microbial community structure. These data suggested that variation in the

  20. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhili; Zhang, Ping; Wu, Linwei; Rocha, Andrea M; Tu, Qichao; Shi, Zhou; Wu, Bo; Qin, Yujia; Wang, Jianjun; Yan, Qingyun; Curtis, Daniel; Ning, Daliang; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Wu, Liyou; Yang, Yunfeng; Elias, Dwayne A; Watson, David B; Adams, Michael W W; Fields, Matthew W; Alm, Eric J; Hazen, Terry C; Adams, Paul D; Arkin, Adam P; Zhou, Jizhong

    2018-02-20

    Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth's biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN), representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate) increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate) increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5) increased significantly ( P contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. IMPORTANCE Disentangling the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is an important but poorly understood topic in ecology. Predicting ecosystem functioning on the basis of biodiversity is even more difficult, particularly with microbial biomarkers. As an exploratory effort, this study used key microbial functional genes as biomarkers to provide predictive understanding of environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. The results indicated that the overall functional gene richness/diversity decreased as uranium increased in groundwater, while specific key microbial guilds increased significantly as

  1. Phylogenetic Evidence for the Existence of Novel Thermophilic Bacteria in Hot Spring Sulfur-Turf Microbial Mats in Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Hiroyuki; Hiraishi, Akira; Kato, Kenji; Chiura, Hiroshi X.; Maki, Yonosuke; Shimizu, Akira

    1998-01-01

    So-called sulfur-turf microbial mats, which are macroscopic white filaments or bundles consisting of large sausage-shaped bacteria and elemental sulfur particles, occur in sulfide-containing hot springs in Japan. However, no thermophiles from sulfur-turf mats have yet been isolated as cultivable strains. This study was undertaken to determine the phylogenetic positions of the sausage-shaped bacteria in sulfur-turf mats by direct cloning and sequencing of 16S rRNA genes amplified from the bulk DNAs of the mats. Common clones with 16S rDNA sequences with similarity levels of 94.8 to 99% were isolated from sulfur-turf mat samples from two geographically remote hot springs. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the phylotypes of the common clones formed a major cluster with members of the Aquifex-Hydrogenobacter complex, which represents the most deeply branching lineage of the domain bacteria. Furthermore, the bacteria of the sulfur-turf mat phylotypes formed a clade distinguishable from that of other members of the Aquifex-Hydrogenobacter complex at the order or subclass level. In situ hybridization with clone-specific probes for 16S rRNA revealed that the common phylotype of sulfur-turf mat bacteria is that of the predominant sausage-shaped bacteria. PMID:9572936

  2. Viruses Occur Incorporated in Biogenic High-Mg Calcite from Hypersaline Microbial Mats

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Wit, Rutger; Gautret, Pascale; Bettarel, Yvan; Roques, Cécile; Marlière, Christian; Ramonda, Michel; Nguyen Thanh, Thuy; Tran Quang, Huy; Bouvier, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    Using three different microscopy techniques (epifluorescence, electronic and atomic force microscopy), we showed that high-Mg calcite grains in calcifying microbial mats from the hypersaline lake “La Salada de Chiprana”, Spain, contain viruses with a diameter of 50–80 nm. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer analysis revealed that they contain nitrogen and phosphorus in a molar ratio of ~9, which is typical for viruses. Nucleic acid staining revealed that they contain DNA or RNA. As characteristic for hypersaline environments, the concentrations of free and attached viruses were high (>1010 viruses per g of mat). In addition, we showed that acid treatment (dissolution of calcite) resulted in release of viruses into suspension and estimated that there were ~15 × 109 viruses per g of calcite. We suggest that virus-mineral interactions are one of the possible ways for the formation of nano-sized structures often described as “nanobacteria” and that viruses may play a role in initiating calcification. PMID:26115121

  3. Timescales of Growth Response of Microbial Mats to Environmental Change in an Ice-Covered Antarctic Lake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne D. Jungblut

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. MATHEMATICAL SIMULATION OF THE INTERACTIONS AMONG CYANOBACTERIA, PURPLE SULFUR BACTERIA AND CHEMOTROPIC SULFUR BACTERIA IN MICROBIAL MAT COMMUNITIES

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    DEWIT, R; VANDENENDE, FP; VANGEMERDEN, H

    A deterministic one-dimensional reaction diffusion model was constructed to simulate benthic stratification patterns and population dynamics of cyanobacteria, purple and colorless sulfur bacteria as found in marine microbial mats. The model involves the major biogeochemical processes of the sulfur

  5. Cyanobacteria in sulfidic spring microbial mats can perform oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis simultaneously during an entire diurnal period

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klatt, Judith M.; de Beer, Dirk; Häusler, Stefan; Polerecky, Lubos|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/370827929

    2016-01-01

    We used microsensors to study the regulation of anoxygenic and oxygenic photosynthesis (AP and OP, respectively) by light and sulfide in a cyanobacterium dominating microbial mats from cold sulfidic springs. Both photosynthetic modes were performed simultaneously over all H2S concentrations (1–2200

  6. Microscopic Examination of Distribution and Phenotypic Properties of Phylogenetically Diverse Chloroflexaceae-Related Bacteria in Hot Spring Microbial Mats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nübel, U.; Bateson, Mary M.; Vandieken, V.

    2002-01-01

    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...

  7. Isotopic composition of methane and inferred methanogenic substrates along a salinity gradient in a hypersaline microbial mat system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, Elyn G; Bebout, Brad M; Kelley, Cheryl A

    2009-05-01

    The importance of hypersaline environments over geological time, the discovery of similar habitats on Mars, and the importance of methane as a biosignature gas combine to compel an understanding of the factors important in controlling methane released from hypersaline microbial mat environments. To further this understanding, changes in stable carbon isotopes of methane and possible methanogenic substrates in microbial mat communities were investigated as a function of salinity here on Earth. Microbial mats were sampled from four different field sites located within salterns in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Salinities ranged from 50 to 106 parts per thousand (ppt). Pore water and microbial mat samples were analyzed for the carbon isotopic composition of dissolved methane, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and mat material (particulate organic carbon or POC). The POC delta(13)C values ranged from -6.7 to -13.5 per thousand, and DIC delta(13)C values ranged from -1.4 to -9.6 per thousand. These values were similar to previously reported values. The delta(13)C values of methane ranged from -49.6 to -74.1 per thousand; the methane most enriched in (13)C was obtained from the highest salinity area. The apparent fractionation factors between methane and DIC, and between methane and POC, within the mats were also determined and were found to change with salinity. The apparent fractionation factors ranged from 1.042 to 1.077 when calculated using DIC and from 1.038 to 1.068 when calculated using POC. The highest-salinity area showed the least fractionation, the moderate-salinity area showed the highest fractionation, and the lower-salinity sites showed fractionations that were intermediate. These differences in fractionation are most likely due to changes in the dominant methanogenic pathways and substrates used at the different sites because of salinity differences.

  8. Microbial ecosystem constructed in water for successful organic hydroponics

    OpenAIRE

    Makoto Shinohara; Hiromi Ohmori; Yoichi Uehara

    2008-01-01

    Conventional hydroponics systems generally use only chemical fertilisers, not organic ones, since there are no microbial ecosystems present in such systems to mineralise organic compounds to inorganic nutrients. Addition of organic compounds to the hydroponic solution generally has phytotoxic effects and causes poor plant growth. We developed a novel hydroponic culture method using organic fertiliser. A microbial ecosystem was constructed in hydroponic solution by regulating the amounts of or...

  9. Bacterial and archaeal diversity in two hot spring microbial mats from the geothermal region of Tengchong, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagaling, Eulyn; Grant, William D; Cowan, Don A; Jones, Brian E; Ma, Yanhe; Ventosa, Antonio; Heaphy, Shaun

    2012-07-01

    We investigated the bacterial and archaeal diversity in two hot spring microbial mats from the geothermal region of Tengchong in the Yunnan Province, China, using direct molecular analyses. The Langpu (LP) laminated mat was found by the side of a boiling pool with temperature of 60-65 °C and a pH of 8.5, while the Tengchong (TC) streamer mat consisted of white streamers in a slightly acidic (pH 6.5) hot pool outflow with a temperature of 72 °C. Four 16S rRNA gene clone libraries were constructed and restriction enzyme analysis of the inserts was used to identify unique sequences and clone frequencies. From almost 200 clones screened, 55 unique sequences were retrieved. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the LP mat consisted of a diverse bacterial population [Cyanobacteria, Chloroflexi, Chlorobia, Nitrospirae, 'Deinococcus-Thermus', Proteobacteria (alpha, beta and delta subdivisions), Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria], while the archaeal population was dominated by methanogenic Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota. In contrast, the TC streamer mat consisted of a bacterial population dominated by Aquificae, while the archaeal population also contained Korarchaeota as well as Crenarchaeota and methanogenic Euryarchaeota. These mats harboured clone sequences affiliated to unidentified lineages, suggesting that they are a potential source for discovering novel bacteria and archaea.

  10. Lava cave microbial communities within mats and secondary mineral deposits: implications for life detection on other planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Northup, D E; Melim, L A; Spilde, M N; Hathaway, J J M; Garcia, M G; Moya, M; Stone, F D; Boston, P J; Dapkevicius, M L N E; Riquelme, C

    2011-09-01

    Lava caves contain a wealth of yellow, white, pink, tan, and gold-colored microbial mats; but in addition to these clearly biological mats, there are many secondary mineral deposits that are nonbiological in appearance. Secondary mineral deposits examined include an amorphous copper-silicate deposit (Hawai'i) that is blue-green in color and contains reticulated and fuzzy filament morphologies. In the Azores, lava tubes contain iron-oxide formations, a soft ooze-like coating, and pink hexagons on basaltic glass, while gold-colored deposits are found in lava caves in New Mexico and Hawai'i. A combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and molecular techniques was used to analyze these communities. Molecular analyses of the microbial mats and secondary mineral deposits revealed a community that contains 14 phyla of bacteria across three locations: the Azores, New Mexico, and Hawai'i. Similarities exist between bacterial phyla found in microbial mats and secondary minerals, but marked differences also occur, such as the lack of Actinobacteria in two-thirds of the secondary mineral deposits. The discovery that such deposits contain abundant life can help guide our detection of life on extraterrestrial bodies.

  11. Involvement of microbial mats in early fossilization by decay delay and formation of impressions and replicas of vertebrates and invertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iniesto, Miguel; Buscalioni, Ángela D.; Carmen Guerrero, M.; Benzerara, Karim; Moreira, David; López-Archilla, Ana I.

    2016-05-01

    Microbial mats have been hypothesized to improve the persistence and the preservation of organic remains during fossilization processes. We test this hypothesis with long-term experiments (up to 5.5 years) using invertebrate and vertebrate corpses. Once placed on mats, the microbial community coats the corpses and forms a three-dimensional sarcophagus composed of microbial cells and exopolymeric substances (EPS). This coverage provides a template for i) moulding superficial features, resulting in negative impressions, and ii) generating replicas. The impressions of fly setulae, fish scales and frog skin verrucae are shaped mainly by small cells in an EPS matrix. Microbes also replicate delicate structures such as the three successive layers that compose a fish eye. The sarcophagus protects the body integrity, allowing the persistence of inner organs such as the ovaries and digestive apparatus in flies, the swim bladder and muscles in fish, and the bone marrow in frog legs. This study brings strong experimental evidence to the idea that mats favour metazoan fossilization by moulding, replicating and delaying decay. Rapid burial has classically been invoked as a mechanism to explain exceptional preservation. However, mats may play a similar role during early fossilization as they can preserve complex features for a long time.

  12. Nitrification-driven forms of nitrogen metabolism in microbial mat communities thriving along an ammonium-enriched subsurface geothermal stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishizawa, Manabu; Koba, Keisuke; Makabe, Akiko; Yoshida, Naohiro; Kaneko, Masanori; Hirao, Shingo; Ishibashi, Jun-ichiro; Yamanaka, Toshiro; Shibuya, Takazo; Kikuchi, Tohru; Hirai, Miho; Miyazaki, Junichi; Nunoura, Takuro; Takai, Ken

    2013-07-01

    We report here the concurrence and interaction among forms of nitrogen metabolism in thermophilic microbial mat communities that developed in an ammonium-abundant subsurface geothermal stream. First, the physical and chemical conditions of the stream water at several representative microbial mat habitats (including upper, middle and downstream sites) were characterized. A thermodynamic calculation using these physical and chemical conditions predicted that nitrification consisting of ammonia and nitrite oxidations would provide one of the largest energy yields of chemolithotrophic metabolisms. Second, near-complete prokaryotic 16S rRNA gene clone analysis was conducted for representative microbial mat communities at the upper, middle and downstream sites. The results indicated a dynamic shift in the 16S rRNA gene phylotype composition through physical and chemical variations of the stream water. The predominant prokaryotic components varied from phylotypes related to hydrogeno (H2)- and thio (S)-trophic Aquificales, thermophilic methanotrophs and putative ammonia-oxidizing Archaea (AOA) located upstream (72 °C) to the phylotypes affiliated with putative AOA and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) located at the middle and downstream sites (65 and 57 °C, respectively). In addition, the potential in situ metabolic activities of different forms of nitrogen metabolism were estimated through laboratory experiments using bulk microbial mat communities. Finally, the compositional and isotopic variation in nitrogen compounds was investigated in the stream water flowing over the microbial mats and in the interstitial water inside the mats. Although the stream water was characterized by a gradual decrease in the total ammonia concentration (ΣNH3: the sum of ammonia and ammonium concentrations) and a gradual increase in the total concentration of nitrite and nitrate (NO2- + NO3-), the total inorganic nitrogen concentration (TIN: the sum of ΣNH3, NO2- and NO3- concentrations

  13. Environmental controls on photosynthetic microbial mat distribution and morphogenesis on a 3.42 Ga clastic-starved platform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tice, Michael M

    2009-12-01

    Three morphotypes of microbial mats are preserved in rocks deposited in shallow-water facies of the 3.42 Ga Buck Reef chert (BRC). Morphotype alpha consists of fine anastomosing and bifurcating carbonaceous laminations, which loosely drape underlying detrital grains or form silica-filled lenses. Morphotype beta consists of meshes of fine carbonaceous strands intergrown with detrital grains and dark laminations, which loosely drape coarse detrital grains. Morphotype gamma consists of fine, even carbonaceous laminations that tightly drape underlying detrital grains. Preservation of nearly uncompacted mat morphologies and detrital grains deposited during mat growth within a well-characterized sedimentary unit makes quantitative correlation between morphology and paleoenvironment possible. All mats are preserved in the shallowest-water interval of those rocks deposited below normal wave base and above storm wave base. This interval is bounded below by a transgressive lag formed during regional flooding and above by a small condensed section that marks a local relative sea-level maximum. Restriction of all mat morphotypes to the shallowest interval of the storm-active layer in the BRC ocean reinforces previous interpretations that these mats were constructed primarily by photosynthetic organisms. Morphotypes alpha and beta dominate the lower half of this interval and grew during deposition of relatively coarse detrital carbonaceous grains, while morphotype gamma dominates the upper half and grew during deposition of fine detrital carbonaceous grains. The observed mat distribution suggests that either light intensity or, more likely, small variations in ambient current energy acted as a first-order control on mat morphotype distribution. These results demonstrate significant environmental control on biological morphogenetic processes independent of influences from siliciclastic sedimentation.

  14. Soil microbial community successional patterns during forest ecosystem restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banning, Natasha C; Gleeson, Deirdre B; Grigg, Andrew H; Grant, Carl D; Andersen, Gary L; Brodie, Eoin L; Murphy, D V

    2011-09-01

    Soil microbial community characterization is increasingly being used to determine the responses of soils to stress and disturbances and to assess ecosystem sustainability. However, there is little experimental evidence to indicate that predictable patterns in microbial community structure or composition occur during secondary succession or ecosystem restoration. This study utilized a chronosequence of developing jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) forest ecosystems, rehabilitated after bauxite mining (up to 18 years old), to examine changes in soil bacterial and fungal community structures (by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis [ARISA]) and changes in specific soil bacterial phyla by 16S rRNA gene microarray analysis. This study demonstrated that mining in these ecosystems significantly altered soil bacterial and fungal community structures. The hypothesis that the soil microbial community structures would become more similar to those of the surrounding nonmined forest with rehabilitation age was broadly supported by shifts in the bacterial but not the fungal community. Microarray analysis enabled the identification of clear successional trends in the bacterial community at the phylum level and supported the finding of an increase in similarity to nonmined forest soil with rehabilitation age. Changes in soil microbial community structure were significantly related to the size of the microbial biomass as well as numerous edaphic variables (including pH and C, N, and P nutrient concentrations). These findings suggest that soil bacterial community dynamics follow a pattern in developing ecosystems that may be predictable and can be conceptualized as providing an integrated assessment of numerous edaphic variables.

  15. Phototrophs in high-iron-concentration microbial mats: physiological ecology of phototrophs in an iron-depositing hot spring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierson, B. K.; Parenteau, M. N.; Griffin, B. M.

    1999-01-01

    At Chocolate Pots Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park the source waters have a pH near neutral, contain high concentrations of reduced iron, and lack sulfide. An iron formation that is associated with cyanobacterial mats is actively deposited. The uptake of [(14)C]bicarbonate was used to assess the impact of ferrous iron on photosynthesis in this environment. Photoautotrophy in some of the mats was stimulated by ferrous iron (1.0 mM). Microelectrodes were used to determine the impact of photosynthetic activity on the oxygen content and the pH in the mat and sediment microenvironments. Photosynthesis increased the oxygen concentration to 200% of air saturation levels in the top millimeter of the mats. The oxygen concentration decreased with depth and in the dark. Light-dependent increases in pH were observed. The penetration of light in the mats and in the sediments was determined. Visible radiation was rapidly attenuated in the top 2 mm of the iron-rich mats. Near-infrared radiation penetrated deeper. Iron was totally oxidized in the top few millimeters, but reduced iron was detected at greater depths. By increasing the pH and the oxygen concentration in the surface sediments, the cyanobacteria could potentially increase the rate of iron oxidation in situ. This high-iron-content hot spring provides a suitable model for studying the interactions of microbial photosynthesis and iron deposition and the role of photosynthesis in microbial iron cycling. This model may help clarify the potential role of photosynthesis in the deposition of Precambrian banded iron formations.

  16. Phylogenetic analysis of a microbialite-forming microbial mat from a hypersaline lake of the Kiritimati atoll, Central Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Dominik; Arp, Gernot; Reimer, Andreas; Reitner, Joachim; Daniel, Rolf

    2013-01-01

    On the Kiritimati atoll, several lakes exhibit microbial mat-formation under different hydrochemical conditions. Some of these lakes trigger microbialite formation such as Lake 21, which is an evaporitic, hypersaline lake (salinity of approximately 170‰). Lake 21 is completely covered with a thick multilayered microbial mat. This mat is associated with the formation of decimeter-thick highly porous microbialites, which are composed of aragonite and gypsum crystals. We assessed the bacterial and archaeal community composition and its alteration along the vertical stratification by large-scale analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences of the nine different mat layers. The surface layers are dominated by aerobic, phototrophic, and halotolerant microbes. The bacterial community of these layers harbored Cyanobacteria (Halothece cluster), which were accompanied with known phototrophic members of the Bacteroidetes and Alphaproteobacteria. In deeper anaerobic layers more diverse communities than in the upper layers were present. The deeper layers were dominated by Spirochaetes, sulfate-reducing bacteria (Deltaproteobacteria), Chloroflexi (Anaerolineae and Caldilineae), purple non-sulfur bacteria (Alphaproteobacteria), purple sulfur bacteria (Chromatiales), anaerobic Bacteroidetes (Marinilabiacae), Nitrospirae (OPB95), Planctomycetes and several candidate divisions. The archaeal community, including numerous uncultured taxonomic lineages, generally changed from Euryarchaeota (mainly Halobacteria and Thermoplasmata) to uncultured members of the Thaumarchaeota (mainly Marine Benthic Group B) with increasing depth.

  17. Phylogenetic analysis of a microbialite-forming microbial mat from a hypersaline lake of the Kiritimati atoll, Central Pacific.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominik Schneider

    Full Text Available On the Kiritimati atoll, several lakes exhibit microbial mat-formation under different hydrochemical conditions. Some of these lakes trigger microbialite formation such as Lake 21, which is an evaporitic, hypersaline lake (salinity of approximately 170‰. Lake 21 is completely covered with a thick multilayered microbial mat. This mat is associated with the formation of decimeter-thick highly porous microbialites, which are composed of aragonite and gypsum crystals. We assessed the bacterial and archaeal community composition and its alteration along the vertical stratification by large-scale analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences of the nine different mat layers. The surface layers are dominated by aerobic, phototrophic, and halotolerant microbes. The bacterial community of these layers harbored Cyanobacteria (Halothece cluster, which were accompanied with known phototrophic members of the Bacteroidetes and Alphaproteobacteria. In deeper anaerobic layers more diverse communities than in the upper layers were present. The deeper layers were dominated by Spirochaetes, sulfate-reducing bacteria (Deltaproteobacteria, Chloroflexi (Anaerolineae and Caldilineae, purple non-sulfur bacteria (Alphaproteobacteria, purple sulfur bacteria (Chromatiales, anaerobic Bacteroidetes (Marinilabiacae, Nitrospirae (OPB95, Planctomycetes and several candidate divisions. The archaeal community, including numerous uncultured taxonomic lineages, generally changed from Euryarchaeota (mainly Halobacteria and Thermoplasmata to uncultured members of the Thaumarchaeota (mainly Marine Benthic Group B with increasing depth.

  18. The Guaymas Basin hiking guide to hydrothermal mounds, chimneys and microbial mats: complex seafloor expressions of subsurface hydrothermal circulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eTeske

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The hydrothermal mats, mounds and chimneys of the southern Guaymas Basin are the surface expression of complex subsurface hydrothermal circulation patterns. In this overview we document the most frequently visited features of this hydrothermal area with photographs, temperature measurements, and selected geochemical data; many of these distinct habitats await characterization of their microbial communities and activities. Microprofiler deployments on microbial mats and hydrothermal sediments show their steep geochemical and thermal gradients at millimeter-scale vertical resolution. Mapping these hydrothermal features and sampling locations within the southern Guaymas Basin suggest linkages to underlying shallow sills and heatflow gradients. Recognizing the inherent spatial limitations of much current Guaymas Basin sampling calls for a wider survey of the entire spreading region.

  19. Utilization of hydrocarbons by cyanobacteria from microbial mats on oily coasts of the Gulf

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al Hasan, R.H.; Sorkhoh, N.A.; Al Bader, D.; Radwan, S.S.

    1994-01-01

    Several pieces of evidence indicate that Microcoleus chthonoplastes and Phormidium corium, the predominant cyanobacteria in microbial mats on crude oil polluting the Arabian Gulf coasts, contribute to oil degradation by consuming individual n-alkanes. Both cyanobacteria grew phototrophically better in the presence of crude oil or individual n-alkanes than in their absence, indicating that hydrocarbons may have been utilized. This result was true when growth was measured in terms of dry biomass, as well as in terms of the content of biliprotein, the accessory pigment characteristic of cyanobacteria. The phototrophic biomass production by P. corium was directly proportional to the concentration of n-nonadecane (C 19 ) in the medium. The chlorophyll to carotene ratio of hydrocarbon-grown cyanobacteria did not decrease compared to the ratio in the absence of hydrocarbons, indicating that on hydrocarbons the organisms were not stressed. Comparing the fatty acid patterns of total lipids from hydrocarbon-grown cyanobacteria to those of the same organisms grown without hydrocarbons confirms that n-alkanes were taken up and oxidized to fatty acids by both cyanobacteria. (orig.)

  20. Biochemical characterization of a new nicotinamidase from an unclassified bacterium thriving in a geothermal water stream microbial mat community

    OpenAIRE

    Zapata-P?rez, Rub?n; Mart?nez-Mo?ino, Ana-Bel?n; Garc?a-Saura, Antonio-Gin?s; Cabanes, Juana; Takami, Hideto; S?nchez-Ferrer, ?lvaro

    2017-01-01

    Nicotinamidases are amidohydrolases that convert nicotinamide into nicotinic acid, contributing to NAD+ homeostasis in most organisms. In order to increase the number of nicotinamidases described to date, this manuscript characterizes a nicotinamidase obtained from a metagenomic library fosmid clone (JFF054_F02) obtained from a geothermal water stream microbial mat community in a Japanese epithermal mine. The enzyme showed an optimum temperature of 90?C, making it the first hyperthermophilic ...

  1. Novel Large Sulfur Bacteria in the Metagenomes of Groundwater-Fed Chemosynthetic Microbial Mats in the Lake Huron Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharrar, Allison M; Flood, Beverly E; Bailey, Jake V; Jones, Daniel S; Biddanda, Bopaiah A; Ruberg, Steven A; Marcus, Daniel N; Dick, Gregory J

    2017-01-01

    Little is known about large sulfur bacteria (LSB) that inhabit sulfidic groundwater seeps in large lakes. To examine how geochemically relevant microbial metabolisms are partitioned among community members, we conducted metagenomic analysis of a chemosynthetic microbial mat in the Isolated Sinkhole, which is in a deep, aphotic environment of Lake Huron. For comparison, we also analyzed a white mat in an artesian fountain that is fed by groundwater similar to Isolated Sinkhole, but that sits in shallow water and is exposed to sunlight. De novo assembly and binning of metagenomic data from these two communities yielded near complete genomes and revealed representatives of two families of LSB. The Isolated Sinkhole community was dominated by novel members of the Beggiatoaceae that are phylogenetically intermediate between known freshwater and marine groups. Several of these Beggiatoaceae had 16S rRNA genes that contained introns previously observed only in marine taxa. The Alpena fountain was dominated by populations closely related to Thiothrix lacustris and an SM1 euryarchaeon known to live symbiotically with Thiothrix spp. The SM1 genomic bin contained evidence of H 2 -based lithoautotrophy. Genomic bins of both the Thiothrix and Beggiatoaceae contained genes for sulfur oxidation via the rDsr pathway, H 2 oxidation via Ni-Fe hydrogenases, and the use of O 2 and nitrate as electron acceptors. Mats at both sites also contained Deltaproteobacteria with genes for dissimilatory sulfate reduction ( sat, apr , and dsr ) and hydrogen oxidation (Ni-Fe hydrogenases). Overall, the microbial mats at the two sites held low-diversity microbial communities, displayed evidence of coupled sulfur cycling, and did not differ largely in their metabolic potentials, despite the environmental differences. These results show that groundwater-fed communities in an artesian fountain and in submerged sinkholes of Lake Huron are a rich source of novel LSB, associated heterotrophic and sulfate

  2. Novel Large Sulfur Bacteria in the Metagenomes of Groundwater-Fed Chemosynthetic Microbial Mats in the Lake Huron Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison M. Sharrar

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Little is known about large sulfur bacteria (LSB that inhabit sulfidic groundwater seeps in large lakes. To examine how geochemically relevant microbial metabolisms are partitioned among community members, we conducted metagenomic analysis of a chemosynthetic microbial mat in the Isolated Sinkhole, which is in a deep, aphotic environment of Lake Huron. For comparison, we also analyzed a white mat in an artesian fountain that is fed by groundwater similar to Isolated Sinkhole, but that sits in shallow water and is exposed to sunlight. De novo assembly and binning of metagenomic data from these two communities yielded near complete genomes and revealed representatives of two families of LSB. The Isolated Sinkhole community was dominated by novel members of the Beggiatoaceae that are phylogenetically intermediate between known freshwater and marine groups. Several of these Beggiatoaceae had 16S rRNA genes that contained introns previously observed only in marine taxa. The Alpena fountain was dominated by populations closely related to Thiothrix lacustris and an SM1 euryarchaeon known to live symbiotically with Thiothrix spp. The SM1 genomic bin contained evidence of H2-based lithoautotrophy. Genomic bins of both the Thiothrix and Beggiatoaceae contained genes for sulfur oxidation via the rDsr pathway, H2 oxidation via Ni-Fe hydrogenases, and the use of O2 and nitrate as electron acceptors. Mats at both sites also contained Deltaproteobacteria with genes for dissimilatory sulfate reduction (sat, apr, and dsr and hydrogen oxidation (Ni-Fe hydrogenases. Overall, the microbial mats at the two sites held low-diversity microbial communities, displayed evidence of coupled sulfur cycling, and did not differ largely in their metabolic potentials, despite the environmental differences. These results show that groundwater-fed communities in an artesian fountain and in submerged sinkholes of Lake Huron are a rich source of novel LSB, associated heterotrophic

  3. Ecology and life history of an amoebomastigote, Paratetramitus jugosus, from a microbial mat: new evidence for multiple fission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enzien, M.; McKhann, H. I.; Margulis, L.

    1989-01-01

    Five microbial habitats (gypsum crust, gypsum photosynthetic community, Microcoleus mat, Thiocapsa scum, and black mud) were sampled for the presence of the euryhaline, rapidly growing amoebomastigote, Paratetramitus jugosus. Field investigations of microbial mats from Baja California Norte, Mexico, and Salina Bido near Matanzas, Cuba, reveal that P. jugosus is most frequently found in the Thiocapsa layer of microbial mats. Various stages of the life history were studied using phase-contrast, differential-interference, and transmission electron microscopy. Mastigote stages were induced and studied by electron microscopy; mastigotes that actively feed on bacteria bear two or more undulipodia. A three-dimensional drawing of the kinetid ("basal apparatus") based on electron micrographs is presented. Although promitoses were occasionally observed, it is unlikely that they can account for the rapid growth of P. jugosus populations on culture media. Dense, refractile, spherical, and irregular-shaped bodies were seen at all times in all cultures along with small mononucleate (approximately 2-7 micrometers diameter) amoebae. Cytochemical studies employing two different fluorescent stains for DNA (DAPI, mithramycin) verified the presence of DNA in these small bodies. Chromatin-like material seen in electron micrographs within the cytoplasm and blebbing off nuclei were interpreted to the chromatin bodies. Our interpretation, consistent with the data but not proven, is that propagation by multiple fission of released chromatin bodies that become small amoebae may occur in Paratetramitus jugosus. These observations are consistent with descriptions of amoeba propagules in the early literature (Hogue, 1914).

  4. Functional Stability and Community Dynamics during Spring and Autumn Seasons Over 3 Years in Camargue Microbial Mats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mercedes Berlanga

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Microbial mats are complex biofilms in which the major element cycles are represented at a millimeter scale. In this study, community variability within microbial mats from the Camargue wetlands (Rhone Delta, southern France were analyzed over 3 years during two different seasons (spring and autumn and at different layers of the mat (0–2, 2–4, and 4–6 mm. To assess bacterial diversity in the mats, amplicons of the V1–V2 region of the 16S rRNA gene were sequenced. The community’s functionality was characterized using two approaches: (i inferred functionality through 16S rRNA amplicons genes according to PICRUSt, and (ii a shotgun metagenomic analysis. Based on the reads distinguished, microbial communities were dominated by Bacteria (∼94%, followed by Archaea (∼4% and Eukarya (∼1%. The major phyla of Bacteria were Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Spirochaetes, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Cyanobacteria, which together represented 70–80% of the total population detected. The phylum Euryarchaeota represented ∼80% of the Archaea identified. These results showed that the total bacterial diversity from the Camargue microbial mats was not significantly affected by seasonal changes at the studied location; however, there were differences among layers, especially between the 0–2 mm layer and the other two layers. PICRUSt and shotgun metagenomic analyses revealed similar general biological processes in all samples analyzed, by season and depth, indicating that different layers were functionally stable, although some taxa changed during the spring and autumn seasons over the 3 years. Several gene families and pathways were tracked with the oxic-anoxic gradient of the layers. Genes directly involved in photosynthesis (KO, KEGG Orthology were significantly more abundant in the top layer (0–2 mm than in the lower layers (2–4 and 4–6 mm. In the anoxic layers, the presence of ferredoxins likely reflected the variation of redox

  5. Sedimentology, Mineralogy, Morphology, and Characterization of Purple Non-Sulfur Bacteria Communities from Modern Hypersaline Microbial Mats in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez Colon, B. J.; Rivera-Lopez, E. O.; Ramirez-Martinez, W. R.; Rios-Velazquez, C.; Perez-Valentin, K. A.

    2017-12-01

    Microbial mats are organosedimentary structures which house complex guilds of microbial communities, held together by a gelatinous exopolymeric substance (EPS). This biofilm contributes to the formation of laminations by binding and trapping sediments, as well as in-situ organomineralization. Microbial mats commonly thrive in extreme habitats, such as the hypersaline environments, which have been studied throughout several coastal regions in the Caribbean. This project aims to study the morphology, sedimentology, and mineralogy of five different modern hypersaline microbial mats from Puerto Rico and Anegada that have not yet been studied, to assess their differences/similarities. At the same time, we intent to isolate and characterize purple non-sulfur bacteria (PNSB), which is an anoxyphototrophic microorganism that contributes to the pink pigmentation observed in the second layer of a typical microbial mat. Different layers within each mat were separated, dissected and dissolved to remove all organic material. The resulting sediment was then analyzed mineralogically using X-ray diffraction, and used to make petrographic thin sections. To isolate PNSB candidates, serial dilutions followed by filtration were performed to extracted sections from the pink layer of each mat. The samples were planted in Petri dishes with marine media and placed in Anaerobic Jars. Colonies Descriptions, Gram stain and molecular analysis using 16S rDNA gene was performed. Preliminary results show a diversity of mat morphologies throughout the ponds, similar to what has been observed in other hypersaline ponds and marshes in the Caribbean. Sedimentary analysis shows that the mats from Puerto Rico have similar allochthonous material (e.g. Halimeda sp. fragments). Microcodium fabrics, conoform structures, and hemispheroidal morphologies were observed as well. In Anegada, lithified microbialites were observed in the Red Pond location. Mineralogically, all samples were similar except for the

  6. Nitrogen transformations in stratified aquatic microbial ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Revsbech, N. P.; Risgaard-Petersen, N.; Schramm, A.

    2006-01-01

    Abstract  New analytical methods such as advanced molecular techniques and microsensors have resulted in new insights about how nitrogen transformations in stratified microbial systems such as sediments and biofilms are regulated at a µm-mm scale. A large and ever-expanding knowledge base about n...

  7. The YNP Metagenome Project: Environmental Parameters Responsible for Microbial Distribution in the Yellowstone Geothermal Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William P. Inskeep

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The Yellowstone geothermal complex contains over 10,000 diverse geothermal features that host numerous phylogenetically deeply-rooted and poorly understood archaea, bacteria and viruses. Microbial communities in high-temperature environments are generally less diverse than soil, marine, sediment or lake habitats and therefore offer a tremendous opportunity for studying the structure and function of different model microbial communities using environmental metagenomics. One of the broader goals of this study was to establish linkages among microbial distribution, metabolic potential and environmental variables. Twenty geochemically distinct geothermal ecosystems representing a broad spectrum of Yellowstone hot-spring environments were used for metagenomic and geochemical analysis and included approximately equal numbers of: (1 phototrophic mats, (2 ‘filamentous streamer’ communities, and (3 archaeal-dominated sediments. The metagenomes were analyzed using a suite of complementary and integrative bioinformatic tools, including phylogenetic and functional analysis of both individual sequence reads and assemblies of predominant phylotypes. This volume identifies major environmental determinants of a large number of thermophilic microbial lineages, many of which have not been fully described in the literature nor previously cultivated to enable functional and genomic analyses. Moreover, protein family abundance comparisons and in-depth analyses of specific genes and metabolic pathways relevant to these hot-spring environments reveal hallmark signatures of metabolic capabilities that parallel the distribution of phylotypes across specific types of geochemical environments.

  8. Shewanella loihica sp. nov., isolated from iron-rich microbial mats in the Pacific Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Haichun; Obraztova, Anna; Stewart, Nathan; Popa, Radu; Fredrickson, James K; Tiedje, James M; Nealson, Kenneth H; Zhou, Jizhong

    2006-08-01

    A novel marine bacterial strain, PV-4(T), isolated from a microbial mat located at a hydrothermal vent of Loihi Seamount in the Pacific Ocean, has been characterized. This micro-organism is orangey in colour, Gram-negative, polarly flagellated, facultatively anaerobic and psychrotolerant (temperature range, 0-42 degrees C). No growth was observed with nitrate, nitrite, DMSO or thiosulfate as the electron acceptor and lactate as the electron donor. The major fatty acid detected in strain PV-4(T) was iso-C(15 : 0). Strain PV-4(T) had ubiquinones consisting mainly of Q-7 and Q-8, and possessed menaquinone MK-7. The DNA G+C content of the strain was 53.8 mol% and the genome size was about 4.5 Mbp. Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA gene sequences placed PV-4(T) within the genus Shewanella. PV-4(T) exhibited 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity levels of 99.6 and 97.5 %, respectively, with respect to the type strains of Shewanella aquimarina and Shewanella marisflavi. DNA from strain PV-4(T) showed low mean levels of relatedness to the DNAs of S. aquimarina (50.5 %) and S. marisflavi (8.5 %). On the basis of phylogenetic and phenotypic characteristics, the bacterium was classified in the genus Shewanella within a distinct novel species, for which the name Shewanella loihica sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is PV-4(T) (=ATCC BAA-1088(T)=DSM 17748(T)).

  9. Biogeography of serpentinite-hosted microbial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazelton, W.; Cardace, D.; Fruh-Green, G.; Lang, S. Q.; Lilley, M. D.; Morrill, P. L.; Szponar, N.; Twing, K. I.; Schrenk, M. O.

    2012-12-01

    Ultramafic rocks in the Earth's mantle represent a tremendous reservoir of carbon and reducing power. Upon tectonic uplift and exposure to fluid flow, serpentinization of these materials generates copious energy, sustains abiogenic synthesis of organic molecules, and releases hydrogen gas (H2). To date, however, the "serpentinite microbiome" is poorly constrained- almost nothing is known about the microbial diversity endemic to rocks actively undergoing serpentinization. Through the Census of Deep Life, we have obtained 16S rRNA gene pyrotag sequences from fluids and rocks from serpentinizing ophiolites in California, Canada, and Italy. The samples include high pH serpentinite springs, presumably representative of deeper environments within the ophiolite complex, wells which directly access subsurface aquifers, and rocks obtained from drill cores into serpentinites. These data represent a unique opportunity to examine biogeographic patterns among a restricted set of microbial taxa that are adapted to similar environmental conditions and are inhabiting sites with related geological histories. In general, our results point to potentially H2-utilizing Betaproteobacteria thriving in shallow, oxic-anoxic transition zones and anaerobic Clostridia thriving in anoxic, deep subsurface habitats. These general taxonomic and biogeochemical trends were also observed in seafloor Lost City hydrothermal chimneys, indicating that we are beginning to identify a core serpentinite microbial community that spans marine and continental settings.

  10. Nitrogen transformations in stratified aquatic microbial ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Revsbech, Niels Peter; Risgaard-Petersen, N.; Schramm, Andreas

    2006-01-01

    Abstract  New analytical methods such as advanced molecular techniques and microsensors have resulted in new insights about how nitrogen transformations in stratified microbial systems such as sediments and biofilms are regulated at a µm-mm scale. A large and ever-expanding knowledge base about n...... performing dissimilatory reduction of nitrate to ammonium have given new dimensions to the understanding of nitrogen cycling in nature, and the occurrence of these organisms and processes in stratified microbial communities will be described in detail.......Abstract  New analytical methods such as advanced molecular techniques and microsensors have resulted in new insights about how nitrogen transformations in stratified microbial systems such as sediments and biofilms are regulated at a µm-mm scale. A large and ever-expanding knowledge base about...... nitrogen fixation, nitrification, denitrification, and dissimilatory reduction of nitrate to ammonium, and about the microorganisms performing the processes, has been produced by use of these techniques. During the last decade the discovery of anammmox bacteria and migrating, nitrate accumulating bacteria...

  11. Physiological and metagenomic analyses of microbial mats involved in self-purification of mine waters contaminated with heavy metals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukasz Drewniak

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Two microbial mats found inside two old (gold and uranium mines in Zloty Stok and Kowary located in SW Poland seem to form a natural barrier that traps heavy metals leaking from dewatering systems. We performed complex physiological and metagenomic analyses to determine which microorganisms are the main driving agents responsible for self-purification of the mine waters and identify metabolic processes responsible for the observed features. SEM and energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis showed accumulation of heavy metals on the mat surface, whereas, sorption experiments showed that neither microbial mats were completely saturated with heavy metals present in the mine waters, indicating that they have a large potential to absorb significant quantities of metal. The metagenomic analysis revealed that Methylococcaceae and Methylophilaceae families were the most abundant in both communities, moreover, it strongly suggest that backbones of both mats were formed by filamentous bacteria, such as Leptothrix, Thiothrix, and Beggiatoa. The Kowary bacterial community was enriched with the Helicobacteraceae family, whereas the Zloty Stok community consist mainly of Sphingomonadaceae, Rhodobacteraceae, and Caulobacteraceae families. Functional (culture-based and metagenome (sequence-based analyses showed that bacteria involved in immobilization of heavy metals, rather than those engaged in mobilization, were the main driving force within the analyzed communities. In turn, a comparison of functional genes revealed that the biofilm formation and heavy metal resistance functions are more desirable in microorganisms engaged in water purification than the ability to utilize heavy metals in the respiratory process (oxidation-reduction. These findings provide insight on the activity of bacteria leading, from biofilm formation to self-purification, of mine waters contaminated with heavy metals

  12. Community Structure and Activity of a Highly Dynamic and Nutrient-Limited Hypersaline Microbial Mat in Um Alhool Sabkha, Qatar

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Thani, Roda; Alnajjar, Mohammad Ahmad; Al-Raei, Abdul Munem; Ferdelman, Tim; Thang, Nguyen M.; Shaikh, Ismail Al; Al-Ansi, Mehsin; de Beer, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    The Um Alhool area in Qatar is a dynamic evaporative ecosystem that receives seawater from below as it is surrounded by sand dunes. We investigated the chemical composition, the microbial activity and biodiversity of the four main layers (L1–L4

  13. Germ warfare in a microbial mat community: CRISPRs provide insights into the co-evolution of host and viral genomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John F Heidelberg

    Full Text Available CRISPR arrays and associated cas genes are widespread in bacteria and archaea and confer acquired resistance to viruses. To examine viral immunity in the context of naturally evolving microbial populations we analyzed genomic data from two thermophilic Synechococcus isolates (Syn OS-A and Syn OS-B' as well as a prokaryotic metagenome and viral metagenome derived from microbial mats in hotsprings at Yellowstone National Park. Two distinct CRISPR types, distinguished by the repeat sequence, are found in both the Syn OS-A and Syn OS-B' genomes. The genome of Syn OS-A contains a third CRISPR type with a distinct repeat sequence, which is not found in Syn OS-B', but appears to be shared with other microorganisms that inhabit the mat. The CRISPR repeats identified in the microbial metagenome are highly conserved, while the spacer sequences (hereafter referred to as "viritopes" to emphasize their critical role in viral immunity were mostly unique and had no high identity matches when searched against GenBank. Searching the viritopes against the viral metagenome, however, yielded several matches with high similarity some of which were within a gene identified as a likely viral lysozyme/lysin protein. Analysis of viral metagenome sequences corresponding to this lysozyme/lysin protein revealed several mutations all of which translate into silent or conservative mutations which are unlikely to affect protein function, but may help the virus evade the host CRISPR resistance mechanism. These results demonstrate the varied challenges presented by a natural virus population, and support the notion that the CRISPR/viritope system must be able to adapt quickly to provide host immunity. The ability of metagenomics to track population-level variation in viritope sequences allows for a culture-independent method for evaluating the fast co-evolution of host and viral genomes and its consequence on the structuring of complex microbial communities.

  14. Context, Biogeochemistry, and Morphology of Diverse and Spatially Extensive Microbial Mats, Little Ambergris Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands, B.W.I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Present, T. M.; Trower, L.; Stein, N.; Alleon, J.; Bahniuk, A.; Gomes, M. L.; Lingappa, U.; Metcalfe, K.; Orzechowski, E. A.; Riedman, L. A.; Sanders, C. B.; Morris, D. K.; O'Reilly, S.; Sibert, E. C.; Thorpe, M.; Tarika, M.; Fischer, W. W.; Knoll, A. H.; Grotzinger, J. P.

    2017-12-01

    Little Ambergris Cay (21.3° N, 71.7° W) was the site of an integrated geobiological study conducted in July 2016 and August 2017. The cay ( 6 km x 1.6 km) is developed on a broad bank influenced by strong easterly trade winds (avg. 7.5 m/s), where convergent ooid shoals culminate in a linear shoal extending almost 25 km westward from the cay. Lithified upper shoreface to eolian ooid grainstones form a 2 m high bedrock rim that protects an extensive interior tidal marsh with well-developed microbial mats. Local breaches in the rim allow tidal flows to inundate interior bays floored by microbial mats. Three mat types were observed based on texture: dark toned "blister mat" that flanks the bays where they intersect with the bedrock rim; light-toned "polygonal mat" that covers broad tracts of the bay and is exposed at low tide; and lighter-toned "EPS mat" that is generally submerged even at low tide. The millimeter-to decimeter-thick layered mats overlie laterally extensive ooid sands, generally unlithified except for a few hardgrounds. The mats and underlying sediments were sampled by vibracoring, push coring, and piezometers. Biogeochemical analyses include groundwater salinity, pH, DIC, alkalinity, cation composition, DNA content, photosynthetic efficiency, C and S isotope composition, lipid biomarkers, and taphonomic state. Groundwater and interstitial water chemical analyses were integrated with hydrologic observations of tidal channels' level and flow. Visible light UAV images from 350 m standoff distance were processed to generate a 15 cm/pixel mosaic of the island that was used in combination with a DGPS survey, multispectral Landsat images (m-scale resolution) and Worldview satellite images (30 cm resolution) to map the island's topography, mats, and sedimentologic facies. A UAV-based VNIR hyperspectral camera was used to quantify pigment concentrations in the mats at cm-resolution over decameter scales. Sub-cm-scale bed textures, including those expressed

  15. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ping; Wu, Linwei; Rocha, Andrea M.; Shi, Zhou; Wu, Bo; Qin, Yujia; Wang, Jianjun; Yan, Qingyun; Curtis, Daniel; Ning, Daliang; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Wu, Liyou; Watson, David B.; Adams, Michael W. W.; Alm, Eric J.; Adams, Paul D.; Arkin, Adam P.

    2018-01-01

    ABSTRACT Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth’s biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN), representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate) increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate) increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5) increased significantly (P contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. PMID:29463661

  16. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhili He

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth’s biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN, representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5 increased significantly (P < 0.05 as uranium or nitrate increased, and their changes could be used to successfully predict uranium and nitrate contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning.

  17. Rapid reactivation of cyanobacterial photosynthesis and migration upon rehydration of desiccated marine microbial mats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chennu, Arjun; Grinham, Alistair; Polerecky, Lubos; de Beer, Dirk; Al-Najjar, Mohammad A.A.

    2015-01-01

    Desiccated cyanobacterial mats are the dominant biological feature in the Earth's arid zones. While the response of desiccated cyanobacteria to rehydration is well-documented for terrestrial systems, information about the response in marine systems is lacking. We used high temporal resolution

  18. In Situ Hydrogen Dynamics in a Hot Spring Microbial Mat during a Diel Cycle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Revsbech, Niels Peter; Trampe, Erik Christian Løvbjerg; Lichtenberg, Mads

    2016-01-01

    decreasing to about 11 mol H2 liter1 just before sunrise. Another pulse of H2 production, reaching a peak concentration of 46 mol H2 liter1, was found in the early morning under dim light conditions too low to induce accumulation of O2 in the mat. The light stimulation of H2 accumulation indicated...

  19. Bioremediation of mixed microbial mats: System development of mixed contaminants for application at the Savannah River Site. Annual technical progress report, October 1, 1995--September 30, 1996

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bender, J.; Phillips, P.

    1996-01-01

    The fundamental objective of this project is to develop and field test the mixed microbial mat bioremediation system for decontamination of target sites at SRS. Although microbial mats have performed well in several pilot projects in the past, atypical problems and site characteristics at SRS demand special field designs. In the interest of designing a pilot and locating it at an appropriate site, the project investigators have worked closely with the technical staff at the SREL. We have concluded that the diverse characteristics of contaminations at SRS may dictate testing several pilot designs during the course of this project

  20. Soil Microbial Community Successional Patterns during Forest Ecosystem Restoration ▿†

    OpenAIRE

    Banning, Natasha C.; Gleeson, Deirdre B.; Grigg, Andrew H.; Grant, Carl D.; Andersen, Gary L.; Brodie, Eoin L.; Murphy, D. V.

    2011-01-01

    Soil microbial community characterization is increasingly being used to determine the responses of soils to stress and disturbances and to assess ecosystem sustainability. However, there is little experimental evidence to indicate that predictable patterns in microbial community structure or composition occur during secondary succession or ecosystem restoration. This study utilized a chronosequence of developing jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) forest ecosystems, rehabilitated after bauxite mini...

  1. Modern Microbial Ecosystems are a Key to Understanding Our Biosphere's Early Evolution and its Contributions To The Atmosphere and Rock Record

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The survival of our early biosphere depended upon efficient coordination anion- diverse microbial populations. Microbial mats exhibit a 3.46-billion-year fossil record, thus they are the oldest known ecosystems. Photosynthetic microbial mats were key because, today, sunlight powers more than 99 percent of global primary productivity. Thus photosynthetic ecosystems have affected the atmosphere profoundly and have created the most pervasive, easily-detected fossils. Photosynthetic biospheres elsewhere will be most detectible via telescopes or spacecraft. As a part of the Astrobiology Institute, our Ames Microbial Ecosystems group examines the roles played by ecological processes in the early evolution of our biosphere, as recorded in geologic fossils and in the macromolecules of living cells: (1) We are defining the microbial mat microenvironment, which was an important milieu for early evolution. (2) We are comparing mats in contrasting environments to discern strategies of adaptation and diversification, traits that were key for long-term survival. (3) We have selected sites that mimic key environmental attributes of early Earth and thereby focus upon evolutionary adaptations to long-term changes in the global environment. (4) Our studies of gas exchange contribute to better estimates of biogenic gases in Earth's early atmosphere. This group therefore directly addresses the question: How have the Earth and its biosphere influenced each other over time Our studies strengthen the systematics for interpreting the microbial fossil record and thereby enhance astrobiological studies of martian samples. Our models of biogenic gas emissions will enhance models of atmospheres that might be detected on inhabited extrasolar planets. This work therefore also addresses the question: How can other biospheres be recogniZed" Our choice of field sites helps us explore Earth's evolving early environment. For example, modern mats that occupy thermal springs and certain freshwater

  2. Effect of peristalsis in balance of intestinal microbial ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirbagheri, Seyed Amir; Fu, Henry C.

    2017-11-01

    A balance of microbiota density in gastrointestinal tracts is necessary for health of the host. Although peristaltic flow made by intestinal muscles is constantly evacuating the lumen, bacterial density stay balanced. Some of bacteria colonize in the secreted mucus where there is no flow, but the rest resist the peristaltic flow in lumen and maintain their population. Using a coupled two-dimensional model of flow induced by large amplitude peristaltic waves, bacterial motility, reproduction, and diffusion, we address how bacterial growth and motility combined with peristaltic flow affect the balance of the intestinal microbial ecosystem.

  3. Microbial communities, processes and functions in acid mine drainage ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lin-xing; Huang, Li-nan; Méndez-García, Celia; Kuang, Jia-liang; Hua, Zheng-shuang; Liu, Jun; Shu, Wen-sheng

    2016-04-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is generated from the oxidative dissolution of metal sulfides when water and oxygen are available largely due to human mining activities. This process can be accelerated by indigenous microorganisms. In the last several decades, culture-dependent researches have uncovered and validated the roles of AMD microorganisms in metal sulfides oxidation and acid generation processes, and culture-independent studies have largely revealed the diversity and metabolic potentials and activities of AMD communities, leading towards a full understanding of the microbial diversity, functions and interactions in AMD ecosystems. This review describes the diversity of microorganisms and their functions in AMD ecosystems, and discusses their biotechnological applications in biomining and AMD bioremediation according to their capabilities. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Fine-scale distribution patterns of Synechococcus ecological diversity in the microbial mats of Mushroom Spring, Yellowstone National Park

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Becraft, E.; Cohan, F.; Kühl, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Past analyses of sequence diversity in high-resolution protein-encoding genes have identified putative ecological species of unicellular cyanobacteria in the genus Synechococcus, which are specialized to 60°C but not 65°C in Mushroom Spring microbial mats. Because these studies were limited to only...

  5. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L Sinsabaugh

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The N cycle of arid ecosystems is influenced by low soil organic matter, high soil pH and extremes in water potential and temperature that lead to open canopies and development of biological soil crusts (biocrusts. We investigated the effects of N amendment on soil microbial dynamics in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa shrubland site in southern Nevada USA. Sites were fertilized with a NO3-NH4 mix at 0, 7, and 15 kg ha-1 yr-1 from March 2012 to March 2013. In March 2013, biocrust (0-0.5 cm and bulk soils (0-10 cm were collected beneath Ambrosia canopies and in the interspaces between plants. Biomass responses were assessed as bacterial and fungal SSU rRNA gene copy number and chlorophyll a concentration. Metabolic responses were measured by five ecoenzyme activities (EEA and rates of N transformation. By most measures, nutrient availability, microbial biomass and process rates were greater in soils beneath the shrub canopy compared to the interspace between plants, and greater in the surface biocrust horizon compared to the deeper 10 cm soil profile. Most measures responded positively to experimental N addition. Effect sizes were generally greater for bulk soil than biocrust. Results were incorporated into a meta-analysis of arid ecosystem responses to N.

  6. Effect of ecosystems substitutions and CO2 increase of the atmosphere on the microbial ecosystems of forests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, F.

    2007-01-01

    Biological diversity is often exclusively considered at the level of plants and animals, whereas the bulk of global biodiversity is in fact at the microbial level. Although it is clear that the ecology of our planet is driven by microbial ecosystems, we are severely hampered by our limited understanding of the diversity and function of such microbial ecosystems. In the present project, teams in the disciplines of geochemistry, soil microbiology, genomics and ecosystem processes are assembled to study the relationship between environmental change, land use changes, biodiversity, and functioning of forest ecosystems. The network has a strong focus on developing and applying biochemical and genotyping methodologies to address key scientific issues in soil microbial ecology. These include assessing the impact of environmental- and land use changes on microbial diversity and function and exploring the evolutionary and mechanistic links between biological diversity and ecosystem function. In the present study, we have shown that: (1) The native mixed forest showed the highest microbial diversity (2) The mono specific plantations of tree species (e.g., oak, beech, pine, spruce) strikingly alter genetic and functional diversities of soil bacterial and fungal species. (3) Bacterial denitrification rates were dramatically modified by the planted species. Only by taking into account the impact of forest management on below-ground microbial diversity can one hope to get a full ecosystem-based understanding, and this must be addressed via modelling in order to provide relevant and useful information for conservation and policy making. (author)

  7. Does microbial biomass affect pelagic ecosystem efficiency? An experimental study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wehr, J D; Le, J; Campbell, L

    1994-01-01

    Bacteria and other microorganisms in the pelagic zone participate in the recycling of organic matter and nutrients within the water column. The microbial loop is thought to enhance ecosystem efficiency through rapid recycling and reduced sinking rates, thus reducing the loss of nutrients contained in organisms remaining within the photic zone. We conducted experiments with lake communities in 5400-liter mesocosms, and measured the flux of materials and nutrients out of the water column. A factorial design manipulated 8 nutrient treatments: 4 phosphorus levels × 2 nitrogen levels. Total sedimentation rates were greatest in high-N mesocosms; within N-surplus communities, [Symbol: see text]1 µM P resulted in 50% increase in total particulate losses. P additions without added N had small effects on nutrient losses from the photic zone; +2 µM P tanks received 334 mg P per tank, yet after 14 days lost only 69 mg more particulate-P than did control communities. Nutrient treatments resulted in marked differences in phytoplankton biomass (twofold N effect, fivefold P effect in +N mesocosms only), bacterioplankton densities (twofold N-effect, twofold P effects in -N and +N mesocosms), and the relative importance of autotrophic picoplankton (maximum in high NY mesocosms). Multiple regression analysis found that of 8 plankton and water chemistry variables, the ratio of autotrophic picoplankton to total phytoplankton (measured as chlorophyll α) explained the largest portion of the total variation in sedimentation loss rates (65% of P-flux, 57% of N-flux, 26% of total flux). In each case, systems with greater relative importance of autotrophic picoplankton had significantly reduced loss rates. In contrast, greater numbers of planktonic bacteria were associated with increased sedimentation rates and lower system efficiency. We suggest that different microbial components may have contrasting effects on the presumed enhanced efficiency provided by the microbial loop.

  8. Characterizing microbial communities and processes in a modern stromatolite (Shark Bay) using lipid biomarkers and two-dimensional distributions of porewater solutes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pagès, Anais; Grice, Kliti; Vacher, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Summary: Modern microbial mats are highly complex and dynamic ecosystems. Diffusive equilibration in thin films (DET) and diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) samplers were deployed in a modern smooth microbial mat from Shark Bay in order to observe, for the first time, two-dimensional distrib......Summary: Modern microbial mats are highly complex and dynamic ecosystems. Diffusive equilibration in thin films (DET) and diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) samplers were deployed in a modern smooth microbial mat from Shark Bay in order to observe, for the first time, two...

  9. High rates of sulfate reduction in a low-sulfate hot spring microbial mat are driven by a low level of diversity of sulfate-respiring microorganisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dillon, Jesse G; Fishbain, Susan; Miller, Scott R

    2007-01-01

    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....

  10. Palaeoenvironmental and biostratigraphic implications of microbial mat-related structures: Examples from the modern Gulf of Cambay and the Precambrian Vindhyan Basin, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santanu Banerjee

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available A stretch of the modern hypersaline coastal plain of the Gulf of Cambay was chosen to examine the distribution of the microbial mat-related structures (MRS on siliciclastic sediments in the intertidal and supratidal zones. The abundance of MRS increases from the lower intertidal zone to the upper supratidal zone while the type of MRS records a systematic change. While the lower intertidal zone exhibits wrinkle structures, sieve-like surfaces and patchy ripples in places, the upper intertidal zone exhibits diverse MRS related to reduced current activity on the mat layer and intermittent exposure. MRS in the upper intertidal zone include wrinkle structures, sieve-like surfaces, gas domes, reticulated surfaces, multi-directional ripples, patchy ripples, rolled-up mat fragments, setulfs and occasional petee ridges and cracked mat surfaces. The lower supratidal zone is characterized by increased occurrence of petee ridges, gas domes and cracked mat surfaces compared to the upper intertidal zone. The upper supratidal zone is distinguished by the presence of abundant cracked mat surfaces, petee ridges, gas domes and wrinkle structures. The presence of cm-scale, disc-shaped microbial colonies (DMC with a variety of internal structures is a unique feature of the Gulf of Cambay study area. While wrinkle structures occur in all the coastal zones, setulfs occur close to the boundary between the upper intertidal and lower supratidal zones. An attempt has been made to compare the distribution of MRS in this modern environment with those in the ~1.6 Ga Chorhat Sandstone of the Vindhyan Supergroup for high-resolution palaeoenvironmental interpretation. The upper part of the intertidal segment of the Chorhat Sandstone is distinguished from its lower part by the presence of abundant cracked mat surfaces, petee ridges and gas domes in the former, while wrinkle structures, Kinneyia, rolled-up mat fragments, patchy ripples and multi-directional ripples are equally

  11. Photosynthetic and Behavioral Versatility of the Cyanobacterium Oscillatoria-Boryana in a Sulfide-Rich Microbial Mat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    CASTENHOLZ, RW; JØRGENSEN, BB; DAMELIO, E.

    1991-01-01

    and predominant population which was spread over the mat surface during darkness and on overcast days ( 300 W m-2), O. boryana disappeared almost entirely from the mat surface to a position of about 1 mm below the surface pellicle of the mat. O2, sulfide, and pH microelectrodes inserted into excised mat cores...... photosynthesis of O. boryana occurred. This capability was confirmed for O. boryana by [C-14]-photoincorporation and sulfide-microelectrode experiments. Forced exposure to high irradiance levels (500-700 W m-2) was inhibitory to oxygenic photosynthesis in O. boryana, but these intensities impinging on mats...

  12. Insights into chemotaxonomic composition and carbon cycling of phototrophic communities in an artesian sulfur-rich spring (Zodletone, Oklahoma, USA), a possible analog for ancient microbial mat systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bühring, S I; Sievert, S M; Jonkers, H M; Ertefai, T; Elshahed, M S; Krumholz, L R; Hinrichs, K-U

    2011-03-01

    Zodletone spring in Oklahoma is a unique environment with high concentrations of dissolved-sulfide (10 mm) and short-chain gaseous alkanes, exhibiting characteristics that are reminiscent of conditions that are thought to have existed in Earth's history, in particular the late Archean and early-to-mid Proterozoic. Here, we present a process-oriented investigation of the microbial community in two distinct mat formations at the spring source, (1) the top of the sediment in the source pool and (2) the purple streamers attached to the side walls. We applied a combination of pigment and lipid biomarker analyses, while functional activities were investigated in terms of oxygen production (microsensor analysis) and carbon utilization ((13)C incorporation experiments). Pigment analysis showed cyanobacterial pigments, in addition to pigments from purple sulfur bacteria (PSB), green sulfur bacteria (GSB) and Chloroflexus-like bacteria (CLB). Analysis of intact polar lipids (IPLs) in the source sediment confirmed the presence of phototrophic organisms via diacylglycerol phospholipids and betaine lipids, whereas glyceroldialkylglyceroltetraether additionally indicated the presence of archaea. No archaeal IPLs were found in the purple streamers, which were strongly dominated by betaine lipids. (13)C-bicarbonate- and -acetate-labeling experiments indicated cyanobacteria as predominant phototrophs in the source sediment, carbon was actively fixed by PSB/CLB/GSB in purple streamers by using near infrared light. Despite the presence of cyanobacteria, no oxygen could be detected in the presence of light, suggesting anoxygenic photosynthesis as the major metabolic process at this site. Our investigations furthermore indicated photoheterotrophy as an important process in both habitats. We obtained insights into a syntrophically operating phototrophic community in an ecosystem that bears resemblance to early Earth conditions, where cyanobacteria constitute an important contributor to

  13. The microbial mats of Pavilion Lake microbialites: examining the relationship between photosynthesis and carbonate precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, D. S. S.; Hawes, I.; Mackey, T. J.; Brady, A. L.; Biddle, J.; Andersen, D. T.; Belan, M.; Slater, G.; Abercromby, A.; Squyres, S. W.; Delaney, M.; Haberle, C. W.; Cardman, Z.

    2014-12-01

    Pavilion Lake in British Columbia, Canada is an ultra-oligotrophic lake that has abundant microbialite growth. Recent research has shown that photoautotrophic microbial communities are important to modern microbialite development in Pavilion Lake. However, questions remain as to the relationship between changing light levels within the lake, variation in microbialite macro-structure, microbial consortia, and the preservation of associated biosignatures within the microbialite fabrics. The 2014 Pavilion Lake Research Project (PLRP) field program was focused on data gathering to understand these complex relationships by determining if a) light is the immediate limit to photosynthetic activity and, if so, if light is distributed around microbialites in ways that are consistent with emergent microbialite structure; and b) if at more local scales, the filamentous pink and green cyanobacterial nodular colonies identified in previous PLRP studies are centers of photosynthetic activity that create pH conditions suitable for carbonate precipitation. A diver-deployed pulse-amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometer was used to collect synoptic in situ measurements of fluorescence yield and irradiance and across microbialites, focusing on comparing flat and vertical structural elements at a range of sites and depths. As well, we collected time series measurements of photosynthetic activity and irradiance at a set depth of 18 m across three different regions in Pavilion Lake. Our initial findings suggest that all microbialite surfaces are primarily light-limited regardless of depth or location within the lake. Shore based PAM fluorometry and microelectrode profiling of diver-collected samples suggest that pink and green nodules have different photosynthetic properties and pH profiles, and that nodular growth is likely to be the primary route of calcification due to the gelatinous covering the nodule creates. On-going tests for molecular signatures and isotopic shifts will allow for

  14. On the effects of the evolution of microbial mats and land plants on the Earth as a planet. Photometric and spectroscopic light curves of paleo-Earths

    OpenAIRE

    Sanromá, E.; Pallé, E.; García-Muñoz, A.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the spectral and photometric variability of the Earth and the rest of the solar system planets has become of the utmost importance for the future characterization of rocky exoplanets. As this is not only interesting at present times but also along the planetary evolution, we studied the effect that the evolution of microbial mats and plants over land has had on the way our planet looks from afar. As life evolved, continental surfaces changed gradually and non- uniformly from des...

  15. An open source platform for multi-scale spatially distributed simulations of microbial ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Segre, Daniel [Boston Univ., MA (United States)

    2014-08-14

    The goal of this project was to develop a tool for facilitating simulation, validation and discovery of multiscale dynamical processes in microbial ecosystems. This led to the development of an open-source software platform for Computation Of Microbial Ecosystems in Time and Space (COMETS). COMETS performs spatially distributed time-dependent flux balance based simulations of microbial metabolism. Our plan involved building the software platform itself, calibrating and testing it through comparison with experimental data, and integrating simulations and experiments to address important open questions on the evolution and dynamics of cross-feeding interactions between microbial species.

  16. Spatial variability in photosynthetic and heterotrophic activity drives localized δ13C org fluctuations and carbonate precipitation in hypersaline microbial mats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houghton, J; Fike, D; Druschel, G; Orphan, V; Hoehler, T M; Des Marais, D J

    2014-11-01

    Modern laminated photosynthetic microbial mats are ideal environments to study how microbial activity creates and modifies carbon and sulfur isotopic signatures prior to lithification. Laminated microbial mats from a hypersaline lagoon (Guerrero Negro, Baja California, Mexico) maintained in a flume in a greenhouse at NASA Ames Research Center were sampled for δ(13) C of organic material and carbonate to assess the impact of carbon fixation (e.g., photosynthesis) and decomposition (e.g., bacterial respiration) on δ(13) C signatures. In the photic zone, the δ(13) C org signature records a complex relationship between the activities of cyanobacteria under variable conditions of CO2 limitation with a significant contribution from green sulfur bacteria using the reductive TCA cycle for carbon fixation. Carbonate is present in some layers of the mat, associated with high concentrations of bacteriochlorophyll e (characteristic of green sulfur bacteria) and exhibits δ(13) C signatures similar to DIC in the overlying water column (-2.0‰), with small but variable decreases consistent with localized heterotrophic activity from sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). Model results indicate respiration rates in the upper 12 mm of the mat alter in situ pH and HCO3- concentrations to create both phototrophic CO2 limitation and carbonate supersaturation, leading to local precipitation of carbonate minerals. The measured activity of SRB with depth suggests they variably contribute to decomposition in the mat dependent on organic substrate concentrations. Millimeter-scale variability in the δ(13) C org signature beneath the photic zone in the mat is a result of shifting dominance between cyanobacteria and green sulfur bacteria with the aggregate signature overprinted by heterotrophic reworking by SRB and methanogens. These observations highlight the impact of sedimentary microbial processes on δ(13) C org signatures; these processes need to be considered when attempting to relate

  17. Conversion and conservation of light energy in a photosynthetic microbial mat ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Al-Najjar, A.A.; De Beer, D.; Jørgensen, B. B.

    2011-01-01

    approach uses microscale measurements of the rates of heat dissipation, gross photosynthesis and light absorption in the system, and a model describing light propagation and conversion in a scattering-absorbing medium. The energy budget was dominated by heat dissipation on the expense of photosynthesis...

  18. Conversion and conservation of light energy in a photosynthetic microbial mat ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Al-Najjar, A. A.; de Beer, Dirk; Jørgensen, Bo Barker

    2010-01-01

    : in light-limiting conditions, 95.5% of the absorbed light energy dissipated as heat and 4.5% was channeled into photosynthesis. This energy disproportionation changed in favor of heat dissipation at increasing irradiance, with >99% of the absorbed light energy being dissipated as heat and 700 micromol...

  19. Environmental regulation in a network of simulated microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Hywel T P; Lenton, Timothy M

    2008-07-29

    The Earth possesses a number of regulatory feedback mechanisms involving life. In the absence of a population of competing biospheres, it has proved hard to find a robust evolutionary mechanism that would generate environmental regulation. It has been suggested that regulation must require altruistic environmental alterations by organisms and, therefore, would be evolutionarily unstable. This need not be the case if organisms alter the environment as a selectively neutral by-product of their metabolism, as in the majority of biogeochemical reactions, but a question then arises: Why should the combined by-product effects of the biota have a stabilizing, rather than destabilizing, influence on the environment? Under certain conditions, selection acting above the level of the individual can be an effective adaptive force. Here we present an evolutionary simulation model in which environmental regulation involving higher-level selection robustly emerges in a network of interconnected microbial ecosystems. Spatial structure creates conditions for a limited form of higher-level selection to act on the collective environment-altering properties of local communities. Local communities that improve their environmental conditions achieve larger populations and are better colonizers of available space, whereas local communities that degrade their environment shrink and become susceptible to invasion. The spread of environment-improving communities alters the global environment toward the optimal conditions for growth and tends to regulate against external perturbations. This work suggests a mechanism for environmental regulation that is consistent with evolutionary theory.

  20. Coordinated motility of cyanobacteria favor mat formation, photosynthesis and carbon burial in low-oxygen, high-sulfur shallow sinkholes of Lake Huron; whereas deep-water aphotic sinkholes are analogs of deep-sea seep and vent ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biddanda, B. A.; McMillan, A. C.; Long, S. A.; Snider, M. J.; Weinke, A. D.; Dick, G.; Ruberg, S. A.

    2016-02-01

    Microbial life in submerged sinkhole ecosystems of the Laurentian Great Lakes is relatively understudied in comparison to seeps and vents of the deep-sea. We studied the filamentous benthic mat-forming cyanobacteria consisting primarily of Oscillatoria-like cells growing under low-light, low-oxygen and high-sulfur conditions in Lake Huron's submerged sinkholes using in situ observations, in vitro measurements and time-lapse microscopy. Gliding movement of the cyanobacterial trichomes revealed individual as well as group-coordinated motility. When placed in a petri dish and dispersed in ground water from the sinkhole, filaments re-aggregated into defined colonies within minutes. Measured speed of individual filaments ranged from 50 µm minute-1 or 15 body lengths minute-1 to 215 µm minute-1 or 70 body lengths minute-1 - rates that are rapid relative to non-flagellated/ciliated microbes. Filaments exhibited precise and coordinated positive phototaxis towards pinpoints of light and congregated under the light of foil cutouts. Such light-responsive clusters showed an increase in photosynthetic yield - suggesting phototactic motility aids in light acquisition as well as photosynthesis. Pebbles and pieces of broken shells placed upon the mat in intact sediemnt cores were quickly covered by vertically motile filaments within hours and became fully buried in the anoxic sediments over 3-4 diurnal cycles - likely facilitating the preservation of falling plankton debris. Coordinated horizontal and vertical filament motility optimize mat cohesion and dynamics, photosynthetic efficiency and sedimentary carbon burial in modern-day sinkhole habitats where life operates across sharp redox gradients. Analogous cyanobacterial motility in the shallow seas during Earth's early history, may have played a key role in the oxygenation of the planet by optimizing photosynthesis while favoring carbon burial. We are now eagerly mapping and exploring life in deep-water aphotic sinkholes of

  1. Genome Sequence of Rhodoferax antarcticus ANT.BRT; A Psychrophilic Purple Nonsulfur Bacterium from an Antarctic Microbial Mat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer M. Baker

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Rhodoferax antarcticus is an Antarctic purple nonsulfur bacterium and the only characterized anoxygenic phototroph that grows best below 20 °C. We present here a high-quality draft genome of Rfx. antarcticus strain ANT.BRT, isolated from an Antarctic microbial mat. The circular chromosome (3.8 Mbp of Rfx. antarcticus has a 59.1% guanine + cytosine (GC content and contains 4036 open reading frames. In addition, the bacterium contains a sizable plasmid (198.6 kbp, 48.4% GC with 226 open reading frames that comprises about 5% of the total genetic content. Surprisingly, genes encoding light-harvesting complexes 1 and 3 (LH1 and LH3, but not light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2, were identified in the photosynthesis gene cluster of the Rfx. antarcticus genome, a feature that is unique among purple phototrophs. Consistent with physiological studies that showed a strong capacity for nitrogen fixation in Rfx. antarcticus, a nitrogen fixation gene cluster encoding a molybdenum-type nitrogenase was present, but no alternative nitrogenases were identified despite the cold-active phenotype of this phototroph. Genes encoding two forms of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase were present in the Rfx. antarcticus genome, a feature that likely provides autotrophic flexibility under varying environmental conditions. Lastly, genes for assembly of both type IV pili and flagella are present, with the latter showing an unusual degree of clustering. This report represents the first genomic analysis of a psychrophilic anoxygenic phototroph and provides a glimpse of the genetic basis for maintaining a phototrophic lifestyle in a permanently cold, yet highly variable, environment.

  2. Biochemical characterization of a new nicotinamidase from an unclassified bacterium thriving in a geothermal water stream microbial mat community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapata-Pérez, Rubén; Martínez-Moñino, Ana-Belén; García-Saura, Antonio-Ginés; Cabanes, Juana; Takami, Hideto; Sánchez-Ferrer, Álvaro

    2017-01-01

    Nicotinamidases are amidohydrolases that convert nicotinamide into nicotinic acid, contributing to NAD+ homeostasis in most organisms. In order to increase the number of nicotinamidases described to date, this manuscript characterizes a nicotinamidase obtained from a metagenomic library fosmid clone (JFF054_F02) obtained from a geothermal water stream microbial mat community in a Japanese epithermal mine. The enzyme showed an optimum temperature of 90°C, making it the first hyperthermophilic bacterial nicotinamidase to be characterized, since the phylogenetic analysis of this fosmid clone placed it in a clade of uncultured geothermal bacteria. The enzyme, named as UbNic, not only showed an alkaline optimum pH, but also a biphasic pH dependence of its kcat, with a maximum at pH 9.5-10.0. The two pKa values obtained were 4.2 and 8.6 for pKes1 and pKes2, respectively. These results suggest a possible flexible catalytic mechanism for nicotinamidases, which reconciles the two previously proposed mechanisms. In addition, the enzyme showed a high catalytic efficiency, not only toward nicotinamide, but also toward other nicotinamide analogs. Its mutational analysis showed that a tryptophan (W83) is needed in one of the faces of the active site to maintain low Km values toward all the substrates tested. Furthermore, UbNic proved to contain a Fe2+ ion in its metal binding site, and was revealed to belong to a new nicotinamidase subgroup. All these characteristics, together with its high pH- and thermal stability, distinguish UbNic from previously described nicotinamidases, and suggest that a wide diversity of enzymes remains to be discovered in extreme environments.

  3. Biochemical characterization of a new nicotinamidase from an unclassified bacterium thriving in a geothermal water stream microbial mat community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubén Zapata-Pérez

    Full Text Available Nicotinamidases are amidohydrolases that convert nicotinamide into nicotinic acid, contributing to NAD+ homeostasis in most organisms. In order to increase the number of nicotinamidases described to date, this manuscript characterizes a nicotinamidase obtained from a metagenomic library fosmid clone (JFF054_F02 obtained from a geothermal water stream microbial mat community in a Japanese epithermal mine. The enzyme showed an optimum temperature of 90°C, making it the first hyperthermophilic bacterial nicotinamidase to be characterized, since the phylogenetic analysis of this fosmid clone placed it in a clade of uncultured geothermal bacteria. The enzyme, named as UbNic, not only showed an alkaline optimum pH, but also a biphasic pH dependence of its kcat, with a maximum at pH 9.5-10.0. The two pKa values obtained were 4.2 and 8.6 for pKes1 and pKes2, respectively. These results suggest a possible flexible catalytic mechanism for nicotinamidases, which reconciles the two previously proposed mechanisms. In addition, the enzyme showed a high catalytic efficiency, not only toward nicotinamide, but also toward other nicotinamide analogs. Its mutational analysis showed that a tryptophan (W83 is needed in one of the faces of the active site to maintain low Km values toward all the substrates tested. Furthermore, UbNic proved to contain a Fe2+ ion in its metal binding site, and was revealed to belong to a new nicotinamidase subgroup. All these characteristics, together with its high pH- and thermal stability, distinguish UbNic from previously described nicotinamidases, and suggest that a wide diversity of enzymes remains to be discovered in extreme environments.

  4. Cyanobacteria in Sulfidic Spring Microbial Mats Can Perform Oxygenic and Anoxygenic Photosynthesis Simultaneously during an Entire Diurnal Period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klatt, Judith M; de Beer, Dirk; Häusler, Stefan; Polerecky, Lubos

    2016-01-01

    We used microsensors to study the regulation of anoxygenic and oxygenic photosynthesis (AP and OP, respectively) by light and sulfide in a cyanobacterium dominating microbial mats from cold sulfidic springs. Both photosynthetic modes were performed simultaneously over all H 2 S concentrations (1-2200 μM) and irradiances (4-52 μmol photons m -2 s -1 ) tested. AP increased with H 2 S concentration while the sum of oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthetic rates was constant at each light intensity. Thus, the total photosynthetically driven electron transport rate was solely controlled by the irradiance level. The partitioning between the rates of these two photosynthetic modes was regulated by both light and H 2 S concentration. The plastoquinone pool (PQ) receives electrons from sulfide:quinone:reductase (SQR) in AP and from photosystem II (PSII) in OP. It is thus the link in the electron transport chain where both pathways intersect, and the compound that controls their partitioning. We fitted our data with a model of the photosynthetic electron transport that includes the kinetics of plastoquinone reduction and oxidation. The model results confirmed that the observed partitioning between photosynthetic modes can be explained by a simple kinetic control based on the affinity of SQR and PSII toward PQ. The SQR enzyme and PSII have similar affinities toward PQ, which explains the concurrent OP and AP over an astonishingly wide range of H 2 S concentrations and irradiances. The elegant kinetic control of activity makes the cyanobacterium successful in the fluctuating spring environment. We discuss how these specific regulation mechanisms may have played a role in ancient H 2 S-rich oceans.

  5. Cyanobacteria in sulfidic spring microbial mats can perform oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis simultaneously during an entire diurnal period

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith M Klatt

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available We used microsensors to study the regulation of oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis by light and sulfide in a cyanobacterium dominating microbial mats from cold sulfidic springs. Both photosynthetic modes were performed simultaneously over all H2S concentrations (1–2200 µM and irradiances (4–52 µmol photons m-2 s-1 tested. Anoxygenic photosynthesis increased with H2S concentration while the sum of oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthetic rates was constant at each light intensity. Thus, the total photosynthetically driven electron transport rate was solely controlled by the irradiance level. The partitioning between the rates of these two photosynthetic modes was regulated by both light and H2S concentration. The plastoquinone pool (PQ receives electrons from sulfide:quinone:reductase (SQR in anoxygenic photosynthesis and from photosystem II (PSII in oxygenic photosynthesis. It is thus the link in the electron transport chain where both pathways intersect, and the compound that controls their partitioning. We fitted our data with a model of the photosynthetic electron transport that includes the kinetics of plastoquinone reduction and oxidation. The model results confirmed that the observed partitioning between photosynthetic modes can be explained by a simple kinetic control based on the affinity of SQR and PSII towards PQ. The SQR enzyme and PSII have similar affinities towards PQ, which explains the concurrent oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis over an astonishingly wide range of H2S concentrations and irradiances. The elegant kinetic control of activity makes the cyanobacterium successful in the fluctuating spring environment. We discuss how these specific regulation mechanisms may have played a role in ancient H2S-rich oceans.

  6. Regulation of nif gene expression and the energetics of N2 fixation over the diel cycle in a hot spring microbial mat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steunou, Anne-Soisig; Jensen, Sheila I; Brecht, Eric; Becraft, Eric D; Bateson, Mary M; Kilian, Oliver; Bhaya, Devaki; Ward, David M; Peters, John W; Grossman, Arthur R; Kühl, Michael

    2008-04-01

    Nitrogen fixation, a prokaryotic, O2-inhibited process that reduces N2 gas to biomass, is of paramount importance in biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen. We analyzed the levels of nif transcripts of Synechococcus ecotypes, NifH subunit and nitrogenase activity over the diel cycle in the microbial mat of an alkaline hot spring in Yellowstone National Park. The results showed a rise in nif transcripts in the evening, with a subsequent decline over the course of the night. In contrast, immunological data demonstrated that the level of the NifH polypeptide remained stable during the night, and only declined when the mat became oxic in the morning. Nitrogenase activity was low throughout the night; however, it exhibited two peaks, a small one in the evening and a large one in the early morning, when light began to stimulate cyanobacterial photosynthetic activity, but O2 consumption by respiration still exceeded the rate of O2 evolution. Once the irradiance increased to the point at which the mat became oxic, the nitrogenase activity was strongly inhibited. Transcripts for proteins associated with energy-producing metabolisms in the cell also followed diel patterns, with fermentation-related transcripts accumulating at night, photosynthesis- and respiration-related transcripts accumulating during the day and late afternoon, respectively. These results are discussed with respect to the energetics and regulation of N2 fixation in hot spring mats and factors that can markedly influence the extent of N2 fixation over the diel cycle.

  7. Shifts of microbial communities of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivation in a closed artificial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Youcai; Fu, Yuming; Dong, Chen; Jia, Nannan; Liu, Hong

    2016-05-01

    The microbial communities of plant ecosystems are in relation to plant growing environment, but the alteration in biodiversity of rhizosphere and phyllosphere microbial communities in closed and controlled environments is unknown. The purpose of this study is to analyze the change regularity of microbial communities with wheat plants dependent-cultivated in a closed artificial ecosystem. The microbial community structures in closed-environment treatment plants were investigated by a culture-dependent approach, polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE), and Illumina Miseq high-throughput sequencing. The results indicated that the number of microbes decreased along with time, and the magnitude of bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes were 10(7)-10(8), 10(5), and 10(3)-10(4) CFU/g (dry weight), respectively. The analysis of PCR-DGGE and Illumina Miseq revealed that the wheat leaf surface and near-root substrate had different microbial communities at different periods of wheat ecosystem development and showed that the relative highest diversity of microbial communities appeared at late and middle periods of the plant ecosystem, respectively. The results also indicated that the wheat leaf and substrate had different microbial community compositions, and the wheat substrate had higher richness of microbial community than the leaf. Flavobacterium, Pseudomonas, Paenibacillus, Enterobacter, Penicillium, Rhodotorula, Acremonium, and Alternaria were dominant in the wheat leaf samples, and Pedobacter, Flavobacterium, Halomonas, Marinobacter, Salinimicrobium, Lysobacter, Pseudomonas, Halobacillus, Xanthomonas, Acremonium, Monographella, and Penicillium were dominant populations in the wheat near-root substrate samples.

  8. Comparison of seasonal soil microbial process in snow-covered temperate ecosystems of northern China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinyue Zhang

    Full Text Available More than half of the earth's terrestrial surface currently experiences seasonal snow cover and soil frost. Winter compositional and functional investigations in soil microbial community are frequently conducted in alpine tundra and boreal forest ecosystems. However, little information on winter microbial biogeochemistry is known from seasonally snow-covered temperate ecosystems. As decomposer microbes may differ in their ability/strategy to efficiently use soil organic carbon (SOC within different phases of the year, understanding seasonal microbial process will increase our knowledge of biogeochemical cycling from the aspect of decomposition rates and corresponding nutrient dynamics. In this study, we measured soil microbial biomass, community composition and potential SOC mineralization rates in winter and summer, from six temperate ecosystems in northern China. Our results showed a clear pattern of increased microbial biomass C to nitrogen (N ratio in most winter soils. Concurrently, a shift in soil microbial community composition occurred with higher fungal to bacterial biomass ratio and gram negative (G- to gram positive (G+ bacterial biomass ratio in winter than in summer. Furthermore, potential SOC mineralization rate was higher in winter than in summer. Our study demonstrated a distinct transition of microbial community structure and function from winter to summer in temperate snow-covered ecosystems. Microbial N immobilization in winter may not be the major contributor for plant growth in the following spring.

  9. Allee effect: the story behind the stabilization or extinction of microbial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, Madhurankhi; Bhattacharyya, Purnita; Tribedi, Prosun

    2017-03-01

    A population exhibiting Allee effect shows a positive correlation between population fitness and population size or density. Allee effect decides the extinction or conservation of a microbial population and thus appears to be an important criterion in population ecology. The underlying factor of Allee effect that decides the stabilization and extinction of a particular population density is the threshold or the critical density of their abundance. According to Allee, microbial populations exhibit a definite, critical or threshold density, beyond which the population fitness of a particular population increases with the rise in population density and below it, the population fitness goes down with the decrease in population density. In particular, microbial population displays advantageous traits such as biofilm formation, expression of virulence genes, spore formation and many more only at a high population density. It has also been observed that microorganisms exhibiting a lower population density undergo complete extinction from the residual microbial ecosystem. In reference to Allee effect, decrease in population density or size introduces deleterious mutations among the population density through genetic drift. Mutations are carried forward to successive generations resulting in its accumulation among the population density thus reducing its microbial fitness and thereby increasing the risk of extinction of a particular microbial population. However, when the microbial load is high, the chance of genetic drift is less, and through the process of biofilm formation, the cooperation existing among the microbial population increases that increases the microbial fitness. Thus, the high microbial population through the formation of microbial biofilm stabilizes the ecosystem by increasing fitness. Taken together, microbial fitness shows positive correlation with the ecosystem conservation and negative correlation with ecosystem extinction.

  10. The Dark Side of the Mushroom Spring Microbial Mat: Life in the Shadow of Chlorophototrophs. II. Metabolic Functions of Abundant Community Members Predicted from Metagenomic Analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiel, Vera; Hügler, Michael; Ward, David M; Bryant, Donald A

    2017-01-01

    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

  11. The Dark Side of the Mushroom Spring Microbial Mat: Life in the Shadow of Chlorophototrophs. II. Metabolic Functions of Abundant Community Members Predicted from Metagenomic Analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Thiel

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available 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

  12. Stimulation of microbial nitrogen cycling in aquatic ecosystems by benthic macrofauna: mechanisms and environmental implications

    OpenAIRE

    P. Stief

    2013-01-01

    Invertebrate animals that live at the bottom of aquatic ecosystems (i.e., benthic macrofauna) are important mediators between nutrients in the water column and microbes in the benthos. The presence of benthic macrofauna stimulates microbial nutrient dynamics through different types of animal–microbe interactions, which potentially affect the trophic status of aquatic ecosystems. This review contrasts three types of animal–microbe interactions in the benthos of aquatic ecosystems: (i) e...

  13. Microbial ecology of fermentative hydrogen producing bioprocesses: useful insights for driving the ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Lea; Marone, Antonella; Tapia-Venegas, Estela; Steyer, Jean-Philippe; Ruiz-Filippi, Gonzalo; Trably, Eric

    2017-03-01

    One of the most important biotechnological challenges is to develop environment friendly technologies to produce new sources of energy. Microbial production of biohydrogen through dark fermentation, by conversion of residual biomass, is an attractive solution for short-term development of bioH2 producing processes. Efficient biohydrogen production relies on complex mixed communities working in tight interaction. Species composition and functional traits are of crucial importance to maintain the ecosystem service. The analysis of microbial community revealed a wide phylogenetic diversity that contributes in different-and still mostly unclear-ways to hydrogen production. Bridging this gap of knowledge between microbial ecology features and ecosystem functionality is essential to optimize the bioprocess and develop strategies toward a maximization of the efficiency and stability of substrate conversion. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the most up-to-date biodata available and discuss the main microbial community features of biohydrogen engineered ecosystems, with a special emphasis on the crucial role of interactions and the relationships between species composition and ecosystem service. The elucidation of intricate relationships between community structure and ecosystem function would make possible to drive ecosystems toward an improved functionality on the basis of microbial ecology principles. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. On the Effects of the Evolution of Microbial Mats and Land Plants on the Earth as a Planet. Photometric and Spectroscopic Light Curves of Paleo-Earths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanromá, E.; Pallé, E.; García Munõz, A.

    2013-04-01

    Understanding the spectral and photometric variability of the Earth and the rest of the solar system planets has become of utmost importance for the future characterization of rocky exoplanets. As this is not only interesting at present times but also along the planetary evolution, we studied the effect that the evolution of microbial mats and plants over land has had on the way our planet looks from afar. As life evolved, continental surfaces changed gradually and non-uniformly from deserts through microbial mats to land plants, modifying the reflective properties of the ground and most likely the distribution of moisture and cloudiness. Here, we used a radiative transfer model of the Earth, together with geological paleo-records of the continental distribution and a reconstructed cloud distribution, to simulate the visible and near-IR radiation reflected by our planet as a function of Earth's rotation. We found that the evolution from deserts to microbial mats and to land plants produces detectable changes in the globally averaged Earth's reflectance. The variability of each surface type is located in different bands and can induce reflectance changes of up to 40% in period of hours. We conclude that by using photometric observations of an Earth-like planet at different photometric bands it would be possible to discriminate between different surface types. While recent literature proposes the red-edge feature of vegetation near 0.7 μm as a signature for land plants, observations in near-IR bands can be equally or even better suited for this purpose.

  15. Petrographic Evidence of Microbial Mats in the Upper Cretaceous Fish-Bearing, Organic-Rich Limestone, Agua Nueva Formation, Central Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, A.; Maurrasse, F. J.; Hernández-Ávila, J.; Ángeles-Trigueros, S. A.; García-Cabrera, M. E.

    2013-05-01

    We document petrographic evidence of microbial mats in the Upper Cretaceous Agua Nueva Formation in the area of Xilitla (San Luis Potosí, Central Mexico), located in the southern part of the Tampico-Misantla basin. The sequence consists predominantly of alternating decimeter-thick beds of fossiliferous dark laminated limestone (C-org > 1.0wt%), and light gray, bioturbated limestone (C-org Duque-Botero and Maurrasse, 2005; 2008). These structures are also analogous to microbial mats in present environments, and Devonian deposits (Kremer, 2006). In addition, the laminae at Xilitla include filamentous bacterial structures, as thin and segmented red elements. In some thin sections, filaments appear to be embedded within the crinkly laminae and shreds showing the same pattern of folding, suggestive of biomorphic elements that represent the main producers of the organic matter associated with the laminae. Thus, exceptional bacterial activity characterizes sedimentation during the accumulation of the Agua Nueva Formation. Oxygen-deficient conditions related to the microbial mats were an important element in the mass mortality and preservation of the fish assemblages. Absence of bioturbation, pervasive framboidal pyrite, and the high concentration of organic matter (TOC ranges from 1.2% to 8wt%) in the dark limestones are consistent with persistent recurring dysoxic/anoxic conditions, and the light-gray bioturbated limestones represent relatively well-oxygenated episodes. Planktonic foraminifera (Rotalipora cushmani) and Inoceramu labiatus indicate a time interval from the latest Cenomanian through the earliest Turonian, thus this long interval of severe oxygen deficiency is coeval with Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE-2). [Duque-Botero and Maurrasse. 2005. Jour. Iberian Geology (31), 85-98; 2008. Cret. Res., 29, 957-964; Kremer. 2006. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica (51, 1), 143-154

  16. Fatty Acid and Carbon Isotopic Evidence for type I Methanotrophs in Microbial Mats from a Shallow Marine Gas Seep, Coal Oil Point, CA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, H.; Valentine, D.

    2005-12-01

    To study the microbial community in a Southern California seep field, sediment and bacterial mat samples were collected from natural gas-bearing and gas-free surfaces at two distinct seeps in the Coal Oil Point seep field, offshore Santa Barbara. Fatty acids in these samples were extracted, analyzed and identified. Using gas chromatography (GC), more than 30 different fatty acids were separated. Generally, fatty acid concentrations in natural gas-bearing samples were about 5-fold higher compared to gas-free samples. Using gas chromatography mass sepctrometry (GC-MS), all separated fatty acids were identified in each sample. The major constituents included saturated 14:0, 16:0, 18:0, branched i-15, a-15 and unsaturated 16:1 and 18:1 series fatty acids. GC-IRMS (isotope ratio mass spectrometry) analysis provided the 13C of all major fatty acids and some 16:1 series fatty acids were found to be more depleted than -40% in samples associated with gas seepage. After treatment with dimethyl disufide (DMDS), the 16:1 series fatty acids were resolved into five distinct components, including common composition 16:1(7), bacterial specific i-16:1(7) and typical biomarkers of type I methnotrophs 16:1(8), 16(6) and 16:1(5), suggesting an important role for methnotrophs in seep sediments and microbial mats. These results provide evidence for the activity of type I methanotrophic bacteria in microbial mats and surficial sediments at the Coal Oil Point seep field, and have implications for methane cycling in this and other seep

  17. ON THE EFFECTS OF THE EVOLUTION OF MICROBIAL MATS AND LAND PLANTS ON THE EARTH AS A PLANET. PHOTOMETRIC AND SPECTROSCOPIC LIGHT CURVES OF PALEO-EARTHS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanromá, E.; Pallé, E.; García Munõz, A.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the spectral and photometric variability of the Earth and the rest of the solar system planets has become of utmost importance for the future characterization of rocky exoplanets. As this is not only interesting at present times but also along the planetary evolution, we studied the effect that the evolution of microbial mats and plants over land has had on the way our planet looks from afar. As life evolved, continental surfaces changed gradually and non-uniformly from deserts through microbial mats to land plants, modifying the reflective properties of the ground and most likely the distribution of moisture and cloudiness. Here, we used a radiative transfer model of the Earth, together with geological paleo-records of the continental distribution and a reconstructed cloud distribution, to simulate the visible and near-IR radiation reflected by our planet as a function of Earth's rotation. We found that the evolution from deserts to microbial mats and to land plants produces detectable changes in the globally averaged Earth's reflectance. The variability of each surface type is located in different bands and can induce reflectance changes of up to 40% in period of hours. We conclude that by using photometric observations of an Earth-like planet at different photometric bands it would be possible to discriminate between different surface types. While recent literature proposes the red-edge feature of vegetation near 0.7 μm as a signature for land plants, observations in near-IR bands can be equally or even better suited for this purpose.

  18. Regulation of nif gene expression and the energetics of N2 fixation over the diel cycle in a hot spring microbial mat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steunou, Anne-Soisig; Jensen, Sheila I; Brecht, Eric

    2008-01-01

    Nitrogen fixation, a prokaryotic, O(2)-inhibited process that reduces N(2) gas to biomass, is of paramount importance in biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen. We analyzed the levels of nif transcripts of Synechococcus ecotypes, NifH subunit and nitrogenase activity over the diel cycle...... in the microbial mat of an alkaline hot spring in Yellowstone National Park. The results showed a rise in nif transcripts in the evening, with a subsequent decline over the course of the night. In contrast, immunological data demonstrated that the level of the NifH polypeptide remained stable during the night...

  19. Quantification of metabolically active transient storage (MATS) in two reaches with contrasting transient storage and ecosystem respiration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alba Argerich; Roy Haggerty; Eugènia Martí; Francesc Sabater; Jay. Zarnetske

    2011-01-01

    Water transient storage zones are hotspots for metabolic activity in streams although the contribution of different types of transient storage zones to the whole�]reach metabolic activity is difficult to quantify. In this study we present a method to measure the fraction of the transient storage that is metabolically active (MATS) in two consecutive reaches...

  20. Soil Microbial Community Successional Patterns during Forest Ecosystem Restoration ▿†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banning, Natasha C.; Gleeson, Deirdre B.; Grigg, Andrew H.; Grant, Carl D.; Andersen, Gary L.; Brodie, Eoin L.; Murphy, D. V.

    2011-01-01

    Soil microbial community characterization is increasingly being used to determine the responses of soils to stress and disturbances and to assess ecosystem sustainability. However, there is little experimental evidence to indicate that predictable patterns in microbial community structure or composition occur during secondary succession or ecosystem restoration. This study utilized a chronosequence of developing jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) forest ecosystems, rehabilitated after bauxite mining (up to 18 years old), to examine changes in soil bacterial and fungal community structures (by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis [ARISA]) and changes in specific soil bacterial phyla by 16S rRNA gene microarray analysis. This study demonstrated that mining in these ecosystems significantly altered soil bacterial and fungal community structures. The hypothesis that the soil microbial community structures would become more similar to those of the surrounding nonmined forest with rehabilitation age was broadly supported by shifts in the bacterial but not the fungal community. Microarray analysis enabled the identification of clear successional trends in the bacterial community at the phylum level and supported the finding of an increase in similarity to nonmined forest soil with rehabilitation age. Changes in soil microbial community structure were significantly related to the size of the microbial biomass as well as numerous edaphic variables (including pH and C, N, and P nutrient concentrations). These findings suggest that soil bacterial community dynamics follow a pattern in developing ecosystems that may be predictable and can be conceptualized as providing an integrated assessment of numerous edaphic variables. PMID:21724890

  1. Identifying the interacting roles of stressors in driving the global loss of canopy-forming to mat-forming algae in marine ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strain, Elisabeth M A; Thomson, Russell J; Micheli, Fiorenza; Mancuso, Francesco P; Airoldi, Laura

    2014-11-01

    Identifying the type and strength of interactions between local anthropogenic and other stressors can help to set achievable management targets for degraded marine ecosystems and support their resilience by identifying local actions. We undertook a meta-analysis, using data from 118 studies to test the hypothesis that ongoing global declines in the dominant habitat along temperate rocky coastlines, forests of canopy-forming algae and/or their replacement by mat-forming algae are driven by the nonadditive interactions between local anthropogenic stressors that can be addressed through management actions (fishing, heavy metal pollution, nutrient enrichment and high sediment loads) and other stressors (presence of competitors or grazers, removal of canopy algae, limiting or excessive light, low or high salinity, increasing temperature, high wave exposure and high UV or CO2 ), not as easily amenable to management actions. In general, the cumulative effects of local anthropogenic and other stressors had negative effects on the growth and survival of canopy-forming algae. Conversely, the growth or survival of mat-forming algae was either unaffected or significantly enhanced by the same pairs of stressors. Contrary to our predictions, the majority of interactions between stressors were additive. There were however synergistic interactions between nutrient enrichment and heavy metals, the presence of competitors, low light and increasing temperature, leading to amplified negative effects on canopy-forming algae. There were also synergistic interactions between nutrient enrichment and increasing CO2 and temperature leading to amplified positive effects on mat-forming algae. Our review of the current literature shows that management of nutrient levels, rather than fishing, heavy metal pollution or high sediment loads, would provide the greatest opportunity for preventing the shift from canopy to mat-forming algae, particularly in enclosed bays or estuaries because of the

  2. Linking microbial and ecosystem ecology using ecological stoichiometry: a synthesis of conceptual and empirical approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, E.K.; Maixner, F.; Franklin, O.; Daims, H.; Richter, A.; Battin, T.

    2011-01-01

    Currently, one of the biggest challenges in microbial and ecosystem ecology is to develop conceptual models that organize the growing body of information on environmental microbiology into a clear mechanistic framework with a direct link to ecosystem processes. Doing so will enable development of testable hypotheses to better direct future research and increase understanding of key constraints on biogeochemical networks. Although the understanding of phenotypic and genotypic diversity of microorganisms in the environment is rapidly accumulating, how controls on microbial physiology ultimately affect biogeochemical fluxes remains poorly understood. We propose that insight into constraints on biogeochemical cycles can be achieved by a more rigorous evaluation of microbial community biomass composition within the context of ecological stoichiometry. Multiple recent studies have pointed to microbial biomass stoichiometry as an important determinant of when microorganisms retain or recycle mineral nutrients. We identify the relevant cellular components that most likely drive changes in microbial biomass stoichiometry by defining a conceptual model rooted in ecological stoichiometry. More importantly, we show how X-ray microanalysis (XRMA), nanoscale secondary ion mass spectroscopy (NanoSIMS), Raman microspectroscopy, and in situ hybridization techniques (for example, FISH) can be applied in concert to allow for direct empirical evaluation of the proposed conceptual framework. This approach links an important piece of the ecological literature, ecological stoichiometry, with the molecular front of the microbial revolution, in an attempt to provide new insight into how microbial physiology could constrain ecosystem processes.

  3. Mapping microbial ecosystems and spoilage-gene flow in breweries highlights patterns of contamination and resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bokulich, Nicholas A; Bergsveinson, Jordyn; Ziola, Barry; Mills, David A

    2015-03-10

    Distinct microbial ecosystems have evolved to meet the challenges of indoor environments, shaping the microbial communities that interact most with modern human activities. Microbial transmission in food-processing facilities has an enormous impact on the qualities and healthfulness of foods, beneficially or detrimentally interacting with food products. To explore modes of microbial transmission and spoilage-gene frequency in a commercial food-production scenario, we profiled hop-resistance gene frequencies and bacterial and fungal communities in a brewery. We employed a Bayesian approach for predicting routes of contamination, revealing critical control points for microbial management. Physically mapping microbial populations over time illustrates patterns of dispersal and identifies potential contaminant reservoirs within this environment. Habitual exposure to beer is associated with increased abundance of spoilage genes, predicting greater contamination risk. Elucidating the genetic landscapes of indoor environments poses important practical implications for food-production systems and these concepts are translatable to other built environments.

  4. Microbial iron mats at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and evidence that Zetaproteobacteria may be restricted to iron-oxidizing marine systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jarrod J Scott

    Full Text Available Chemolithoautotrophic iron-oxidizing bacteria play an essential role in the global iron cycle. Thus far, the majority of marine iron-oxidizing bacteria have been identified as Zetaproteobacteria, a novel class within the phylum Proteobacteria. Marine iron-oxidizing microbial communities have been found associated with volcanically active seamounts, crustal spreading centers, and coastal waters. However, little is known about the presence and diversity of iron-oxidizing communities at hydrothermal systems along the slow crustal spreading center of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. From October to November 2012, samples were collected from rust-colored mats at three well-known hydrothermal vent systems on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (Rainbow, Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse, and Snake Pit using the ROV Jason II. The goal of these efforts was to determine if iron-oxidizing Zetaproteobacteria were present at sites proximal to black smoker vent fields. Small, diffuse flow venting areas with high iron(II concentrations and rust-colored microbial mats were observed at all three sites proximal to black smoker chimneys. A novel, syringe-based precision sampler was used to collect discrete microbial iron mat samples at the three sites. The presence of Zetaproteobacteria was confirmed using a combination of 16S rRNA pyrosequencing and single-cell sorting, while light micros-copy revealed a variety of iron-oxyhydroxide structures, indicating that active iron-oxidizing communities exist along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Sequencing analysis suggests that these iron mats contain cosmopolitan representatives of Zetaproteobacteria, but also exhibit diversity that may be uncommon at other iron-rich marine sites studied to date. A meta-analysis of publically available data encompassing a variety of aquatic habitats indicates that Zetaproteobacteria are rare if an iron source is not readily available. This work adds to the growing understanding of Zetaproteobacteria ecology and suggests

  5. Diversity and Function of Microbial Community in Chinese Strong-Flavor Baijiu Ecosystem: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Zou

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Strong flavor baijiu (SFB, also called Luzhou-flavor liquor, is the most popular Chinese baijiu. It is manufactured via solid fermentation, with daqu as the starter. Microbial diversity of the SFB ecosystem and the synergistic effects of the enzymes and compounds produced by them are responsible for the special flavor and mouthfeel of SFB. The present review covers research studies focused on microbial community analysis of the SFB ecosystem, including the culturable microorganisms, their metabolic functions, microbial community diversity and their interactions. The review specifically emphasizes on the most recently conducted culture-independent analysis of SFB microbial community diversity. Furthermore, the possible application of systems biology approaches for elucidating the molecular mechanisms of SFB production were also reviewed and prospected.

  6. Microbial ecology and nematode control in natural ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Costa, S.R.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Kerry, B.R.

    2011-01-01

    Plant-parasitic nematodes have traditionally been studied in agricultural systems, where they can be pests of importance on a wide range of crops. Nevertheless, nematode ecology in natural ecosystems is receiving increasing interest because of the role of nematodes in soil food webs, nutrient

  7. Linking Soil Microbial Ecology to Ecosystem Functioning in Integrated Crop-Livestock Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enhanced soil stability, nutrient cycling and C sequestration potential are important ecosystem functions driven by soil microbial processes and are directly influenced by agricultural management. Integrated crop-livestock agroecosystems (ICL) can enhance these functions via high-residue returning c...

  8. Microbial Community Activity And Plant Biomass Are Insensitive To Passive Warming In A Semiarid Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa, N. J.; Fehmi, J. S.; Rasmussen, C.; Gallery, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    Soil microorganisms drive biogeochemical and nutrient cycling through the production of extracellular enzymes that facilitate organic matter decomposition and the flux of large amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Although dryland ecosystems occupy over 40% of land cover and are projected to expand due to climate change, much of our current understanding of these processes comes from mesic temperate ecosystems. Understanding the responses of these globally predominant dryland ecosystems is therefore important yet complicated by co-occurring environmental changes. For example, the widespread and pervasive transition from grass to woody dominated landscapes is changing the hydrology, fire regimes, and carbon storage potential of semiarid ecosystems. In this study, we used a novel passive method of warming to conduct a warming experiment with added plant debris as either woodchip or biochar, to simulate different long-term carbon additions that accompany woody plant encroachment in semiarid ecosystems. The response of heterotrophic respiration, plant biomass, and microbial activity was monitored bi-annually. We hypothesized that the temperature manipulations would have direct and indirect effects on microbial activity. Warmer soils directly reduce the activity of soil extracellular enzymes through denaturation and dehydration of soil pores and indirectly through reducing microbe-available substrates and plant inputs. Overall, reduction in extracellular enzyme activity may reduce decomposition of coarse woody debris and potentially enhance soil carbon storage in semiarid ecosystems. For all seven hydrolytic enzymes examined as well as heterotrophic respiration, there was no consistent or significant response to experimental warming, regardless of seasonal climatic and soil moisture variation. The enzyme results observed here are consistent with the few other experimental results for warming in semiarid ecosystems and indicate that the controls over soil

  9. Critical Assessment of Analytical Techniques in the Search for Biomarkers on Mars: A Mummified Microbial Mat from Antarctica as a Best-Case Scenario.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Yolanda; Gallardo-Carreño, Ignacio; Ruiz-Bermejo, Marta; Puente-Sánchez, Fernando; Cavalcante-Silva, Erika; Quesada, Antonio; Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Parro, Víctor

    2017-10-01

    The search for biomarkers of present or past life is one of the major challenges for in situ planetary exploration. Multiple constraints limit the performance and sensitivity of remote in situ instrumentation. In addition, the structure, chemical, and mineralogical composition of the sample may complicate the analysis and interpretation of the results. The aim of this work is to highlight the main constraints, performance, and complementarity of several techniques that have already been implemented or are planned to be implemented on Mars for detection of organic and molecular biomarkers on a best-case sample scenario. We analyzed a 1000-year-old desiccated and mummified microbial mat from Antarctica by Raman and IR (infrared) spectroscopies (near- and mid-IR), thermogravimetry (TG), differential thermal analysis, mass spectrometry (MS), and immunological detection with a life detector chip. In spite of the high organic content (ca. 20% wt/wt) of the sample, the Raman spectra only showed the characteristic spectral peaks of the remaining beta-carotene biomarker and faint peaks of phyllosilicates over a strong fluorescence background. IR spectra complemented the mineralogical information from Raman spectra and showed the main molecular vibrations of the humic acid functional groups. The TG-MS system showed the release of several volatile compounds attributed to biopolymers. An antibody microarray for detecting cyanobacteria (CYANOCHIP) detected biomarkers from Chroococcales, Nostocales, and Oscillatoriales orders. The results highlight limitations of each technique and suggest the necessity of complementary approaches in the search for biomarkers because some analytical techniques might be impaired by sample composition, presentation, or processing. Key Words: Planetary exploration-Life detection-Microbial mat-Life detector chip-Thermogravimetry-Raman spectroscopy-NIR-DRIFTS. Astrobiology 17, 984-996.

  10. Microbial communities and fecal indicator bacteria associated with Cladophora mats on beach sites along Lake Michigan shores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olapade, Ola A; Depas, Morgan M; Jensen, Erika T; McLellan, Sandra L

    2006-03-01

    A high biomasses of Cladophora, a filamentous green alga, is found mainly during the summer along the shores of Lake Michigan. In this study, the abundance and persistence of the fecal indicator bacterium Escherichia coli and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) on Cladophora mats collected at Lake Michigan beaches were evaluated using both culture-based and molecular analyses. Additionally, 16S rRNA gene cloning and sequencing were used to examine the bacterial community composition. Overall, E. coli was detected in all 63 samples obtained from 11 sites, and the average levels at most beaches ranged from 2,700 CFU/100 g (wet weight) of Cladophora to 7,500 CFU/100 g of Cladophora. However, three beaches were found to have site average E. coli densities of 12,800, 21,130, and 27,950 CFU/100 g of Cladophora. The E. coli levels in the lake water collected at the same time from these three sites were less than the recommended U.S. Environmental Protection Agency limit, 235 CFU/100 ml. E. coli also persisted on Cladophora mats in microcosms at room temperature for more than 7 days, and in some experiments it persisted for as long as 28 days. The SRB densities on Cladophora mats were relatively high, ranging from 4.4x10(6) cells/g (6.64 log CFU/g) to 5.73x10(6) cells/g (6.76 log CFU/g) and accounting for between 20% and 27% of the total bacterial counts. Partial sequences of the 16S rRNA gene clones revealed a phylogenetically diverse community, in which the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides cluster and the low-G+C-content gram-positive bacteria were the dominant organisms, accounting for 40% and 12.8%, respectively, of the total clone library. These results further reveal the potential public health and ecological significance of Cladophora mats that are commonly found along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, especially with regard to the potential to harbor microorganisms associated with fecal pollution and odor-causing bacteria.

  11. Microbial community dynamics and transformation of vascular plant detritus in two wetland ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moran, M.A.

    1987-01-01

    The microbial ecology of two wetland ecosystems in southeastern Georgia, USA, was studied with respect to microbial community dynamics and microbially-mediated transformations of vascular plant detritus. In the Okefenokee Swamp, biomass of microorganisms in the water column and sediments was generally lower in winter months and higher during spring and summer. Biomass and activity (measured as 14 C-lignocellulose mineralization) differed significantly among five habitats within the Okefenokee, and also among locations within each habitat. Significant heterogeneity in the structure of Okefenokee microbial communities was found at scales from 30 cm to 150 m. In field and laboratory studies of vascular plant decomposition in the Okefenokee and a salt marsh on Sapelo Island, the mathematical model which best describes decomposition kinetics is the decaying coefficient model

  12. Talking Mats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2012-01-01

    Talking Mats are visualizations in the handy size of a set of cards used to support interviews with people with mental disabilities.......Talking Mats are visualizations in the handy size of a set of cards used to support interviews with people with mental disabilities....

  13. Ectomycorrhizal mats alter forest soil biogeochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurel A. Kluber; Kathryn M. Tinnesand; Bruce A. Caldwell; Susie M. Dunham; Rockie R. Yarwood; Peter J. Bottomley; David D. Myrold

    2010-01-01

    Dense hyphal mats formed by ectomycorrhizal (EcM) fungi are prominent features in Douglas-fir forest ecosystems, and have been estimated to cover up to 40% of the soil surface in some forest stands. Two morphotypes of EcM mats have been previously described: rhizomorphic mats, which have thick hyphal rhizomorphs and are found primarily in the organic horizon, and...

  14. Microbial community of cyanobacteria mats in the intertidal zone of oil-polluted coast of Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Thukair, A A; Abed, R M M; Mohamed, L

    2007-02-01

    Cyanobacterial mats are found at various locations along the coast of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Those mats were affected by severe oil pollution following 1991 oil spill. In this study, samples from Abu Ali Island were collected at three selected sampling sites across the intertidal zone (Lower, Middle, and Upper) in order to understand the effect of extreme environmental conditions of high salinity, temperature and desiccation on distribution of cyanobacteria along the oil polluted intertidal zone. Our investigation of composition of cyanobacteria and diatoms was carried out using light microscopy, and Denaturant Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) technique. Light microscopy identification revealed dominant cyanobacteria to be affiliated with genera Phormidium, Microcoleus, and Schizothrix, and to a lesser extent with Oscillatoria, Halothece, and various diatom species. The analysis of DGGE of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA fragments showed that the diversity of cyanobacteria decreases as we proceed from the lower to the upper intertidal zone. Accordingly, the tidal regime, salinity, elevated ambient air temperature, and desiccation periods have a great influence on the distribution of cyanobacterial community in the oil polluted intertidal zone of Abu Ali Island.

  15. Photosynthetic and Behavioral Versatility of the Cyanobacterium Oscillatoria-Boryana in a Sulfide-Rich Microbial Mat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    CASTENHOLZ, RW; JØRGENSEN, BB; DAMELIO, E.

    1991-01-01

    resulted in a downward retreat. The result was a lowered irradiance level for the Oscillatoria but, nevertheless, a high rate of oxygenic photosynthesis. O. boryana is a versatile cyanobacterium that appears to avoid photoinhibitory conditions and to optimize its light intensity for photosynthesis...... with dense O. boryana populations were used to make vertical profiles at intervals of 0.1-0.2 mm and also to estimate rates of oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis during rapid light-dark transitions. In addition, attenuation of irradiance was measured in mats with O. boryana by a spectroradiometer...... with mini-fiber optic probe. Light-dependent incorporation of [C-14]-bicarbonate and [C-14]-acetate was measured in collected field populations of O. boryana. The combined results led to the conclusion that populations of O. boryana typically employed sulfide-dependent anoxygenic photosynthesis in early...

  16. Diel fluctuations in solute distributions and biogeochemical cycling in a hypersaline microbial mat from Shark Bay, WA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pages, Anais; Welsh, David T.; Teasdale, Peter R.

    2014-01-01

    , iron(II) and phosphate showed a high degree of spatial heterogeneity under both light and dark conditions. However, average concentration profiles showed a clear shift in overall redox conditions between light and dark conditions. During light deployments, iron(II) and sulfide concentrations were...... showed an increase in concentration at night, suggesting that phosphate was released through the dissolution of iron-phosphate complexes under anoxic conditions. However, two-dimensional distributions revealed that hot spots of phosphate and iron(II) did not coincide, suggesting that porewater phosphate...... was mainly regulated by diel metabolic changes in the mat. Alkalinity profiles also demonstrated an increase in concentration at night, probably related to high rates of sulfate reduction under dark conditions. Complimentary microelectrode measurements of oxygen and sulfide confirmed that light...

  17. Development of mats composed by TiO{sub 2} and carbon dual electrospun nanofibers: A possible anode material in microbial fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia-Gomez, Nora A.; Balderas-Renteria, Isaias [Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Av. Universidad S/N Cd. Universitaria San Nicolás de los Garza Nuevo León, C.P. 66451 México (Mexico); Garcia-Gutierrez, Domingo I. [Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Facultad de Ingeniería Mecánica y Eléctrica, Av. Universidad S/N Cd. Universitaria San Nicolás de los Garza Nuevo León, C.P. 66451 México (Mexico); Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Centro de Innovación, Investigación y Desarrollo en Ingeniería y Tecnología, PIIT, Av. Universidad S/N Cd. Universitaria San Nicolás de los Garza Nuevo León, C.P. 66451 México (Mexico); Mosqueda, Hugo A. [Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Facultad de Ingeniería Mecánica y Eléctrica, Av. Universidad S/N Cd. Universitaria San Nicolás de los Garza Nuevo León, C.P. 66451 México (Mexico); and others

    2015-03-15

    Highlights: • Dual nanofiber of TiO{sub 2}–C/C showed excellent electrical performance. • TiO{sub 2}–C/C dual nanofiber can host a dense biofilm of electroactivated Escherichia coli. • Dual nanofibers can be applied as anode to obtain electricity in microbial fuel cells. - Abstract: A new material based on TiO{sub 2(rutile)}–C{sub (semi-graphitic)}/C{sub (semi-graphitic)} dual nanofiber mats is presented, whose composition and synthesis methodology are fundamental factors for the development of exoelectrogenic biofilms on its surface. Therefore, this material shows the required characteristics for possible applications in the bioconversion process of an organic substrate to electricity in a microbial fuel cell. Chronoamperometry, cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and electrical conductivity analyses showed excellent electrical performance of the material for the application intended; a resistance as low as 3.149 Ω was able to be measured on this material. Furthermore, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies confirmed the morphology sought on the material for the application intended, dual nanofibres TiO{sub 2(rutile)}–C{sub (semi-graphitic)}/C{sub (semi-graphitic)} with a side by side configuration. The difference in composition of the fibers forming the dual nanofibers was clearly observed and confirmed by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXS), and their crystal structure was evident in the results obtained from selected area electron diffraction (SAED) studies. This nanostructured material presented a high surface area and is biocompatible, given that it can host a dense biofilm of electroactivated Escherichia coli. In this study, the maximum current density obtained in a half microbial fuel cell was 8 A/m{sup 2} (0.8 mA/cm{sup 2})

  18. From cultured to uncultured genome sequences: metagenomics and modeling microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garza, Daniel R; Dutilh, Bas E

    2015-11-01

    Microorganisms and the viruses that infect them are the most numerous biological entities on Earth and enclose its greatest biodiversity and genetic reservoir. With strength in their numbers, these microscopic organisms are major players in the cycles of energy and matter that sustain all life. Scientists have only scratched the surface of this vast microbial world through culture-dependent methods. Recent developments in generating metagenomes, large random samples of nucleic acid sequences isolated directly from the environment, are providing comprehensive portraits of the composition, structure, and functioning of microbial communities. Moreover, advances in metagenomic analysis have created the possibility of obtaining complete or nearly complete genome sequences from uncultured microorganisms, providing important means to study their biology, ecology, and evolution. Here we review some of the recent developments in the field of metagenomics, focusing on the discovery of genetic novelty and on methods for obtaining uncultured genome sequences, including through the recycling of previously published datasets. Moreover we discuss how metagenomics has become a core scientific tool to characterize eco-evolutionary patterns of microbial ecosystems, thus allowing us to simultaneously discover new microbes and study their natural communities. We conclude by discussing general guidelines and challenges for modeling the interactions between uncultured microorganisms and viruses based on the information contained in their genome sequences. These models will significantly advance our understanding of the functioning of microbial ecosystems and the roles of microbes in the environment.

  19. Dynamics of microbial communities during decomposition of litter from pioneering plants in initial soil ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Esperschütz

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In initial ecosystems, concentrations of all macro- and micronutrients can be considered as extremely low. Plant litter therefore strongly influences the development of a degrader's food web and is an important source for C and N input into soil in such ecosystems. In the present study, a 13C litter decomposition field experiment was performed for 30 weeks in initial soils from a post-mining area near the city of Cottbus (Germany. Two of this region's dominant but contrasting pioneering plant species (Lotus corniculatus L. and Calamagrostis epigejos L. were chosen to investigate the effects of litter quality on the litter decomposing microbial food web in initially nutrient-poor substrates. The results clearly indicate the importance of litter quality, as indicated by its N content, its bioavailability for the degradation process and the development of microbial communities in the detritusphere and soil. The degradation of the L. corniculatus litter, which had a low C / N ratio, was fast and showed pronounced changes in the microbial community structure 1–4 weeks after litter addition. The degradation of the C. epigejos litter material was slow and microbial community changes mainly occurred between 4 and 30 weeks after litter addition to the soil. However, for both litter materials a clear indication of the importance of fungi for the degradation process was observed both in terms of fungal abundance and activity (13C incorporation activity

  20. Stimulation of microbial nitrogen cycling in aquatic ecosystems by benthic macrofauna: mechanisms and environmental implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stief, P.

    2013-12-01

    Invertebrate animals that live at the bottom of aquatic ecosystems (i.e., benthic macrofauna) are important mediators between nutrients in the water column and microbes in the benthos. The presence of benthic macrofauna stimulates microbial nutrient dynamics through different types of animal-microbe interactions, which potentially affect the trophic status of aquatic ecosystems. This review contrasts three types of animal-microbe interactions in the benthos of aquatic ecosystems: (i) ecosystem engineering, (ii) grazing, and (iii) symbiosis. Their specific contributions to the turnover of fixed nitrogen (mainly nitrate and ammonium) and the emission of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide are evaluated. Published data indicate that ecosystem engineering by sediment-burrowing macrofauna stimulates benthic nitrification and denitrification, which together allows fixed nitrogen removal. However, the release of ammonium from sediments is enhanced more strongly than the sedimentary uptake of nitrate. Ecosystem engineering by reef-building macrofauna increases nitrogen retention and ammonium concentrations in shallow aquatic ecosystems, but allows organic nitrogen removal through harvesting. Grazing by macrofauna on benthic microbes apparently has small or neutral effects on nitrogen cycling. Animal-microbe symbioses provide abundant and distinct benthic compartments for a multitude of nitrogen-cycle pathways. Recent studies reveal that ecosystem engineering, grazing, and symbioses of benthic macrofauna significantly enhance nitrous oxide emission from shallow aquatic ecosystems. The beneficial effect of benthic macrofauna on fixed nitrogen removal through coupled nitrification-denitrification can thus be offset by the concurrent release of (i) ammonium that stimulates aquatic primary production and (ii) nitrous oxide that contributes to global warming. Overall, benthic macrofauna intensifies the coupling between benthos, pelagial, and atmosphere through enhanced turnover and

  1. The molecular dimension of microbial species: 3. Comparative genomics of Synechococcus strains with different light responses and in situ diel transcription patterns of associated ecotypes in the Mushroom Spring microbial mat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Millie T. Olsen

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Genomes were obtained for three closely related strains of Synechococcus that are representative of putative ecotypes that predominate at different depths in the 1 mm-thick, upper-green layer in the 60°C mat of Mushroom Spring, Yellowstone National Park, and exhibit different light adaptation and acclimation responses. The genomes were compared to the published genome of a previously obtained, closely related strain from a neighboring spring, and differences in both gene content and orthologous gene alleles between high-light-adapted and low-light-adapted strains were identified. Evidence of genetic differences that relate to adaptation to light intensity and/or quality, CO2 uptake, nitrogen metabolism, organic carbon metabolism, and uptake of other nutrients were found between strains of the different putative ecotypes. In situ diel transcription patterns of genes, including genes unique to either low-light-adapted or high-light-adapted strains and different alleles of an orthologous photosystem gene, revealed that expression is fine-tuned to the different light environments experienced by ecotypes prevalent at various depths in the mat. This study suggests that strains of closely related putative ecotypes have different genomic adaptations that enable them to inhabit distinct ecological niches while living in close proximity within a microbial community.

  2. Hadal biosphere: insight into the microbial ecosystem in the deepest ocean on Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunoura, Takuro; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Hirai, Miho; Shimamura, Shigeru; Makabe, Akiko; Koide, Osamu; Kikuchi, Tohru; Miyazaki, Junichi; Koba, Keisuke; Yoshida, Naohiro; Sunamura, Michinari; Takai, Ken

    2015-03-17

    Hadal oceans at water depths below 6,000 m are the least-explored aquatic biosphere. The Challenger Deep, located in the western equatorial Pacific, with a water depth of ∼11 km, is the deepest ocean on Earth. Microbial communities associated with waters from the sea surface to the trench bottom (0∼10,257 m) in the Challenger Deep were analyzed, and unprecedented trench microbial communities were identified in the hadal waters (6,000∼10,257 m) that were distinct from the abyssal microbial communities. The potentially chemolithotrophic populations were less abundant in the hadal water than those in the upper abyssal waters. The emerging members of chemolithotrophic nitrifiers in the hadal water that likely adapt to the higher flux of electron donors were also different from those in the abyssal waters that adapt to the lower flux of electron donors. Species-level niche separation in most of the dominant taxa was also found between the hadal and abyssal microbial communities. Considering the geomorphology and the isolated hydrotopographical nature of the Mariana Trench, we hypothesized that the distinct hadal microbial ecosystem was driven by the endogenous recycling of organic matter in the hadal waters associated with the trench geomorphology.

  3. Microbial communities in dark oligotrophic volcanic ice cave ecosystems of Mt. Erebus, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley M. Tebo

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The Earth’s crust hosts a subsurface, dark, and oligotrophic biosphere that is poorly understood in terms of the energy supporting its biomass production and impact on food webs at the Earth’s surface. Dark oligotrophic volcanic ecosystems (DOVEs are good environments for investigations of life in the absence of sunlight as they are poor in organics, rich in chemical reactants and well known for chemical exchange with Earth’s surface systems. Ice caves near the summit of Mt. Erebus (Antarctica offer DOVEs in a polar alpine environment that is starved in organics and with oxygenated hydrothermal circulation in highly reducing host rock. We surveyed the microbial communities using PCR, cloning, sequencing and analysis of the small subunit (16S ribosomal and Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate Carboxylase/Oxygenase (RubisCO genes in sediment samples from three different caves, two that are completely dark and one that receives snow-filtered sunlight seasonally. The microbial communities in all three caves are composed primarily of Bacteria and fungi; Archaea were not detected. The bacterial communities from these ice caves display low phylogenetic diversity, but with a remarkable diversity of RubisCO genes including new deeply branching Form I clades, implicating the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle as a pathway of CO2 fixation. The microbial communities in one of the dark caves, Warren Cave, which has a remarkably low phylogenetic diversity, were analyzed in more detail to gain a possible perspective on the energetic basis of the microbial ecosystem in the cave. Atmospheric carbon (CO2 and CO, including from volcanic emissions, likely supplies carbon and/or some of the energy requirements of chemoautotrophic microbial communities in Warren Cave and probably other Mt. Erebus ice caves. Our work casts a first glimpse at Mt. Erebus ice caves as natural laboratories for exploring carbon, energy and nutrient sources in the subsurface biosphere and the

  4. Burning fire-prone Mediterranean shrublands: immediate changes in soil microbial community structure and ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goberna, M; García, C; Insam, H; Hernández, M T; Verdú, M

    2012-07-01

    Wildfires subject soil microbes to extreme temperatures and modify their physical and chemical habitat. This might immediately alter their community structure and ecosystem functions. We burned a fire-prone shrubland under controlled conditions to investigate (1) the fire-induced changes in the community structure of soil archaea, bacteria and fungi by analysing 16S or 18S rRNA gene amplicons separated through denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis; (2) the physical and chemical variables determining the immediate shifts in the microbial community structure; and (3) the microbial drivers of the change in ecosystem functions related to biogeochemical cycling. Prokaryotes and eukaryotes were structured by the local environment in pre-fire soils. Fire caused a significant shift in the microbial community structure, biomass C, respiration and soil hydrolases. One-day changes in bacterial and fungal community structure correlated to the rise in total organic C and NO(3)(-)-N caused by the combustion of plant residues. In the following week, bacterial communities shifted further forced by desiccation and increasing concentrations of macronutrients. Shifts in archaeal community structure were unrelated to any of the 18 environmental variables measured. Fire-induced changes in the community structure of bacteria, rather than archaea or fungi, were correlated to the enhanced microbial biomass, CO(2) production and hydrolysis of C and P organics. This is the first report on the combined effects of fire on the three biological domains in soils. We concluded that immediately after fire the biogeochemical cycling in Mediterranean shrublands becomes less conservative through the increased microbial biomass, activity and changes in the bacterial community structure.

  5. Draft genome sequence of Lampropedia cohaerens strain CT6(T) isolated from arsenic rich microbial mats of a Himalayan hot water spring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripathi, Charu; Mahato, Nitish K; Rani, Pooja; Singh, Yogendra; Kamra, Komal; Lal, Rup

    2016-01-01

    Lampropedia cohaerens strain CT6(T), a non-motile, aerobic and coccoid strain was isolated from arsenic rich microbial mats (temperature ~45 °C) of a hot water spring located atop the Himalayan ranges at Manikaran, India. The present study reports the first genome sequence of type strain CT6(T) of genus Lampropedia cohaerens. Sequencing data was generated using the Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform and assembled with ABySS v 1.3.5. The 3,158,922 bp genome was assembled into 41 contigs with a mean GC content of 63.5 % and 2823 coding sequences. Strain CT6(T) was found to harbour genes involved in both the Entner-Duodoroff pathway and non-phosphorylated ED pathway. Strain CT6(T) also contained genes responsible for imparting resistance to arsenic, copper, cobalt, zinc, cadmium and magnesium, providing survival advantages at a thermal location. Additionally, the presence of genes associated with biofilm formation, pyrroloquinoline-quinone production, isoquinoline degradation and mineral phosphate solubilisation in the genome demonstrate the diverse genetic potential for survival at stressed niches.

  6. Mammalian engineers drive soil microbial communities and ecosystem functions across a disturbance gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldridge, David J; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Woodhouse, Jason N; Neilan, Brett A

    2016-11-01

    The effects of mammalian ecosystem engineers on soil microbial communities and ecosystem functions in terrestrial ecosystems are poorly known. Disturbance from livestock has been widely reported to reduce soil function, but disturbance by animals that forage in the soil may partially offset these negative effects of livestock, directly and/or indirectly by shifting the composition and diversity of soil microbial communities. Understanding the role of disturbance from livestock and ecosystem engineers in driving soil microbes and functions is essential for formulating sustainable ecosystem management and conservation policies. We compared soil bacterial community composition and enzyme concentrations within four microsites: foraging pits of two vertebrates, the indigenous short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and the exotic European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), and surface and subsurface soils along a gradient in grazing-induced disturbance in an arid woodland. Microbial community composition varied little across the disturbance gradient, but there were substantial differences among the four microsites. Echidna pits supported a lower relative abundance of Acidobacteria and Cyanobacteria, but a higher relative abundance of Proteobacteria than rabbit pits and surface microsites. Moreover, these microsite differences varied with disturbance. Rabbit pits had a similar profile to the subsoil or the surface soils under moderate and high, but not low disturbance. Overall, echidna foraging pits had the greatest positive effect on function, assessed as mean enzyme concentrations, but rabbits had the least. The positive effects of echidna foraging on function were indirectly driven via microbial community composition. In particular, increasing activity was positively associated with increasing relative abundance of Proteobacteria, but decreasing Acidobacteria. Our study suggests that soil disturbance by animals may offset, to some degree, the oft-reported negative

  7. Soil microbial metabolic quotient (qCO2) of twelve ecosystems of Mt. Kilimanjaro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pabst, Holger; Gerschlauer, Friederike; Kiese, Ralf; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2014-05-01

    Soil organic carbon, microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and the metabolic quotient qCO2 - as sensitive and important parameters for soil fertility and C turnover - are strongly affected by land-use changes all over the world. These effects are particularly distinct upon conversion of natural to agricultural ecosystems due to very fast carbon (C) and nutrient cycles and high vulnerability, especially in the tropics. In this study, we used an elevational gradient on Mt. Kilimanjaro to investigate the effects of land-use change and elevation on Corg, MBC and qCO2. Down to a soil depth of 18 cm we compared 4 natural (Helichrysum, Erica forest, Podocarpus forest, Ocotea forest), 5 seminatural (disturbed Podocarpus forest, disturbed Ocotea forest, lower montane forest, grassland, savannah), 1 sustainably used (homegarden) and 2 intensively used ecosystems (coffee plantation, maize field) on an elevation gradient from 950 to 3880 m a.s.l.. Using an incubation device, soil CO2-efflux of 18 cm deep soil cores was measured under field moist conditions and mean annual temperature. MBC to Corg ratios varied between 0.7 and 2.3%. qCO2 increased with magnitude of the disturbance, albeit this effect decreased with elevation. Following the annual precipitation of the ecosystems, both, Corg and MBC showed a hum-shaped distribution with elevation, whereas their maxima were between 2500 and 3000 m a.s.l.. Additionaly, Corg and MBC contents were significantly reduced in intensively used agricultural systems. We conclude that the soil microbial biomass and its activity in Mt. Kilimanjaro ecosystems are strongly altered by land-use. This effect is more distinct in lower than in higher elevated ecosystems and strongly dependent on the magnitude of disturbance.

  8. Microbial characterization of toluene-degrading denitrifying consortia obtained from terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Y-J; Joo, Y-H; Hong, I-Y; Ryu, H-W; Cho, K-S

    2004-10-01

    The degradation characteristics of toluene coupled to nitrate reduction were investigated in enrichment culture and the microbial communities of toluene-degrading denitrifying consortia were characterized by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) technique. Anaerobic nitrate-reducing bacteria were enriched from oil-contaminated soil samples collected from terrestrial (rice field) and marine (tidal flat) ecosystems. Enriched consortia degraded toluene in the presence of nitrate as a terminal electron acceptor. The degradation rate of toluene was affected by the initial substrate concentration and co-existence of other hydrocarbons. The types of toluene-degrading denitrifying consortia depended on the type of ecosystem. The clone RS-7 obtained from the enriched consortium of the rice field was most closely related to a toluene-degrading and denitrifying bacterium, Azoarcus denitrificians (A. tolulyticus sp. nov.). The clone TS-11 detected in the tidal flat enriched consortium was affiliated to Thauera sp. strain S2 (T. aminoaromatica sp. nov.) that was able to degrade toluene under denitrifying conditions. This indicates that environmental factors greatly influence microbial communities obtained from terrestrial (rice field) and marine (tidal flat) ecosystems.

  9. Population cycles and species diversity in dynamic Kill-the-Winner model of microbial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maslov, Sergei; Sneppen, Kim

    2017-01-01

    Determinants of species diversity in microbial ecosystems remain poorly understood. Bacteriophages are believed to increase the diversity by the virtue of Kill-the-Winner infection bias preventing the fastest growing organism from taking over the community. Phage-bacterial ecosystems are traditionally described in terms of the static equilibrium state of Lotka-Volterra equations in which bacterial growth is exactly balanced by losses due to phage predation. Here we consider a more dynamic scenario in which phage infections give rise to abrupt and severe collapses of bacterial populations whenever they become sufficiently large. As a consequence, each bacterial population in our model follows cyclic dynamics of exponential growth interrupted by sudden declines. The total population of all species fluctuates around the carrying capacity of the environment, making these cycles cryptic. While a subset of the slowest growing species in our model is always driven towards extinction, in general the overall ecosystem diversity remains high. The number of surviving species is inversely proportional to the variation in their growth rates but increases with the frequency and severity of phage-induced collapses. Thus counter-intuitively we predict that microbial communities exposed to more violent perturbations should have higher diversity. PMID:28051127

  10. Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Films: Impacts on Soil Microbial Communities and Ecosystem Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sreejata Bandopadhyay

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural plastic mulch films are widely used in specialty crop production systems because of their agronomic benefits. Biodegradable plastic mulches (BDMs offer an environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional polyethylene (PE mulch. Unlike PE films, which need to be removed after use, BDMs are tilled into soil where they are expected to biodegrade. However, there remains considerable uncertainty about long-term impacts of BDM incorporation on soil ecosystems. BDMs potentially influence soil microbial communities in two ways: first, as a surface barrier prior to soil incorporation, indirectly affecting soil microclimate and atmosphere (similar to PE films and second, after soil incorporation, as a direct input of physical fragments, which add carbon, microorganisms, additives, and adherent chemicals. This review summarizes the current literature on impacts of plastic mulches on soil biological and biogeochemical processes, with a special emphasis on BDMs. The combined findings indicated that when used as a surface barrier, plastic mulches altered soil microbial community composition and functioning via microclimate modification, though the nature of these alterations varied between studies. In addition, BDM incorporation into soil can result in enhanced microbial activity and enrichment of fungal taxa. This suggests that despite the fact that total carbon input from BDMs is minuscule, a stimulatory effect on microbial activity may ultimately affect soil organic matter dynamics. To address the current knowledge gaps, long term studies and a better understanding of impacts of BDMs on nutrient biogeochemistry are needed. These are critical to evaluating BDMs as they relate to soil health and agroecosystem sustainability.

  11. Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Films: Impacts on Soil Microbial Communities and Ecosystem Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandopadhyay, Sreejata; Martin-Closas, Lluis; Pelacho, Ana M; DeBruyn, Jennifer M

    2018-01-01

    Agricultural plastic mulch films are widely used in specialty crop production systems because of their agronomic benefits. Biodegradable plastic mulches (BDMs) offer an environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional polyethylene (PE) mulch. Unlike PE films, which need to be removed after use, BDMs are tilled into soil where they are expected to biodegrade. However, there remains considerable uncertainty about long-term impacts of BDM incorporation on soil ecosystems. BDMs potentially influence soil microbial communities in two ways: first, as a surface barrier prior to soil incorporation, indirectly affecting soil microclimate and atmosphere (similar to PE films) and second, after soil incorporation, as a direct input of physical fragments, which add carbon, microorganisms, additives, and adherent chemicals. This review summarizes the current literature on impacts of plastic mulches on soil biological and biogeochemical processes, with a special emphasis on BDMs. The combined findings indicated that when used as a surface barrier, plastic mulches altered soil microbial community composition and functioning via microclimate modification, though the nature of these alterations varied between studies. In addition, BDM incorporation into soil can result in enhanced microbial activity and enrichment of fungal taxa. This suggests that despite the fact that total carbon input from BDMs is minuscule, a stimulatory effect on microbial activity may ultimately affect soil organic matter dynamics. To address the current knowledge gaps, long term studies and a better understanding of impacts of BDMs on nutrient biogeochemistry are needed. These are critical to evaluating BDMs as they relate to soil health and agroecosystem sustainability.

  12. Meta genome-wide network from functional linkages of genes in human gut microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Yan; Shi, Yixiang; Wang, Chuan; Dai, Jianliang; Li, Yixue

    2013-03-01

    The human gut microbial ecosystem (HGME) exerts an important influence on the human health. In recent researches, meta-genomics provided deep insights into the HGME in terms of gene contents, metabolic processes and genome constitutions of meta-genome. Here we present a novel methodology to investigate the HGME on the basis of a set of functionally coupled genes regardless of their genome origins when considering the co-evolution properties of genes. By analyzing these coupled genes, we showed some basic properties of HGME significantly associated with each other, and further constructed a protein interaction map of human gut meta-genome to discover some functional modules that may relate with essential metabolic processes. Compared with other studies, our method provides a new idea to extract basic function elements from meta-genome systems and investigate complex microbial environment by associating its biological traits with co-evolutionary fingerprints encoded in it.

  13. An examination of the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship in arable soil microbial communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griffiths, B.S.; Ritz, Karl; Wheatley, R.

    2001-01-01

    , nitrate accumulation, respiratory growth response, community level physiological profile and decomposition). Neither was there a direct effect of biodiversity on the variability of the processes, nor on the stability of decomposition when the soils were perturbed by heat or copper. The biodiversity of......Microbial communities differing in biodiversity were established by inoculating sterile agricultural soil with serially diluted soil suspensions prepared from the parent soil. Three replicate communities of each dilution were allowed to establish an equivalent microbial biomass by incubation for 9...... months at 15°C, after which the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship was examined for a range of soil processes. Biodiversity was determined by monitoring cultivable bacterial and fungal morphotypes, directly extracted eubacterial DNA and protozoan taxa. In the context of this study biodiversity...

  14. Role of a unique population of lithotrophic, Fe-oxidizing bacteria in forming microbial Fe-mats at the Loihi Seamount.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emerson, D.; Rentz, J. A.; Moyer, C. L.

    2005-12-01

    The Loihi Seamount, located 30 km SE of the island of Hawai'i, is among the most active volcanos on Earth. The summit, at a depth of 1100m, includes a 250m deep caldera (Pele's Pit) formed by an eruption in 1996. The summit, and especially Pele's Pit, are the site of extensive low to intermediate temperature (10° to 65°C) hydrothermal venting, emanating both from diffuse fissures and orifices that have substantial flow rates. The vent fluid is characterized by a low sulfide content, high CO2 concentrations and Fe(II) amounts in the 10s to 100s of μM. Associated with all vents are extensive deposits of iron oxyhydroxides that typically have 107 to 108 bacterial cells/cc associated with them. The morphology of the Fe-oxides are indicative of biological origins. We have isolated microaerophilic, obligately lithotrophic Fe-oxidizing bacteria from Loihi and describe here `Mariprofundus ferroxydans' a unique bacterium that forms a filamentous iron oxide mineral. `M. ferroxydans' is the first cultured representative of a novel division of the Proteobacteria, known previously only from clones from different hydrothermal vent sites. Molecular evidence from Loihi mats based on clone libraries and terminal restriction length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis of 16S rRNA genes indicate that this lineage of Fe-oxidizing organisms are common inhabitants at Loihi. We speculate that this organism and its relatives form the basis of an active microbial mat community that owe their existence to the inherent gradients of Fe(II) and O2 that exist at the Loihi vents. In a geological context this is interesting because the Loihi summit and caldera are in an O2-minima zone; O2 concentrations in the bulk seawater are around 0.5 mg/l. In effect, Loihi could serve as a proxy for the late Archaean and early Proterozoic periods when the Earth's atmosphere went from reducing to oxidizing, and it is speculated that abundant Fe(II) in the Earth's oceans served as a major sink for O2 production

  15. Organismal and spatial partitioning of energy and macronutrient transformations within a hypersaline mat

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mobberley, Jennifer M.; Lindemann, Stephen R.; Bernstein, Hans C.; Moran, James J.; Renslow, Ryan S.; Babauta, Jerome; Hu, Dehong; Beyenal, Haluk; Nelson, William C.

    2017-03-21

    Phototrophic mat communities are model ecosystems for studying energy cycling and elemental transformations because complete biogeochemical cycles occur over millimeter-to-centimeter scales. Characterization of energy and nutrient capture within hypersaline phototrophic mats has focused on specific processes and organisms, however little is known about community-wide distribution of and linkages between these processes. To investigate energy and macronutrient capture and flow through a structured community, the spatial and organismal distribution of metabolic functions within a compact hypersaline mat community from Hot Lake have been broadly elucidated through species-resolved metagenomics and geochemical, microbial diversity, and metabolic gradient measurements. Draft reconstructed genomes of abundant organisms revealed three dominant cyanobacterial populations differentially distributed across the top layers of the mat suggesting niche separation along light and oxygen gradients. Many organisms contained diverse functional profiles, allowing for metabolic response to changing conditions within the mat. Organisms with partial nitrogen and sulfur metabolisms were widespread indicating dependence upon metabolite exchange. In addition, changes in community spatial structure were observed over the diel. These results indicate that organisms within the mat community have adapted to the temporally dynamic environmental gradients in this hypersaline mat through metabolic flexibility and fluid syntrophic interactions, including shifts in spatial arrangements.

  16. Microbial Community Dynamics in Soil Depth Profiles Over 120,000 Years of Ecosystem Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Turner

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Along a long-term ecosystem development gradient, soil nutrient contents and mineralogical properties change, therefore probably altering soil microbial communities. However, knowledge about the dynamics of soil microbial communities during long-term ecosystem development including progressive and retrogressive stages is limited, especially in mineral soils. Therefore, microbial abundances (quantitative PCR and community composition (pyrosequencing as well as their controlling soil properties were investigated in soil depth profiles along the 120,000 years old Franz Josef chronosequence (New Zealand. Additionally, in a microcosm incubation experiment the effects of particular soil properties, i.e., soil age, soil organic matter fraction (mineral-associated vs. particulate, O2 status, and carbon and phosphorus additions, on microbial abundances (quantitative PCR and community patterns (T-RFLP were analyzed. The archaeal to bacterial abundance ratio not only increased with soil depth but also with soil age along the chronosequence, coinciding with mineralogical changes and increasing phosphorus limitation. Results of the incubation experiment indicated that archaeal abundances were less impacted by the tested soil parameters compared to Bacteria suggesting that Archaea may better cope with mineral-induced substrate restrictions in subsoils and older soils. Instead, archaeal communities showed a soil age-related compositional shift with the Bathyarchaeota, that were frequently detected in nutrient-poor, low-energy environments, being dominant at the oldest site. However, bacterial communities remained stable with ongoing soil development. In contrast to the abundances, the archaeal compositional shift was associated with the mineralogical gradient. Our study revealed, that archaeal and bacterial communities in whole soil profiles are differently affected by long-term soil development with archaeal communities probably being better adapted to

  17. Impacts of radiation exposure on the experimental microbial ecosystem: a particle-based model simulation approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doi, M.; Tanaka, N.; Fuma, S.; Kawabata, Z.

    2004-01-01

    Well-designed experimental model ecosystem could be a simple reference of the actual environment and complex ecological systems. For ecological toxicity test of radiation and other environmental toxicants, we investigated and aquatic microbial ecosystem (closed microcosm) in the test tube with initial substrates,autotroph flagellate algae (Euglena, G.), heterotroph ciliate protozoa (Tetrahymena T.) and saprotroph bacteria (E, coli). These species organizes by itself to construct the ecological system, that keeps the sustainable population dynamics for more than 2 years after inoculation only by adding light diurnally and controlling temperature at 25 degree Celsius. Objective of the study is to develop the particle-based computer simulation by reviewing interactions among microbes and environment, and analyze the ecological toxicities of radiation on the microcosm by replicating experimental results in the computer simulation. (Author) 14 refs

  18. Too big or too narrow? Disturbance characteristics determine the functional resilience in virtual microbial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Sara; Firle, Anouk-Letizia; Koehnke, Merlin; Banitz, Thomas; Frank, Karin

    2017-04-01

    In general ecology, there is an ongoing debate about the influence of fragmentation on extinction thresholds. Whether this influence is positive or negative depends on the considered type of fragmentation: whereas habitat fragmentation often has a negative influence on population extinction thresholds, spatially fragmented disturbances are observed to have mostly positive effects on the extinction probability. Besides preventing population extinction, in soil systems ecology we are interested in analyzing how ecosystem functions are maintained despite disturbance events. Here, we analyzed the influence of disturbance size and fragmentation on the functional resilience of a microbial soil ecosystem. As soil is a highly heterogeneous environment exposed to disturbances of different spatial configurations, the identification of critical disturbance characteristics for maintaining its functions is crucial. We used the numerical simulation model eColony considering bacterial growth, degradation and dispersal for analyzing the dynamic response of biodegradation examplary for an important microbial ecosystem service to disturbance events of different spatial configurations. We systematically varied the size and the degree of fragmentation of the affected area (disturbance pattern). We found that the influence of the disturbance size on functional recovery and biodegradation performance highly depends on the spatial fragmentation of the disturbance. Generally, biodegradation performance decreases with increasing clumpedness and increasing size of the affected area. After spatially correlated disturbance events, biodegradation performance decreases linear with increasing disturbance size. After spatially fragmented disturbance events, on the other hand, an increase in disturbance size has no influence on the biodegradation performance until a critical disturbance size is reached. Is the affected area bigger than this critical size, the functional performance decreases

  19. Microbial ecology of mountain glacier ecosystems: biodiversity, ecological connections and implications of a warming climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hotaling, Scott; Hood, Eran; Hamilton, Trinity L

    2017-08-01

    Glacier ecosystems are teeming with life on, beneath, and to a lesser degree, within their icy masses. This conclusion largely stems from polar research, with less attention paid to mountain glaciers that overlap environmentally and ecologically with their polar counterparts in some ways, but diverge in others. One difference lies in the susceptibility of mountain glaciers to the near-term threat of climate change, as they tend to be much smaller in both area and volume. Moreover, mountain glaciers are typically steeper, more dependent upon basal sliding for movement, and experience higher seasonal precipitation. Here, we provide a modern synthesis of the microbial ecology of mountain glacier ecosystems, and particularly those at low- to mid-latitudes. We focus on five ecological zones: the supraglacial surface, englacial interior, subglacial bedrock-ice interface, proglacial streams and glacier forefields. For each, we discuss the role of microbiota in biogeochemical cycling and outline ecological and hydrological connections among zones, underscoring the interconnected nature of these ecosystems. Collectively, we highlight the need to: better document the biodiversity and functional roles of mountain glacier microbiota; describe the ecological implications of rapid glacial retreat under climate change and resolve the relative contributions of ecological zones to broader ecosystem function. © 2017 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Rhizosphere soil microbial index of tree species in a coal mining ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sinha, S.; Masto, R.E.; Ram, L.C.; Selvi, V.A.; Srivastava, N.K.; Tripathi, R.C.; George, J. [Central Institute of Mining & Fuel Research, Dhanbad (India)

    2009-09-15

    Microbial characterization of the tree rhizosphere provides important information relating to the screening of tree species for re-vegetation of degraded land. Rhizosphere soil samples collected from a few predominant tree species growing in the coal mining ecosystem of Dhanbad, India, were analyzed for soil organic carbon (SOC), mineralizable N, microbial biomass carbon (MBC), active microbial biomass carbon (AMBC), basal soil respiration (BSR), and soil enzyme activities (dehydrogenase, urease, catalase, phenol oxidase, and peroxidase). Principal component analysis was employed to derive a rhizosphere soil microbial index (RSMI) and accordingly, dehydrogenase, BSR/MBC, MBC/SOC, EC, phenol oxidase and AMBC were found to be the most critical properties. The observed values for the above properties were converted into a unitless score (0-1.00) and the scores were integrated into RSMI. The tree species could be arranged in decreasing order of the RSMI as: A. marmelos (0.718), A. indica (0.715), Bauhinia bauhinia (0.693), B. monosperma (0.611), E. jambolana (0.601), Moringa oleifera (0.565), Dalbergia sissoo (0.498), T indica (0.488), Morus alba (0.415), F religiosa (0.291), Eucalyptus sp. (0.232) and T grandis (0.181). It was concluded that tree species in coal mining areas had diverse effects on their respective rhizosphere microbial processes, which could directly or indirectly determine the survival and performance of the planted tree species in degraded coal mining areas. Tree species with higher RSMI values could be recommended for re-vegetation of degraded coal mining area.

  1. Tapetes microbianos del Salar de Llamará, norte de Chile Microbial mats from the Llamará salt flat, northern Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CECILIA DEMERGASSO

    2003-09-01

    incluyendo cocos y bacilos no identificados. En todos los tapetes muestreados en el Salar se encontraron bacterias reductoras de sulfato.Stratified photosynthetic microbial mats are described from the Salar de Llamará, a salt flat basin located in the Atacama desert of northern Chile. Microscopic and spectrophotometric techniques were used. The thickness of the photic zone of these communities spans 8 to 30 mm. This is probably due to the grain size and mineralogical composition of associated sediments. Three different types of mats were recognized. A first one was characterized by a green pigmented layer; a second with orange and green coloured layers, and the third with orange and green layers and an additional purple layer. At one sampling site, no pigmented layers were present. Sediments underlying the mats were white, but in one site, black coloured sediments were observed; this dark colour is probably the result of iron sulphide precipitation. Predominant microorganisms in the orange pigmented layers were diatoms and unicellular cyanobacteria, mainly from the Cyanothece and Synechococcus groups. Filamentous cyanobacteria Microleus sp. and Oscillatoria sp. were the most abundant in the green layer. When interstitial brines reached salinities between 12 and 33 %, no diatoms were observed, and the coccoidal cyanobacteria from the Synechococcus, Cyanothece and Gloeocapsa groups and genus Gloeobacter predominated over filamentous Cyanobacteria in the green layer. The purple layer was built primarily of anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria similar to cells of the genera Chromatium and Thiocapsa. Absorption spectra revealed that chlorophyll a is the most abundant pigment in most of analyzed samples. Integrated values of chlorophyll a and bacteriochlorophyll a reached values of up to 230 and 144 mg m-2 along all of the pigmented zone, respectively. Abundant non-photosynthetic microorganisms were found in the mats, including unidentified cocci and bacilli. Sulphate reducing

  2. An Unusual Inverted Saline Microbial Mat Community in an Interdune Sabkha in the Rub' al Khali (the Empty Quarter, United Arab Emirates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher P McKay

    Full Text Available Salt flats (sabkha are a recognized habitat for microbial life in desert environments and as analogs of habitats for possible life on Mars. Here we report on the physical setting and microbiology of interdune sabkhas among the large dunes in the Rub' al Khali (the Empty Quarter in Liwa Oasis, United Arab Emirates. The salt flats, composed of gypsum and halite, are moistened by relatively fresh ground water. The result is a salinity gradient that is inverted compared to most salt flat communities with the hypersaline layer at the top and freshwater layers below. We describe and characterize a rich photosynthetically-based microbial ecosystem that is protected from the arid outside environment by a translucent salt crust. Gases collected from sediments under shallow ponds in the sabkha contain methane in concentrations as high as 3400 ppm. The salt crust could preserve biomarkers and other evidence for life in the salt after it dries out. Chloride-filled depressions have been identified on Mars and although surface flow of water is unlikely on Mars today, ground water is possible. Such a near surface system with modern groundwater flowing under ancient salt deposits could be present on Mars and could be accessed by surface rovers.

  3. Critical Assessment of Analytical Techniques in the Search for Biomarkers on Mars: A Mummified Microbial Mat from Antarctica as a Best-Case Scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Yolanda; Gallardo-Carreño, Ignacio; Ruiz-Bermejo, Marta; Puente-Sánchez, Fernando; Cavalcante-Silva, Erika; Quesada, Antonio; Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Parro, Víctor

    2017-10-01

    The search for biomarkers of present or past life is one of the major challenges for in situ planetary exploration. Multiple constraints limit the performance and sensitivity of remote in situ instrumentation. In addition, the structure, chemical, and mineralogical composition of the sample may complicate the analysis and interpretation of the results. The aim of this work is to highlight the main constraints, performance, and complementarity of several techniques that have already been implemented or are planned to be implemented on Mars for detection of organic and molecular biomarkers on a best-case sample scenario. We analyzed a 1000-year-old desiccated and mummified microbial mat from Antarctica by Raman and IR (infrared) spectroscopies (near- and mid-IR), thermogravimetry (TG), differential thermal analysis, mass spectrometry (MS), and immunological detection with a life detector chip. In spite of the high organic content (ca. 20% wt/wt) of the sample, the Raman spectra only showed the characteristic spectral peaks of the remaining beta-carotene biomarker and faint peaks of phyllosilicates over a strong fluorescence background. IR spectra complemented the mineralogical information from Raman spectra and showed the main molecular vibrations of the humic acid functional groups. The TG-MS system showed the release of several volatile compounds attributed to biopolymers. An antibody microarray for detecting cyanobacteria (CYANOCHIP) detected biomarkers from Chroococcales, Nostocales, and Oscillatoriales orders. The results highlight limitations of each technique and suggest the necessity of complementary approaches in the search for biomarkers because some analytical techniques might be impaired by sample composition, presentation, or processing.

  4. Iron-based microbial ecosystem on and below the seafloor: a case study of hydrothermal fields of the southern mariana trough.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Shingo; Nakamura, Kentaro; Toki, Tomohiro; Ishibashi, Jun-Ichiro; Tsunogai, Urumu; Hirota, Akinori; Ohkuma, Moriya; Yamagishi, Akihiko

    2012-01-01

    Microbial community structures in deep-sea hydrothermal vents fields are constrained by available energy yields provided by inorganic redox reactions, which are in turn controlled by chemical composition of hydrothermal fluids. In the past two decades, geochemical and microbiological studies have been conducted in deep-sea hydrothermal vents at three geographically different areas of the Southern Mariana Trough (SMT). A variety of geochemical data of hydrothermal fluids and an unparalleled microbiological dataset of various samples (i.e., sulfide structures of active vents, iron-rich mats, borehole fluids, and ambient seawater) are available for comparative analyses. Here, we summarize the geochemical and microbiological characteristics in the SMT and assess the relationship between the microbial community structures and the fluid geochemistry in the SMT by thermodynamic modeling. In the high temperature vent fluids, aerobic sulfide-oxidation has the potential to yield large amounts of bioavailable energy in the vent fluids, which is consistent with the detection of species related to sulfide-oxidizing bacteria (such as Thiomicrospira in the Gammaproteobacteria and Sulfurimonas in the Epsilonproteobacteria). Conversely, the bioavailable energy yield from aerobic iron-oxidation reactions in the low-temperature fluids collected from man-made boreholes and several natural vents were comparable to or higher than those from sulfide-oxidation. This is also consistent with the detection of species related to iron-oxidizing bacteria (Mariprofundus in the Zetaproteobacteria) in such low-temperature samples. The results of combination of microbiological, geochemical, and thermodynamic analyses in the SMT provide novel insights into the presence and significance of iron-based microbial ecosystems in deep-sea hydrothermal fields.

  5. Complete genome sequence and description of Salinispira pacifica gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel spirochaete isolated form a hypersaline microbial mat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Hania, Wajdi; Joseph, Manon; Schumann, Peter; Bunk, Boyke; Fiebig, Anne; Spröer, Cathrin; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Fardeau, Marie-Laure; Spring, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    During a study of the anaerobic microbial community of a lithifying hypersaline microbial mat of Lake 21 on the Kiritimati atoll (Kiribati Republic, Central Pacific) strain L21-RPul-D2(T) was isolated. The closest phylogenetic neighbor was Spirochaeta africana Z-7692(T) that shared a 16S rRNA gene sequence identity value of 90% with the novel strain and thus was only distantly related. A comprehensive polyphasic study including determination of the complete genome sequence was initiated to characterize the novel isolate. Cells of strain L21-RPul-D2(T) had a size of 0.2 - 0.25 × 8-9 μm, were helical, motile, stained Gram-negative and produced an orange carotenoid-like pigment. Optimal conditions for growth were 35°C, a salinity of 50 g/l NaCl and a pH around 7.0. Preferred substrates for growth were carbohydrates and a few carboxylic acids. The novel strain had an obligate fermentative metabolism and produced ethanol, acetate, lactate, hydrogen and carbon dioxide during growth on glucose. Strain L21-RPul-D2(T) was aerotolerant, but oxygen did not stimulate growth. Major cellular fatty acids were C14:0, iso-C15:0, C16:0 and C18:0. The major polar lipids were an unidentified aminolipid, phosphatidylglycerol, an unidentified phospholipid and two unidentified glycolipids. Whole-cell hydrolysates contained L-ornithine as diagnostic diamino acid of the cell wall peptidoglycan. The complete genome sequence was determined and annotated. The genome comprised one circular chromosome with a size of 3.78 Mbp that contained 3450 protein-coding genes and 50 RNA genes, including 2 operons of ribosomal RNA genes. The DNA G + C content was determined from the genome sequence as 51.9 mol%. There were no predicted genes encoding cytochromes or enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of respiratory lipoquinones. Based on significant differences to the uncultured type species of the genus Spirochaeta, S. plicatilis, as well as to any other phylogenetically related

  6. Soil Microbial Activity Responses to Fire in a Semi-arid Savannah Ecosystem Pre- and Post-Monsoon Season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez, J. R.; Raub, H. D.; Jong, E. L.; Muscarella, C. R.; Smith, W. K.; Gallery, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    Extracellular enzyme activities (EEA) of soil microorganisms can act as important proxies for nutrient limitation and turnover in soil and provide insight into the biochemical requirements of microbes in terrestrial ecosystems. In semi-arid ecosystems, microbial activity is influenced by topography, disturbances such as fire, and seasonality from monsoon rains. Previous studies from forest ecosystems show that microbial communities shift to similar compositions after severe fires despite different initial conditions. In semi-arid ecosystems with high spatial heterogeniety, we ask does fire lead to patch intensification or patch homogenization and how do monsoon rains influence the successional trajectories of microbial responses? We analyzed microbial activity and soil biogeochemistry throughout the monsoon season in paired burned and unburned sites in the Santa Rita Experimental Range, AZ. Surface soil (5cm) from bare-ground patches, bole, canopy drip line, and nearby grass patches for 5 mesquite trees per site allowed tests of spatiotemporal responses to fire and monsoon rain. Microbial activity was low during the pre-monsoon season and did not differ between the burned and unburned sites. We found greater activity near mesquite trees that reflects soil water and nutrient availability. Fire increased soil alkalinity, though soils near mesquite trees were less affected. Soil water content was significantly higher in the burned sites post-monsoon, potentially reflecting greater hydrophobicity of burned soils. Considering the effects of fire in these semi-arid ecosystems is especially important in the context of the projected changing climate regime in this region. Assessing microbial community recovery pre-, during, and post-monsoon is important for testing predictions about whether successional pathways post-fire lead to recovery or novel trajectories of communities and ecosystem function.

  7. A Synthesis of the Effects of Pesticides on Microbial Persistence in Aquatic Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staley, Zachery R.; Harwood, Valerie J.; Rohr, Jason R.

    2016-01-01

    Pesticides are a pervasive presence in aquatic ecosystems throughout the world. While pesticides are intended to control fungi, insects, and other pests, their mechanisms of action are often not specific enough to prevent unintended effects, such as on non-target microbial populations. Microorganisms, including algae and cyanobacteria, protozoa, aquatic fungi, and bacteria, form the basis of many food webs and are responsible for crucial aspects of biogeochemical cycling; therefore, the potential for pesticides to alter microbial community structures must be understood to preserve ecosystem services. This review examines studies that focused on direct population-level effects and indirect community-level effects of pesticides on microorganisms. Generally, insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides were found to have adverse direct effects on algal and fungal species. Insecticides and fungicides also had deleterious direct effects in the majority of studies examining protozoa species, although herbicides were found to have inconsistent direct effects on protozoans. Our synthesis revealed mixed or no direct effects on bacterial species among all pesticide categories, with results highly dependent on the target species, chemical, and concentration used in the study. Examination of community-level, indirect effects revealed that all pesticide categories had a tendency to reduce higher trophic levels, thereby diminishing top-down pressures and favoring lower trophic levels. Often, indirect effects exerted greater influence than direct effects. However, few studies have been conducted to specifically address community-level effects of pesticides on microorganisms and further research is necessary to better understand and predict the net effects of pesticides on ecosystem health. PMID:26565685

  8. Groundwater shapes sediment biogeochemistry and microbial diversity in a submerged Great Lake sinkhole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinsman-Costello, L E; Sheik, C S; Sheldon, N D; Allen Burton, G; Costello, D M; Marcus, D; Uyl, P A Den; Dick, G J

    2017-03-01

    For a large part of earth's history, cyanobacterial mats thrived in low-oxygen conditions, yet our understanding of their ecological functioning is limited. Extant cyanobacterial mats provide windows into the putative functioning of ancient ecosystems, and they continue to mediate biogeochemical transformations and nutrient transport across the sediment-water interface in modern ecosystems. The structure and function of benthic mats are shaped by biogeochemical processes in underlying sediments. A modern cyanobacterial mat system in a submerged sinkhole of Lake Huron (LH) provides a unique opportunity to explore such sediment-mat interactions. In the Middle Island Sinkhole (MIS), seeping groundwater establishes a low-oxygen, sulfidic environment in which a microbial mat dominated by Phormidium and Planktothrix that is capable of both anoxygenic and oxygenic photosynthesis, as well as chemosynthesis, thrives. We explored the coupled microbial community composition and biogeochemical functioning of organic-rich, sulfidic sediments underlying the surface mat. Microbial communities were diverse and vertically stratified to 12 cm sediment depth. In contrast to previous studies, which used low-throughput or shotgun metagenomic approaches, our high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing approach revealed extensive diversity. This diversity was present within microbial groups, including putative sulfate-reducing taxa of Deltaproteobacteria, some of which exhibited differential abundance patterns in the mats and with depth in the underlying sediments. The biological and geochemical conditions in the MIS were distinctly different from those in typical LH sediments of comparable depth. We found evidence for active cycling of sulfur, methane, and nutrients leading to high concentrations of sulfide, ammonium, and phosphorus in sediments underlying cyanobacterial mats. Indicators of nutrient availability were significantly related to MIS microbial community composition, while LH

  9. Soil microbial communities drive the resistance of ecosystem multifunctionality to global change in drylands across the globe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Eldridge, David J; Ochoa, Victoria; Gozalo, Beatriz; Singh, Brajesh K; Maestre, Fernando T

    2017-10-01

    The relationship between soil microbial communities and the resistance of multiple ecosystem functions linked to C, N and P cycling (multifunctionality resistance) to global change has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We collected soils from 59 dryland ecosystems worldwide to investigate the importance of microbial communities as predictor of multifunctionality resistance to climate change and nitrogen fertilisation. Multifunctionality had a lower resistance to wetting-drying cycles than to warming or N deposition. Multifunctionality resistance was regulated by changes in microbial composition (relative abundance of phylotypes) but not by richness, total abundance of fungi and bacteria or the fungal: bacterial ratio. Our results suggest that positive effects of particular microbial taxa on multifunctionality resistance could potentially be controlled by altering soil pH. Together, our work demonstrates strong links between microbial community composition and multifunctionality resistance in dryland soils from six continents, and provides insights into the importance of microbial community composition for buffering effects of global change in drylands worldwide. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  10. Determining the specific microbial populations and their spatial distribution within the stromatolite ecosystem of Shark Bay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goh, Falicia; Allen, Michelle A; Leuko, Stefan; Kawaguchi, Tomohiro; Decho, Alan W; Burns, Brendan P; Neilan, Brett A

    2009-04-01

    The stromatolites at Shark Bay, Western Australia, are analogues of some of the oldest evidence of life on Earth. The aim of this study was to identify and spatially characterize the specific microbial communities associated with Shark Bay intertidal columnar stromatolites. Conventional culturing methods and construction of 16S rDNA clone libraries from community genomic DNA with both universal and specific PCR primers were employed. The estimated coverage, richness and diversity of stromatolite microbial populations were compared with earlier studies on these ecosystems. The estimated coverage for all clone libraries indicated that population coverage was comprehensive. Phylogenetic analyses of stromatolite and surrounding seawater sequences were performed in ARB with the Greengenes database of full-length non-chimaeric 16S rRNA genes. The communities identified exhibited extensive diversity. The most abundant sequences from the stromatolites were alpha- and gamma-proteobacteria (58%), whereas the cyanobacterial community was characterized by sequences related to the genera Euhalothece, Gloeocapsa, Gloeothece, Chroococcidiopsis, Dermocarpella, Acaryochloris, Geitlerinema and Schizothrix. All clones from the archaeal-specific clone libraries were related to the halophilic archaea; however, no archaeal sequence was identified from the surrounding seawater. Fluorescence in situ hybridization also revealed stromatolite surfaces to be dominated by unicellular cyanobacteria, in contrast to the sub-surface archaea and sulphate-reducing bacteria. This study is the first to compare the microbial composition of morphologically similar stromatolites over time and examine the spatial distribution of specific microorganismic groups in these intertidal structures and the surrounding seawater at Shark Bay. The results provide a platform for identifying the key microbial physiology groups and their potential roles in modern stromatolite morphogenesis and ecology.

  11. Monitoring the fibrolytic potential of microbial ecosystems from domestic and wild ruminants browsing tanniferous forages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nokwethemba Nqobile Philile Msimango

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Although the rumen microbiome has been reported to synthesize a rich source of symbiotic enzymes (exocellulase, endocellulase, hemicellulase and cellobiase, the digestion of tropical C4 grasses and browses by ruminants is still limited. Therefore, this study aimed to unveil potential fibrolytic microbial ecosystems from giraffe, kudu, impala and consortia (A1 [giraffe + kudu], A2 [giraffe + impala], A3 [kudu + impala], and A4 [giraffe + kudu + impala] browsing tanniferous plants, which can be used to improve forage utilization in domesticated goat. Crude protein enzyme extracts (CPZ from fresh faecal samples were precipitated by 60% ammonium sulphate and assayed for exocellulase, endocellulase and hemicellulase by incubating with crystalline cellulose, carboxymethyl cellulose and xylan at 38 °C with optimum pH of 5.5 to 6.5 for 1, 2, and 48 h, respectively. Enzyme specific activities were defined as μg of reducing sugar/mg CPZ. In vitro fermentation study was done by transferring 33 mL of fresh faecal inoculum into 67 mL of salivary buffer containing 1 g Acacia sieberiana and incubating for 72 h at 38 °C. Apparent degradability (APDeg, true degradability (TD, neutral detergent fibre degradability (NDFdeg, acid detergent fibre degradability (ADFdeg, microbial yield (MY, metabolizable energy (ME and total gas emitted (Gas were measured. Exocellulase activities were higher (P < 0.05 in all wild animals and consortia than those in goat except for A4. Minimal differences in hemicellulase activities (P < 0.05 were observed among goat and wild animals and consortia, while endocellulase activity was generally higher (P < 0.05 in goat than that in the rest of the systems. Apart from A3, TDeg, NDFdeg and ADFdeg were higher (P < 0.05 in all microbial ecosystems from wild animals and consortia than those in goat. Apparent degradability, MY and ME also varied (P < 0.05 among these systems. Giraffe, Kudu and A3 produced lower (P

  12. Disruption of photoautotrophic intertidal mats by filamentous fungi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carreira, Cátia; Staal, Marc Jaap; Falkoski, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Summary: Ring-like structures, 2.0-4.8cm in diameter, observed in photosynthetic microbial mats on the Wadden Sea island Schiermonnikoog (the Netherlands) showed to be the result of the fungus Emericellopsis sp. degrading the photoautotrophic top layer of the mat. The mats were predominantly comp...

  13. Functional resilience of microbial ecosystems in soil: How important is a spatial analysis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Sara; Banitz, Thomas; Centler, Florian; Frank, Karin; Thullner, Martin

    2015-04-01

    Microbial life in soil is exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions influencing the performance of microbially mediated ecosystem services such as biodegradation of contaminants. However, as this environment is typically very heterogeneous, spatial aspects can be expected to play a major role for the ability to recover from a stress event. To determine key processes for functional resilience, simple scenarios with varying stress intensities were simulated within a microbial simulation model and the biodegradation rate in the recovery phase monitored. Parameters including microbial growth and dispersal rates were varied over a typical range to consider microorganisms with varying properties. Besides an aggregated temporal monitoring, the explicit observation of the spatio-temporal dynamics proved essential to understand the recovery process. For a mechanistic understanding of the model system, scenarios were also simulated with selected processes being switched-off. Results of the mechanistic and the spatial view show that the key factors for functional recovery with respect to biodegradation after a simple stress event depend on the location of the observed habitats. The limiting factors near unstressed areas are spatial processes - the mobility of the bacteria as well as substrate diffusion - the longer the distance to the unstressed region the more important becomes the process growth. Furthermore, recovery depends on the stress intensity - after a low stress event the spatial configuration has no influence on the key factors for functional resilience. To confirm these results, we repeated the stress scenarios but this time including an additional dispersal network representing a fungal network in soil. The system benefits from an increased spatial performance due to the higher mobility of the degrading microorganisms. However, this effect appears only in scenarios where the spatial distribution of the stressed area plays a role. With these simulations we

  14. Carrot Juice Fermentations as Man-Made Microbial Ecosystems Dominated by Lactic Acid Bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wuyts, Sander; Van Beeck, Wannes; Oerlemans, Eline F M; Wittouck, Stijn; Claes, Ingmar J J; De Boeck, Ilke; Weckx, Stefan; Lievens, Bart; De Vuyst, Luc; Lebeer, Sarah

    2018-06-15

    Spontaneous vegetable fermentations, with their rich flavors and postulated health benefits, are regaining popularity. However, their microbiology is still poorly understood, therefore raising concerns about food safety. In addition, such spontaneous fermentations form interesting cases of man-made microbial ecosystems. Here, samples from 38 carrot juice fermentations were collected through a citizen science initiative, in addition to three laboratory fermentations. Culturing showed that Enterobacteriaceae were outcompeted by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) between 3 and 13 days of fermentation. Metabolite-target analysis showed that lactic acid and mannitol were highly produced, as well as the biogenic amine cadaverine. High-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that mainly species of Leuconostoc and Lactobacillus (as identified by 8 and 20 amplicon sequence variants [ASVs], respectively) mediated the fermentations in subsequent order. The analyses at the DNA level still detected a high number of Enterobacteriaceae , but their relative abundance was low when RNA-based sequencing was performed to detect presumptive metabolically active bacterial cells. In addition, this method greatly reduced host read contamination. Phylogenetic placement indicated a high LAB diversity, with ASVs from nine different phylogenetic groups of the Lactobacillus genus complex. However, fermentation experiments with isolates showed that only strains belonging to the most prevalent phylogenetic groups preserved the fermentation dynamics. The carrot juice fermentation thus forms a robust man-made microbial ecosystem suitable for studies on LAB diversity and niche specificity. IMPORTANCE The usage of fermented food products by professional chefs is steadily growing worldwide. Meanwhile, this interest has also increased at the household level. However, many of these artisanal food products remain understudied. Here, an extensive microbial analysis was performed of spontaneous fermented

  15. Reefs under Siege—the Rise, Putative Drivers, and Consequences of Benthic Cyanobacterial Mats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda K. Ford

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Benthic cyanobacteria have commonly been a small but integral component of coral reef ecosystems, fulfilling the critical function of introducing bioavailable nitrogen to an inherently oligotrophic environment. Though surveys may have previously neglected benthic cyanobacteria, or grouped them with more conspicuous benthic groups, emerging evidence strongly indicates that they are becoming increasingly prevalent on reefs worldwide. Some species can form mats comprised by a diverse microbial consortium which allows them to exist across a wide range of environmental conditions. This review evaluates the putative driving factors of increasing benthic cyanobacterial mats, including climate change, declining coastal water quality, iron input, and overexploitation of key consumer and ecosystem engineer species. Ongoing global environmental change can increase growth rates and toxin production of physiologically plastic benthic cyanobacterial mats, placing them at a considerable competitive advantage against reef-building corals. Once established, strong ecological feedbacks [e.g., inhibition of coral recruitment, release of dissolved organic carbon (DOC] reinforce reef degradation. The review also highlights previously overlooked implications of mat proliferation, which can extend beyond reef health and affect human health and welfare. Though identifying (opportunistic consumers of mats remains a priority, their perceived low palatability implies that herbivore management alone may be insufficient to control their proliferation and must be accompanied by local measures to improve water quality and watershed management.

  16. Bayesian analysis of non-linear differential equation models with application to a gut microbial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Daniel J; Holtrop, Grietje; Flint, Harry

    2011-07-01

    Process models specified by non-linear dynamic differential equations contain many parameters, which often must be inferred from a limited amount of data. We discuss a hierarchical Bayesian approach combining data from multiple related experiments in a meaningful way, which permits more powerful inference than treating each experiment as independent. The approach is illustrated with a simulation study and example data from experiments replicating the aspects of the human gut microbial ecosystem. A predictive model is obtained that contains prediction uncertainty caused by uncertainty in the parameters, and we extend the model to capture situations of interest that cannot easily be studied experimentally. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. Effects of mushroom and herb polysaccharides, as alternative for an antibiotic, on the cecal microbial ecosystem in broiler chickens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guo, F.; Williams, B.A.; Kwakkel, R.P.; Li, H.S.; Li, X.P.; Luo, J.Y.; Li, W.K.; Verstegen, M.W.A.

    2004-01-01

    An in vivo experiment was conducted to study the potential prebiotic effects of mushroom and herb polysaccharide extracts, Lentinus edodes extract (LenE), Tremella fuciformis extract, and Astragalus membranaceus Radix extract, on chicken growth and the cecal microbial ecosystem, as compared with the

  18. Soil microbial responses to climate warming in Northern Andean alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallery, R. E.; Lasso, E.

    2017-12-01

    The historically cooler temperatures and waterlogged soils of tropical alpine grasslands (páramo) have resulted in low decomposition rates and a large buildup of organic matter, making páramo one of the most important carbon sinks in tropical biomes. The climatic factors that favored the carbon accumulation are changing, and as a result páramo could play a disproportionate role in driving climate feedbacks through increased carbon released from these large soil carbon stores. Open top chamber warming experiments were established in the Colombian Andes in 2016 to quantify the magnitude of climate change on carbon balance and identify microbial and plant traits that regulate these impacts. Two focal sites differ in mean annual temperature, precipitation, and plant community richness. Heterotrophic respiration (RH,) was measured from soil cores incubated at temperatures representing current and projected warming. The warming effect on RH was sensitive to soil moisture, which could reflect shifts in microbial community composition and/or extracellular enzyme production or efficiency as soils dry. Bacterial, archaeal, and fungal communities in ambient and warmed plots were measured through high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA and ITS1 rRNA gene regions. Communities showed strong spatial structuring both within and among páramo, reflecting the topographic heterogeneity of these ecosystems. Significant differences in relative abundance of dominant microbial taxa between páramo could be largely explained by soil bulk density, water holding capacity, and non-vascular plant cover. Phototrophs common to anoxic soils (e.g., Rhodospirillaceae, Hyphomicrobiaceae) were abundant. Taxa within Euryarchaeota were recovered, suggesting methanogenesis potential. Exploration of the magnitude and temperature sensitivity of methane flux is needed in these seasonally anoxic soils whose dynamics could have significant implications for the global climate system.

  19. Stable isotope probing to study functional components of complex microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazard, Sophie; Schäfer, Hendrik

    2014-01-01

    This protocol presents a method of dissecting the DNA or RNA of key organisms involved in a specific biochemical process within a complex ecosystem. Stable isotope probing (SIP) allows the labelling and separation of nucleic acids from community members that are involved in important biochemical transformations, yet are often not the most numerically abundant members of a community. This pure culture-independent technique circumvents limitations of traditional microbial isolation techniques or data mining from large-scale whole-community metagenomic studies to tease out the identities and genomic repertoires of microorganisms participating in biological nutrient cycles. SIP experiments can be applied to virtually any ecosystem and biochemical pathway under investigation provided a suitable stable isotope substrate is available. This versatile methodology allows a wide range of analyses to be performed, from fatty-acid analyses, community structure and ecology studies, and targeted metagenomics involving nucleic acid sequencing. SIP experiments provide an effective alternative to large-scale whole-community metagenomic studies by specifically targeting the organisms or biochemical transformations of interest, thereby reducing the sequencing effort and time-consuming bioinformatics analyses of large datasets.

  20. Diversity of key players in the microbial ecosystems of the human body.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordán, Ferenc; Lauria, Mario; Scotti, Marco; Nguyen, Thanh-Phuong; Praveen, Paurush; Morine, Melissa; Priami, Corrado

    2015-10-30

    Coexisting bacteria form various microbial communities in human body parts. In these ecosystems they interact in various ways and the properties of the interaction network can be related to the stability and functional diversity of the local bacterial community. In this study, we analyze the interaction network among bacterial OTUs in 11 locations of the human body. These belong to two major groups. One is the digestive system and the other is the female genital tract. In each local ecosystem we determine the key species, both the ones being in key positions in the interaction network and the ones that dominate by frequency. Beyond identifying the key players and discussing their biological relevance, we also quantify and compare the properties of the 11 networks. The interaction networks of the female genital system and the digestive system show totally different architecture. Both the topological properties and the identity of the key groups differ. Key groups represent four phyla of prokaryotes. Some groups appear in key positions in several locations, while others are assigned only to a single body part. The key groups of the digestive and the genital tracts are totally different.

  1. Reconstructing the Genetic Potential of the Microbially-Mediated Nitrogen Cycle in a Salt Marsh Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Brossi, Maria Julia de L; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Salles, Joana F

    2016-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems are considered buffer zones for the discharge of land-derived nutrients without accounting for potential negative side effects. Hence, there is an urgent need to better understand the ecological assembly and dynamics of the microorganisms that are involved in nitrogen (N) cycling in such systems. Here, we employed two complementary methodological approaches (i.e., shotgun metagenomics and quantitative PCR) to examine the distribution and abundance of selected microbial genes involved in N transformations. We used soil samples collected along a well-established pristine salt marsh soil chronosequence that spans over a century of ecosystem development at the island of Schiermonnikoog, The Netherlands. Across the examined soil successional stages, the structure of the populations of genes involved in N cycling processes was strongly related to (shifts in the) soil nitrogen levels (i.e., [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text]), salinity and pH (explaining 73.8% of the total variation, R (2) = 0.71). Quantification of the genes used as proxies for N fixation, nitrification and denitrification revealed clear successional signatures that corroborated the taxonomic assignments obtained by metagenomics. Notably, we found strong evidence for niche partitioning, as revealed by the abundance and distribution of marker genes for nitrification (ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea) and denitrification (nitrite reductase nirK, nirS and nitrous oxide reductase nosZ clades I and II). This was supported by a distinct correlation between these genes and soil physico-chemical properties, such as soil physical structure, pH, salinity, organic matter, total N, [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text], across four seasonal samplings. Overall, this study sheds light on the successional trajectories of microbial N cycle genes along a naturally developing salt marsh ecosystem. The data obtained serve as a foundation to guide the formulation of

  2. Hydrogen Dynamics in Cyanobacteria Dominated Microbial Mats Measured by Novel Combined H2/H2S and H2/O2 Microsensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Maegaard

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Hydrogen may accumulate to micromolar concentrations in cyanobacterial mat communities from various environments, but the governing factors for this accumulation are poorly described. We used newly developed sensors allowing for simultaneous measurement of H2S and H2 or O2 and H2 within the same point to elucidate the interactions between oxygen, sulfate reducing bacteria, and H2 producing microbes. After onset of darkness and subsequent change from oxic to anoxic conditions within the uppermost ∼1 mm of the mat, H2 accumulated to concentrations of up to 40 μmol L-1 in the formerly oxic layer, but with high variability among sites and sampling dates. The immediate onset of H2 production after darkening points to fermentation as the main H2 producing process in this mat. The measured profiles indicate that a gradual disappearance of the H2 peak was mainly due to the activity of sulfate reducing bacteria that invaded the formerly oxic surface layer from below, or persisted in an inactive state in the oxic mat during illumination. The absence of significant H2 consumption in the formerly oxic mat during the first ∼30 min after onset of anoxic conditions indicated absence of active sulfate reducers in this layer during the oxic period. Addition of the methanogenesis inhibitor BES led to increase in H2, indicating that methanogens contributed to the consumption of H2. Both H2 formation and consumption seemed unaffected by the presence/absence of H2S.

  3. Deep Microbial Ecosystems in the U.S. Great Basin: A Second Home for Desulforudis audaxviator?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moser, D. P.

    2012-12-01

    Deep subsurface microbial ecosystems have attracted scientific and public interest in recent years. Of deep habitats so far investigated, continental hard rock environments may be the least understood. Our Census of Deep Life (CoDL) project targets deep microbial ecosystems of three little explored (for microbiology), North American geological provinces: the Basin and Range, Black Hills, and Canadian Shield. Here we focus on the Basin and Range, specifically radioactive fluids from nuclear device test cavities (U12N.10 tunnel and ER-EC-11) at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) and non-radioactive samples from a deep dolomite aquifer associated with Death Valley, CA (BLM-1 and Nevares Deep Well 2). Six pyrotag sequencing runs were attempted at the Marine Biology Lab (MBL) (bacterial v6v4 amplification for all sites and archaeal v6v4 amplification for BLM-1 and Nevares DW2). Of these, DNA extracts from five samples (all but Nevares DW2 Arch) successfully amplified. Bacterial libraries were generally dominated by Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Nitrospirae (ER-EC-11: Proteobacteria (45%), Deinococcus-Thermus (35%), Firmicutes (15%); U12N.10: Proteobacteria (37%), Firmicutes (32%), Nitrospirae (15%), Bacteroidetes (11%); BLM-1 (Bact): Firmicutes (93%); and Nevares DW2: Firmicutes (51%), Proteobacteria (16%), Nitrospirae (15%)). The BLM-1 (Arch) library contained >99% Euryarchaeota, with 98% of sequences represented by a single uncharacterized species of Methanothermobacter. Alpha diversity was calculated using the MBL VAMPS (Visualization and Analysis of Microbial Population Structures) system; showing the highest richness at both the phylum and genus levels in U12N.10 (Sp = 42; Sg = 341), and the lowest (Sp = 3; Sg = 11) in the BLM-1(Arch) library. Diversity was covered well at this depth of sequencing (~20,000 reads per sample) based on rarefaction analysis. One Firmicute lineage, candidatus D. audaxviator, has been shown to dominate microbial communities from

  4. Environmental and Microbial Features Affecting Denitrification and Anammox Hotspots in an Estuarine Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisa, J.; Song, B.; Lefcheck, J. S.; Tobias, C. R.

    2016-02-01

    Biogeochemical hotspots are characterized as a few sites that exhibit extremely high reaction rates relative to surrounding area, and often account for a high percentage of the overall reaction rates in an ecosystem. Criteria for quantitatively identifying these sites have not been well established. Further, the underlying mechanisms of hotspots have been described in terms of environmental conditions, with little attention paid to the microbial community. The objectives of this study were to establish quantitative criteria to identify denitrification and anammox hotspots, and determine the underlying microbial and environmental factors responsible for elevated N2 production. We used 15N isotope pairing incubation experiments to measure denitrification and anammox rates in the New River Estuary, NC. Quantitative PCR assays of nitrous oxide reductase (nosZ Clades I and II) and hydrazine oxidoreductase (hzo) genes were conducted to estimate denitrifier and anammox abundance. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used to elucidate complex causal relationships between environmental and biological variables. Denitrification hotspots, quantitatively defined as statistical outliers, accounted for 35.6% total denitrification while comprising only 7.3% of the sites. Anammox hotspots,10.6% of the sites, accounted for 60.9% of total anammox. SEM revealed increased sediment organics at lower salinities supported higher functional gene abundance, which in turn resulted in higher N2 production. Surprisingly, denitrification rates were significantly and positively correlated with nosZ Clade II gene abundance, after accounting for the non-significant contributions of the naturally more abundant nosZ Clade I, and other environmental covariates. This is the first time that a quantitative definition of biogeochemical hotspots was put forth and used to determine the importance of anammox and denitrification hotspots in estuarine nitrogen removal capacity. Despite the low area

  5. Microbial Communities in the Vertical Atmosphere: Effects of Urbanization and the Natural Environment in Four North American Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Docherty, K. M.; Lemmer, K. M.; Domingue, K. D.; Spring, A.; Kerber, T. V.; Mooney, M. M.

    2017-12-01

    Airborne transport of microbial communities is a key component of the global ecosystem because it serves as a mechanism for dispersing microbial life between all surface habitats on the planet. However, most of our understanding of airborne microbial distribution is derived from samples collected near the ground. Little is understood about how the vertical layers of the air may act as a habitat filter or how local terrestrial ecosystems contribute to a vast airborne microbial seedbank. Specifically, urbanization may fundamentally alter the terrestrial sources of airborne microbial biodiversity. To address this question, we conducted airborne sampling at minimally disturbed natural sites and paired urban sites in 4 different North American ecosystems: shortgrass steppe, desert scrub, eastern deciduous forest, and northern mesic forest. All natural area sites were co-located with NEON/Ameriflux tower sites collecting atmospheric data. We developed an airborne sampling platform that uses tethered helikites at 3 replicate locations within each ecosystem to launch remote-controlled sampler payloads. We designed sampler payloads to collect airborne bacteria and fungi from 150, 30 and 2 m above the ground. Payload requirements included: ability to be disinfected and remain contaminant-free during transport, remote open/close functionality, payload weight under 6 lbs and automated collection of weather data. After sampling for 6 hours at each location, we extracted DNA collected by the samplers. We also extracted DNA from soil and plant samples collected from each location, and characterized ground vegetation. We conducted bacterial 16S amplicon-based sequencing using Mi-Seq and sequence analysis using QIIME. We used ArcGIS to determine percent land use coverage. Our results demonstrate that terrestrial ecosystem type is the most important factor contributing to differences in airborne bacterial community composition, and that communities differed by ecosystem. The

  6. Representing Microbial Dormancy in Soil Decomposition Models Improves Model Performance and Reveals Key Ecosystem Controls on Microbial Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Y.; Yang, J.; Zhuang, Q.; Wang, G.; Liu, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Climate feedbacks from soils can result from environmental change and subsequent responses of plant and microbial communities and nutrient cycling. Explicit consideration of microbial life history traits and strategy may be necessary to predict climate feedbacks due to microbial physiology and community changes and their associated effect on carbon cycling. In this study, we developed an explicit microbial-enzyme decomposition model and examined model performance with and without representation of dormancy at six temperate forest sites with observed soil efflux ranged from 4 to 10 years across different forest types. We then extrapolated the model to all temperate forests in the Northern Hemisphere (25-50°N) to investigate spatial controls on microbial and soil C dynamics. Both models captured the observed soil heterotrophic respiration (RH), yet no-dormancy model consistently exhibited large seasonal amplitude and overestimation in microbial biomass. Spatially, the total RH from temperate forests based on dormancy model amounts to 6.88PgC/yr, and 7.99PgC/yr based on no-dormancy model. However, no-dormancy model notably overestimated the ratio of microbial biomass to SOC. Spatial correlation analysis revealed key controls of soil C:N ratio on the active proportion of microbial biomass, whereas local dormancy is primarily controlled by soil moisture and temperature, indicating scale-dependent environmental and biotic controls on microbial and SOC dynamics. These developments should provide essential support to modeling future soil carbon dynamics and enhance the avenue for collaboration between empirical soil experiment and modeling in the sense that more microbial physiological measurements are needed to better constrain and evaluate the models.

  7. Microbial Fingerprints of Community Structure Correlate with Changes in Ecosystem Function Induced by Perturbing the Redox Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, A. L.; Ford, R. M.; Vallino, J. J.; Herman, J. S.; Hornberger, G. M.

    2001-12-01

    Restoration of high-quality groundwater has been an elusive engineering goal. Consequently, natural microbially-mediated reactions are increasingly relied upon to degrade organic contaminants, including hydrocarbons and many synthetic compounds. Of concern is how the introduction of an organic chemical contaminant affects the indigenous microbial communities, the geochemistry of the aquifer, and the function of the ecosystem. The presence of functional redundancy in microbial communities suggests that recovery of the community after a disturbance such as a contamination event could easily result in a community that is similar in function to that which existed prior to the contamination, but which is compositionally quite different. To investigate the relationship between community structure and function we observed the response of a diverse microbial community obtained from raw sewage to a dynamic redox environment using an aerobic/anaerobic/aerobic cycle. To evaluate changes in community function CO2, pH, ammonium and nitrate levels were monitored. A phylogenetically-based DNA technique (tRFLP) was used to assess changes in microbial community structure. Principal component analysis of the tRFLP data revealed significant changes in the composition of the microbial community that correlated well with changes in community function. Results from our experiments will be discussed in the context of a metabolic model based the biogeochemistry of the system. The governing philosophy of this thermodynamically constrained metabolic model is that living systems synthesize and allocate cellular machinery in such a way as to "optimally" utilize available resources in the environment. The robustness of this optimization-based approach provides a powerful tool for studying relationships between microbial diversity and ecosystem function.

  8. Impact of ecosystem management on microbial community level physiological profiles of postmining forest rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cookson, W R; O'Donnell, A J; Grant, C D; Grierson, P F; Murphy, D V

    2008-02-01

    acids also tended to increase with increasing soil total C and organic C contents but decreased with increasing nitrate content, whereas the opposite was true for carboxylic acids. Only 45% of the variance in CLPP was explained using a multivariate multiple regression model, but soil C and N pools and litter mass were significant predictors of CLPP. Differences in soil textural components between treatments were also correlated with CLPP; likely causes of these differences are discussed. Our results suggest that 1 year after treatment, CLPP from this mined forest ecosystem are resilient to a spring prescribed fire but not forest thinning. We conclude that differences in CLPP are likely to result from complex interactions among soil properties that mediate substrate availability, microbial nutrient demand, and microbial community composition.

  9. The use of controlled microbial cenoses in producers' link to increase steady functioning of artificial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somova, Lydia; Mikheeva, Galina; Somova, Lydia

    The life support systems (LSS) for long-term missions are to use cycling-recycling systems, including biological recycling. Simple ecosystems include 3 links: producers (plants), consumers (man, animals) and reducers (microorganisms). Microorganisms are substantial component of every link of LSS. Higher plants are the traditional regenerator of air and producer of food. They should be used in many successive generations of their reproduction in LSS. Controlled microbiocenoses can increase productivity of producer's link and protect plants from infections. The goal of this work was development of methodological bases of formation of stable, controlled microbiocenoses, intended for increase of productivity of plants and for obtaining ecologically pure production of plants. Main results of our investigations: 1. Experimental microbiocenoses, has been produced in view of the developed methodology on the basis of natural association of microorganisms by long cultivation on specially developed medium. Dominating groups are bacteria of genera: Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Leuconostoc, Bifidobacterium, Rhodopseudomonas and yeast of genera: Kluyveromyces, Saccharomyces, Torulopsis. 2. Optimal parameters of microbiocenosis cultivation (t, pH, light exposure, biogenic elements concentrations) were experimentally established. Conditions of cultivation on which domination of different groups of microbiocenosis have been found. 3. It was shown, that processing of seeds of wheat, oats, bulbs and plants Allium cepa L. (an onions) with microbial association raised energy of germination of seeds and bulbs and promoted the increase (on 20-30 %) of growth green biomass and root system of plants in comparison with the control. This work is supported by grant, Yenissey , 07-04-96806

  10. Abundance and genetic diversity of microbial polygalacturonase and pectate lyase in the sheep rumen ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Yuan

    Full Text Available Efficient degradation of pectin in the rumen is necessary for plant-based feed utilization. The objective of this study was to characterize the diversity, abundance, and functions of pectinases from microorganisms in the sheep rumen.A total of 103 unique fragments of polygalacturonase (PF00295 and pectate lyase (PF00544 and PF09492 genes were retrieved from microbial DNA in the rumen of a Small Tail Han sheep, and 66% of the sequences of these fragments had low identities (<65% with known sequences. Phylogenetic tree building separated the PF00295, PF00544, and PF09492 sequences into five, three, and three clades, respectively. Cellulolytic and noncellulolytic Butyrivibrio, Prevotella, and Fibrobacter species were the major sources of the pectinases. The two most abundant pectate lyase genes were cloned, and their protein products, expressed in Escherichia coli, were characterized. Both enzymes probably act extracellularly as their nucleotide sequences contained signal sequences, and they had optimal activities at the ruminal physiological temperature and complementary pH-dependent activity profiles.This study reveals the specificity, diversity, and abundance of pectinases in the rumen ecosystem and provides two additional ruminal pectinases for potential industrial use under physiological conditions.

  11. Soil ecology of a rock outcrop ecosystem: Abiotic stresses, soil respiration, and microbial community profiles in limestone cedar glades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Advised by Dzantor, E. Kudjo

    2015-01-01

    Limestone cedar glades are a type of rock outcrop ecosystem characterized by shallow soil and extreme hydrologic conditions—seasonally ranging from xeric to saturated—that support a number of plant species of conservation concern. Although a rich botanical literature exists on cedar glades, soil biochemical processes and the ecology of soil microbial communities in limestone cedar glades have largely been ignored. This investigation documents the abiotic stress regime of this ecosystem (shallow soil, extreme hydrologic fluctuations and seasonally high soil surface temperatures) as well as soil physical and chemical characteristics, and relates both types of information to ecological structures and functions including vegetation, soil respiration, and soil microbial community metabolic profiles and diversity. Methods used in this investigation include field observations and measurements of soil physical and chemical properties and processes, laboratory analyses, and microbiological assays of soil samples.

  12. Microbial analysis of Zetaproteobacteria and co-colonizers of iron mats in the Troll Wall Vent Field, Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Vander Roost

    Full Text Available Over the last decade it has become increasingly clear that Zetaproteobacteria are widespread in hydrothermal systems and that they contribute to the biogeochemical cycling of iron in these environments. However, how chemical factors control the distribution of Zetaproteobacteria and their co-occurring taxa remains elusive. Here we analysed iron mats from the Troll Wall Vent Field (TWVF located at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge (AMOR in the Norwegian-Greenland Sea. The samples were taken at increasing distances from high-temperature venting chimneys towards areas with ultraslow low-temperature venting, encompassing a large variety in geochemical settings. Electron microscopy revealed the presence of biogenic iron stalks in all samples. Using 16S rRNA gene sequence profiling we found that relative abundances of Zetaproteobacteria in the iron mats varied from 0.2 to 37.9%. Biogeographic analyses of Zetaproteobacteria, using the ZetaHunter software, revealed the presence of ZetaOtus 1, 2 and 9, supporting the view that they are cosmopolitan. Relative abundances of co-occurring taxa, including Thaumarchaeota, Euryarchaeota and Proteobacteria, also varied substantially. From our results, combined with results from previous microbiological and geochemical analyses of the TWVF, we infer that the distribution of Zetaproteobacteria is connected to fluid-flow patterns and, ultimately, variations in chemical energy landscapes. Moreover, we provide evidence for iron-oxidizing members of Gallionellaceae being widespread in TWVF iron mats, albeit at low relative abundances.

  13. The perils and promises of microbial abundance: novel natures and model ecosystems, from artisanal cheese to alien seas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paxson, Heather; Helmreich, Stefan

    2014-04-01

    Microbial life has been much in the news. From outbreaks of Escherichia coli to discussions of the benefits of raw and fermented foods to recent reports of life forms capable of living in extreme environments, the modest microbe has become a figure for thinking through the presents and possible futures of nature, writ large as well as small. Noting that dominant representations of microbial life have shifted from an idiom of peril to one of promise, we argue that microbes--especially when thriving as microbial communities--are being upheld as model ecosystems in a prescriptive sense, as tokens of how organisms and human ecological relations with them could, should, or might be. We do so in reference to two case studies: the regulatory politics of artisanal cheese and the speculative research of astrobiology. To think of and with microbial communities as model ecosystems offers a corrective to the scientific determinisms we detect in some recent calls to attend to the materiality of scientific objects.

  14. Geochemical and physical drivers of microbial community structure in hot spring ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havig, J. R.; Hamilton, T. L.; Boyd, E. S.; Meyer-Dombard, D. R.; Shock, E.

    2012-12-01

    Microbial communities in natural systems are typically characterized using samples collected from a single time point, thereby neglecting the temporal dynamics that characterize natural systems. The composition of these communities obtained from single point samples is then related to the geochemistry and physical parameters of the environment. Since most microbial life is adapted to a relatively narrow ecological niche (multiplicity of physical and chemical parameters that characterize a local habitat), these assessments provide only modest insight into the controls on community composition. Temporal variation in temperature or geochemical composition would be expected to add another dimension to the complexity of niche space available to support microbial diversity, with systems that experience greater variation supporting a greater biodiversity until a point where the variability is too extreme. . Hot springs often exhibit significant temporal variation, both in physical as well as chemical characteristics. This is a result of subsurface processes including boiling, phase separation, and differential mixing of liquid and vapor phase constituents. These characteristics of geothermal systems, which vary significantly over short periods of time, provide ideal natural laboratories for investigating how i) the extent of microbial community biodiversity and ii) the composition of those communities are shaped by temporal fluctuations in geochemistry. Geochemical and molecular samples were collected from 17 temporally variable hot springs across Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Temperature measurements using data-logging thermocouples, allowing accurate determination of temperature maximums, minimums, and ranges for each collection site, were collected in parallel, along with multiple geochemical characterizations as conditions varied. There were significant variations in temperature maxima (54.5 to 90.5°C), minima (12.5 to 82.5°C), and range (3.5 to 77.5°C) for

  15. Long-term reactive nitrogen loading alters soil carbon and microbial community properties in a subalpine forest ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boot, Claudia M.; Hall, Ed K.; Denef, Karolien; Baron, Jill S.

    2016-01-01

    Elevated nitrogen (N) deposition due to increased fossil fuel combustion and agricultural practices has altered global carbon (C) cycling. Additions of reactive N to N-limited environments are typically accompanied by increases in plant biomass. Soil C dynamics, however, have shown a range of different responses to the addition of reactive N that seem to be ecosystem dependent. We evaluated the effect of N amendments on biogeochemical characteristics and microbial responses of subalpine forest organic soils in order to develop a mechanistic understanding of how soils are affected by N amendments in subalpine ecosystems. We measured a suite of responses across three years (2011–2013) during two seasons (spring and fall). Following 17 years of N amendments, fertilized soils were more acidic (control mean 5.09, fertilized mean 4.68), and had lower %C (control mean 33.7% C, fertilized mean 29.8% C) and microbial biomass C by 22% relative to control plots. Shifts in biogeochemical properties in fertilized plots were associated with an altered microbial community driven by reduced arbuscular mycorrhizal (control mean 3.2 mol%, fertilized mean 2.5 mol%) and saprotrophic fungal groups (control mean 17.0 mol%, fertilized mean 15.2 mol%), as well as a decrease in N degrading microbial enzyme activity. Our results suggest that decreases in soil C in subalpine forests were in part driven by increased microbial degradation of soil organic matter and reduced inputs to soil organic matter in the form of microbial biomass.

  16. Contributions of Ectomycorrhizal Fungal Mats to Forest Soil Carbon Cycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kluber, L. A.; Phillips, C. L.; Myrold, D. D.; Bond, B. J.

    2008-12-01

    Ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi are a prominent and ubiquitous feature of forest soils, forming symbioses with most tree species, yet little is known about the magnitude of their impact on forest carbon cycles. A subset of EM fungi form dense, perennial aggregations of hyphae, which have elevated respiration rates compared with neighboring non-mat soils. These mats are a foci of EM activity and thereby a natural laboratory for examining how EM fungi impact forest soils. In order to constrain the contributions of EM fungi to forest soil respiration, we quantified the proportion of respiration derived from EM mat soils in an old-growth Douglas-fir stand in western Oregon. One dominant genus of mat-forming fungi, Piloderma, covered 56% of the soil surface area. Piloderma mats were monitored for respiration rates over 15 months and found to have on average 10% higher respiration than non-mat soil. At the stand level, this amounts to roughly 6% of soil respiration due to the presence of Piloderma mats. We calculate that these mats may constitute 27% of autotrophic respiration, based on respiration rates from trenched plots in a neighboring forest stand. Furthermore, enzyme activity and microbial community profiles in mat and non-mat soil provide evidence that specialized communities utilizing chitin contribute to this increased efflux. With 60% higher chitinase activity in mats, the breakdown of chitin is likely an important carbon flux while providing carbon and nitrogen to the microbial communities associated with mats. Quantitative PCR showed similar populations of fungi and bacteria in mat and non-mat soils; however, community analysis revealed distinct fungal and bacterial communities in the two soil types. The higher respiration associated with EM mats does not appear to be due only to a proliferation of EM fungi, but to a shift in overall community composition to organisms that efficiently utilize the unique resources available within the mat, including plant and

  17. Dynamics of Molecular Hydrogen in Hypersaline Microbial Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehler, Tori M.; Bebout, Brad M.; Visscher, Pieter T.; DesMarais, David J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Early Earth microbial communities that centered around the anaerobic decomposition of organic molecular hydrogen as a carrier of electrons, regulator of energy metabolism, and facilitator of syntroph'c microbial interactions. The advent of oxygenic photosynthetic organisms added a highly dynamic and potentially dominant term to the hydrogen economy of these communities. We have examined the daily variations of hydrogen concentrations in cyanobacteria-dominated microbial mats from hypersaline ponds in Baja California Sur, Mexico. These mats bring together phototrophic and anaerobic bacteria (along with virtually all other trophic groups) in a spatially ordered and chemically dynamic matrix that provides a good analog for early Earth microbial ecosystems. Hydrogen concentrations in the photic zone of the mat can be three orders of magnitude or more higher than in the photic zone, which are, in turn, an order of magnitude higher than in the unconsolidated sediments underlying the mat community. Within the photic zone, hydrogen concentrations can fluctuate dramatically during the diel (24 hour day-night) cycle, ranging from less than 0.001% during the day to nearly 10% at night. The resultant nighttime flux of hydrogen from the mat to the environment was up to 17% of the daytime oxygen flux. The daily pattern observed is highly dependent on cyanobacterial species composition within the mat, with Lyngbya-dominated systems having a much greater dynamic range than those dominated by Microcoleus; this may relate largely to differing degrees of nitrogen-fixing and fermentative activity in the two mats. The greatest H2 concentrations and fluxes were observed in the absence of oxygen, suggesting an important potential feedback control in the context of the evolution of atmospheric composition. The impact of adding this highly dynamic photosynthetic term to the hydrogen economy of early microbial ecosystems must have been substantial. From an evolutionary standpoint, the H2

  18. Assessing Impacts of Unconventional Natural Gas Extraction on Microbial Communities in Headwater Stream Ecosystems in Northwestern Pennsylvania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan eTrexler

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have increased dramatically in Pennsylvania Marcellus shale formations, however the potential for major environmental impacts are still incompletely understood. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed to characterize the microbial community structure of water, sediment, bryophyte, and biofilm samples from 26 headwater stream sites in northwestern Pennsylvania with different histories of fracking activity within Marcellus shale play. Further, we describe the relationship between microbial community structure and environmental parameters measured. Approximately 3.2 million 16S rRNA gene sequences were retrieved from a total of 58 samples. Microbial community analyses showed significant reductions in species richness as well as evenness in sites with Marcellus shale activity (MSA+. Beta diversity analyses revealed distinct microbial community structure between sites with and without Marcellus shale activity (MSA-. For example, OTUs within the Acetobacteracea, Methylocystaceae, Acidobacteriaceae, and Phenylobacterium were greater than three log-fold more abundant in MSA+ sites as compared to MSA- sites. Further, several of these OTUs were strongly negatively correlated with pH and positively correlated with the number of wellpads in a watershed. It should be noted that many of the OTUs enriched in MSA+ sites are putative acidophilic and/or methanotrophic populations. This study revealed apparent shifts in the autochthonous microbial communities and highlighted potential members that could be responding to changing stream conditions as a result of nascent industrial activity in these aquatic ecosystems.

  19. Assessing impacts of unconventional natural gas extraction on microbial communities in headwater stream ecosystems in Northwestern Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trexler, Ryan; Solomon, Caroline; Brislawn, Colin J.; Wright, Justin R.; Rosenberger, Abigail; McClure, Erin E.; Grube, Alyssa M.; Peterson, Mark P.; Keddache, Mehdi; Mason, Olivia U.; Hazen, Terry C.; Grant, Christopher J.; Lamendella, Regina

    2014-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have increased dramatically in Pennsylvania Marcellus shale formations, however the potential for major environmental impacts are still incompletely understood. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed to characterize the microbial community structure of water, sediment, bryophyte, and biofilm samples from 26 headwater stream sites in northwestern Pennsylvania with different histories of fracking activity within Marcellus shale formations. Further, we describe the relationship between microbial community structure and environmental parameters measured. Approximately 3.2 million 16S rRNA gene sequences were retrieved from a total of 58 samples. Microbial community analyses showed significant reductions in species richness as well as evenness in sites with Marcellus shale activity. Beta diversity analyses revealed distinct microbial community structure between sites with and without Marcellus shale activity. For example, operational taxonomic units (OTUs) within the Acetobacteracea, Methylocystaceae, Acidobacteriaceae, and Phenylobacterium were greater than three log-fold more abundant in MSA+ sites as compared to MSA− sites. Further, several of these OTUs were strongly negatively correlated with pH and positively correlated with the number of wellpads in a watershed. It should be noted that many of the OTUs enriched in MSA+ sites are putative acidophilic and/or methanotrophic populations. This study revealed apparent shifts in the autochthonous microbial communities and highlighted potential members that could be responding to changing stream conditions as a result of nascent industrial activity in these aquatic ecosystems. PMID:25408683

  20. Diversity and seasonal fluctuation of predominant microbial communities in Bhitarkanika, a tropical mangrove ecosystem in India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rashmi Ranjan Mishra

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Different groups of microorganisms are present in mangrove areas, and they perform complex interactions for nutrient and ecological balances. Since little is known about microbial populations in mangroves, this study analyzed the microbial community structure and function in relation to soil physico-chemical properties in Bhitarkanika, a tropical mangrove ecosystem in India. Spatial and seasonal fluctuations of thirteen important groups of microorganisms were evaluated from the mangrove forest sediments during different seasons, along with soil physico-chemical parameters. The overall microbial load (x10(5cfu/g soil in soil declined in the order of heterotrophic, free living N2 fixing, Gram-negative nitrifying, sulphur oxidizing, Gram-positive, spore forming, denitrifying, anaerobic, phosphate solubilizing, cellulose degrading bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes. Populations of the heterotrophic, phosphate solubilizing, sulphur oxidizing bacteria and fungi were more represented in the rainy season, while, Gram-negative, Gram-positive, nitrifying, denitrifying, cellulose decomposing bacteria and actinomycetes in the winter season. The pool size of most of other microbes either declined or maintained throughout the season. Soil nutrients such as N, P, K (Kg/ha and total C (% contents were higher in the rainy season and they did not follow any common trend of changes throughout the study period. Soil pH and salinity (mS/cm varied from 6-8 and 6.4-19.5, respectively, and they normally affected the microbial population dynamics. Determination of bacterial diversity in Bhitarkanika mangrove soil by culture method showed the predominance of bacterial genera such as Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Desulfotomaculum, Desulfovibrio, Desulfomonas, Methylococcus, Vibrio, Micrococcus, Klebsiella and Azotobacter. Principal component analysis (PCA revealed a correlation among local environmental variables with the sampling locations on the microbial community in the

  1. Mercury methylation in Sphagnum moss mats and its association with sulfate-reducing bacteria in an acidic Adirondack forest lake wetland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Ri-Qing; Adatto, Isaac; Montesdeoca, Mario R; Driscoll, Charles T; Hines, Mark E; Barkay, Tamar

    2010-12-01

    Processes leading to the bioaccumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) in northern wetlands are largely unknown. We have studied various ecological niches within a remote, acidic forested lake ecosystem in the southwestern Adirondacks, NY, to discover that mats comprised of Sphagnum moss were a hot spot for mercury (Hg) and MeHg accumulation (190.5 and 18.6 ng g⁻¹ dw, respectively). Furthermore, significantly higher potential methylation rates were measured in Sphagnum mats as compared with other sites within Sunday Lake's ecosystem. Although MPN estimates showed a low biomass of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), 2.8 × 10⁴ cells mL⁻¹ in mat samples, evidence consisting of (1) a twofold stimulation of potential methylation by the addition of sulfate, (2) a significant decrease in Hg methylation in the presence of the sulfate reduction inhibitor molybdate, and (3) presence of dsrAB-like genes in mat DNA extracts, suggested that SRB were involved in Hg methylation. Sequencing of dsrB genes indicated that novel SRB, incomplete oxidizers including Desulfobulbus spp. and Desulfovibrio spp., and syntrophs dominated the sulfate-reducing guild in the Sphagnum moss mat. Sphagnum, a bryophyte dominating boreal peatlands, and its associated microbial communities appear to play an important role in the production and accumulation of MeHg in high-latitude ecosystems. © 2010 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Microbial and Functional Diversity within the Phyllosphere of Espeletia Species in an Andean High-Mountain Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Pérez, Carlos A; Restrepo, Silvia; Zambrano, María Mercedes

    2016-01-08

    Microbial populations residing in close contact with plants can be found in the rhizosphere, in the phyllosphere as epiphytes on the surface, or inside plants as endophytes. Here, we analyzed the microbiota associated with Espeletia plants, endemic to the Páramo environment of the Andes Mountains and a unique model for studying microbial populations and their adaptations to the adverse conditions of high-mountain neotropical ecosystems. Communities were analyzed using samples from the rhizosphere, necromass, and young and mature leaves, the last two analyzed separately as endophytes and epiphytes. The taxonomic composition determined by performing sequencing of the V5-V6 region of the 16S rRNA gene indicated differences among populations of the leaf phyllosphere, the necromass, and the rhizosphere, with predominance of some phyla but only few shared operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Functional profiles predicted on the basis of taxonomic affiliations differed from those obtained by GeoChip microarray analysis, which separated community functional capacities based on plant microenvironment. The identified metabolic pathways provided insight regarding microbial strategies for colonization and survival in these ecosystems. This study of novel plant phyllosphere microbiomes and their putative functional ecology is also the first step for future bioprospecting studies in search of enzymes, compounds, or microorganisms relevant to industry or for remediation efforts. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  3. The feasibility of automated online flow cytometry for in-situ monitoring of microbial dynamics in aquatic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besmer, Michael D.; Weissbrodt, David G.; Kratochvil, Bradley E.; Sigrist, Jürg A.; Weyland, Mathias S.; Hammes, Frederik

    2014-01-01

    Fluorescent staining coupled with flow cytometry (FCM) is often used for the monitoring, quantification and characterization of bacteria in engineered and environmental aquatic ecosystems including seawater, freshwater, drinking water, wastewater, and industrial bioreactors. However, infrequent grab sampling hampers accurate characterization and subsequent understanding of microbial dynamics in all of these ecosystems. A logic technological progression is high throughput and full automation of the sampling, staining, measurement, and data analysis steps. Here we assess the feasibility and applicability of automated FCM by means of actual data sets produced with prototype instrumentation. As proof-of-concept we demonstrate examples of microbial dynamics in (i) flowing tap water from a municipal drinking water supply network and (ii) river water from a small creek subject to two rainfall events. In both cases, automated measurements were done at 15-min intervals during 12–14 consecutive days, yielding more than 1000 individual data points for each ecosystem. The extensive data sets derived from the automated measurements allowed for the establishment of baseline data for each ecosystem, as well as for the recognition of daily variations and specific events that would most likely be missed (or miss-characterized) by infrequent sampling. In addition, the online FCM data from the river water was combined and correlated with online measurements of abiotic parameters, showing considerable potential for a better understanding of cause-and-effect relationships in aquatic ecosystems. Although several challenges remain, the successful operation of an automated online FCM system and the basic interpretation of the resulting data sets represent a breakthrough toward the eventual establishment of fully automated online microbiological monitoring technologies. PMID:24917858

  4. Spatial patterns of cyanobacterial mat growth on sand ripples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariotti, G.; Klepac-Ceraj, V.; Perron, J. T.; Bosak, T.

    2016-02-01

    Photosynthetic microbial mats produce organic matter, cycle nutrients, bind pollutants and stabilize sediment in sandy marine environments. Here, we investigate the influence of bedforms and wave motion on the growth rate, composition and spatial variability of microbial mats by growing cyanobacterial mats on a rippled bed of carbonate sand in a wave tank. The tank was forced with an oscillatory flow with velocities below the threshold for sediment motion yet able to induce a porewater flow within the sediment. Different spatial patterns developed in mats depending on the initial biochemistry of the water medium. When growing in a medium rich in nitrogen, phosphorous and micronutrients, mats grew faster on ripple troughs than on ripple crests. After two months, mats covered the bed surface uniformly, and the microbial communities on the crests and in the troughs had similar compositions. Differences in bed shear stress and nutrient availability between crests and troughs were not able to explain the faster growth in the troughs. We hypothesize that this growth pattern is due to a "strainer" effect, i.e. the suspended bacteria from the inoculum were preferentially delivered to troughs by the wave-induced porewater flow. In the experiments initiated in a medium previously used up by a microbial mat and thus depleted in nutrients, mats grew preferentially on the ripple crests. This spatial pattern persisted for nearly two years, and the microbial composition on troughs and crests was different. We attribute this pattern to the upwelling of porewater in the crests, which increased the delivery of nutrients from sediment to the cyanobacteria on the bed surface. Thus, the macroscopic patterns formed by photosynthetic microbial mats on sand ripples may be used to infer whether mats are nutrient-limited and whether they are recently colonized or older than a month.

  5. Shallow freshwater ecosystems of the circumpolar Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rautio, Milla; Dufresne, France; Laurion, Isabelle

    2011-01-01

    to large annual temperature fluctuations, a short growing season, and freeze-up and desiccation stress in winter, these ecosystems are strongly regulated by the supply of organic matter and its optical and biogeochemical properties. Dissolved organic carbon affects bacterial diversity and production......This review provides a synthesis of limnological data and conclusions from studies on ponds and small lakes at our research sites in Subarctic and Arctic Canada, Alaska, northern Scandinavia, and Greenland. Many of these water bodies contain large standing stocks of benthic microbial mats that grow...... in relatively nutrient-rich conditions, while the overlying water column is nutrient-poor and supports only low concentrations of phytoplankton. Zooplankton biomass can, however, be substantial and is supported by grazing on the microbial mats as well as detrital inputs, algae, and other plankton. In addition...

  6. Primary productivity as a control over soil microbial diversity along environmental gradients in a polar desert ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin M. Geyer

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Primary production is the fundamental source of energy to foodwebs and ecosystems, and is thus an important constraint on soil communities. This coupling is particularly evident in polar terrestrial ecosystems where biological diversity and activity is tightly constrained by edaphic gradients of productivity (e.g., soil moisture, organic carbon availability and geochemical severity (e.g., pH, electrical conductivity. In the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, environmental gradients determine numerous properties of soil communities and yet relatively few estimates of gross or net primary productivity (GPP, NPP exist for this region. Here we describe a survey utilizing pulse amplitude modulation (PAM fluorometry to estimate rates of GPP across a broad environmental gradient along with belowground microbial diversity and decomposition. PAM estimates of GPP ranged from an average of 0.27 μmol O2/m2/s in the most arid soils to an average of 6.97 μmol O2/m2/s in the most productive soils, the latter equivalent to 217 g C/m2/y in annual NPP assuming a 60 day growing season. A diversity index of four carbon-acquiring enzyme activities also increased with soil productivity, suggesting that the diversity of organic substrates in mesic environments may be an additional driver of microbial diversity. Overall, soil productivity was a stronger predictor of microbial diversity and enzymatic activity than any estimate of geochemical severity. These results highlight the fundamental role of environmental gradients to control community diversity and the dynamics of ecosystem-scale carbon pools in arid systems.

  7. A multitrophic model to quantify the effects of marine viruses on microbial food webs and ecosystem processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weitz, Joshua S.; Stock, Charles A.; Wilhelm, Steven W.

    2015-01-01

    Viral lysis of microbial hosts releases organic matter that can then be assimilated by nontargeted microorganisms. Quantitative estimates of virus-mediated recycling of carbon in marine waters, first established in the late 1990s, were originally extrapolated from marine host and virus densities......, host carbon content and inferred viral lysis rates. Yet, these estimates did not explicitly incorporate the cascade of complex feedbacks associated with virus-mediated lysis. To evaluate the role of viruses in shaping community structure and ecosystem functioning, we extend dynamic multitrophic...

  8. Divergence of dominant factors in soil microbial communities and functions in forest ecosystems along a climatic gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhiwei; Yu, Guirui; Zhang, Xinyu; He, Nianpeng; Wang, Qiufeng; Wang, Shengzhong; Xu, Xiaofeng; Wang, Ruili; Zhao, Ning

    2018-03-01

    Soil microorganisms play an important role in regulating nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Most of the studies conducted thus far have been confined to a single forest biome or have focused on one or two controlling factors, and few have dealt with the integrated effects of climate, vegetation, and soil substrate availability on soil microbial communities and functions among different forests. In this study, we used phospholipid-derived fatty acid (PLFA) analysis to investigate soil microbial community structure and extracellular enzymatic activities to evaluate the functional potential of soil microbes of different types of forests in three different climatic zones along the north-south transect in eastern China (NSTEC). Both climate and forest type had significant effects on soil enzyme activities and microbial communities with considerable interactive effects. Except for soil acid phosphatase (AP), the other three enzyme activities were much higher in the warm temperate zone than in the temperate and the subtropical climate zones. The soil total PLFAs and bacteria were much higher in the temperate zone than in the warm temperate and the subtropical zones. The soil β-glucosidase (BG) and N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG) activities were highest in the coniferous forest. Except for the soil fungi and fungi-bacteria (F/B), the different groups of microbial PLFAs were much higher in the conifer broad-leaved mixed forests than in the coniferous forests and the broad-leaved forests. In general, soil enzyme activities and microbial PLFAs were higher in primary forests than in secondary forests in temperate and warm temperate regions. In the subtropical region, soil enzyme activities were lower in the primary forests than in the secondary forests and microbial PLFAs did not differ significantly between primary and secondary forests. Different compositions of the tree species may cause variations in soil microbial communities and enzyme activities. Our results

  9. Distinct responses of soil microbial communities to elevated CO2 and O3 in a soybean agro-ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhili; Xiong, Jinbo; Kent, Angela D; Deng, Ye; Xue, Kai; Wang, Gejiao; Wu, Liyou; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Zhou, Jizhong

    2014-03-01

    The concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and tropospheric ozone (O3) have been rising due to human activities. However, little is known about how such increases influence soil microbial communities. We hypothesized that elevated CO2 (eCO2) and elevated O3 (eO3) would significantly affect the functional composition, structure and metabolic potential of soil microbial communities, and that various functional groups would respond to such atmospheric changes differentially. To test these hypotheses, we analyzed 96 soil samples from a soybean free-air CO2 enrichment (SoyFACE) experimental site using a comprehensive functional gene microarray (GeoChip 3.0). The results showed the overall functional composition and structure of soil microbial communities shifted under eCO2, eO3 or eCO2+eO3. Key functional genes involved in carbon fixation and degradation, nitrogen fixation, denitrification and methane metabolism were stimulated under eCO2, whereas those involved in N fixation, denitrification and N mineralization were suppressed under eO3, resulting in the fact that the abundance of some eO3-supressed genes was promoted to ambient, or eCO2-induced levels by the interaction of eCO2+eO3. Such effects appeared distinct for each treatment and significantly correlated with soil properties and soybean yield. Overall, our analysis suggests possible mechanisms of microbial responses to global atmospheric change factors through the stimulation of C and N cycling by eCO2, the inhibition of N functional processes by eO3 and the interaction by eCO2 and eO3. This study provides new insights into our understanding of microbial functional processes in response to global atmospheric change in soybean agro-ecosystems.

  10. A global analysis of soil microbial biomass carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in terrestrial ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Xiaofeng [ORNL; Thornton, Peter E [ORNL; Post, Wilfred M [ORNL

    2013-01-01

    Soil microbes play a pivotal role in regulating land-atmosphere interactions; the soil microbial biomass carbon (C), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and C:N:P stoichiometry are important regulators for soil biogeochemical processes; however, the current knowledge on magnitude, stoichiometry, storage, and spatial distribution of global soil microbial biomass C, N, and P is limited. In this study, 3087 pairs of data points were retrieved from 281 published papers and further used to summarize the magnitudes and stoichiometries of C, N, and P in soils and soil microbial biomass at global- and biome-levels. Finally, global stock and spatial distribution of microbial biomass C and N in 0-30 cm and 0-100 cm soil profiles were estimated. The results show that C, N, and P in soils and soil microbial biomass vary substantially across biomes; the fractions of soil nutrient C, N, and P in soil microbial biomass are 1.6% in a 95% confidence interval of (1.5%-1.6%), 2.9% in a 95% confidence interval of (2.8%-3.0%), and 4.4% in a 95% confidence interval of (3.9%-5.0%), respectively. The best estimates of C:N:P stoichiometries for soil nutrients and soil microbial biomass are 153:11:1, and 47:6:1, respectively, at global scale, and they vary in a wide range among biomes. Vertical distribution of soil microbial biomass follows the distribution of roots up to 1 m depth. The global stock of soil microbial biomass C and N were estimated to be 15.2 Pg C and 2.3 Pg N in the 0-30 cm soil profiles, and 21.2 Pg C and 3.2 Pg N in the 0-100 cm soil profiles. We did not estimate P in soil microbial biomass due to data shortage and insignificant correlation with soil total P and climate variables. The spatial patterns of soil microbial biomass C and N were consistent with those of soil organic C and total N, i.e. high density in northern high latitude, and low density in low latitudes and southern hemisphere.

  11. Nutrient limitation of soil microbial activity during the earliest stages of ecosystem development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castle, Sarah C; Sullivan, Benjamin W; Knelman, Joseph; Hood, Eran; Nemergut, Diana R; Schmidt, Steven K; Cleveland, Cory C

    2017-11-01

    A dominant paradigm in ecology is that plants are limited by nitrogen (N) during primary succession. Whether generalizable patterns of nutrient limitation are also applicable to metabolically and phylogenetically diverse soil microbial communities, however, is not well understood. We investigated if measures of N and phosphorus (P) pools inform our understanding of the nutrient(s) most limiting to soil microbial community activities during primary succession. We evaluated soil biogeochemical properties and microbial processes using two complementary methodological approaches-a nutrient addition microcosm experiment and extracellular enzyme assays-to assess microbial nutrient limitation across three actively retreating glacial chronosequences. Microbial respiratory responses in the microcosm experiment provided evidence for N, P and N/P co-limitation at Easton Glacier, Washington, USA, Puca Glacier, Peru, and Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska, USA, respectively, and patterns of nutrient limitation generally reflected site-level differences in soil nutrient availability. The activities of three key extracellular enzymes known to vary with soil N and P availability developed in broadly similar ways among sites, increasing with succession and consistently correlating with changes in soil total N pools. Together, our findings demonstrate that during the earliest stages of soil development, microbial nutrient limitation and activity generally reflect soil nutrient supply, a result that is broadly consistent with biogeochemical theory.

  12. Effect of ecosystems substitutions and CO{sub 2} increase of the atmosphere on the microbial ecosystems of forests; Effet de substitutions d'essence et de l'augmentation en CO{sub 2} de l'atmosphere sur les communautes microbiennes intervenant dans le fonctionnement d'un ecosysteme forestier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, F

    2007-07-01

    Biological diversity is often exclusively considered at the level of plants and animals, whereas the bulk of global biodiversity is in fact at the microbial level. Although it is clear that the ecology of our planet is driven by microbial ecosystems, we are severely hampered by our limited understanding of the diversity and function of such microbial ecosystems. In the present project, teams in the disciplines of geochemistry, soil microbiology, genomics and ecosystem processes are assembled to study the relationship between environmental change, land use changes, biodiversity, and functioning of forest ecosystems. The network has a strong focus on developing and applying biochemical and genotyping methodologies to address key scientific issues in soil microbial ecology. These include assessing the impact of environmental- and land use changes on microbial diversity and function and exploring the evolutionary and mechanistic links between biological diversity and ecosystem function. In the present study, we have shown that: (1) The native mixed forest showed the highest microbial diversity (2) The mono specific plantations of tree species (e.g., oak, beech, pine, spruce) strikingly alter genetic and functional diversities of soil bacterial and fungal species. (3) Bacterial denitrification rates were dramatically modified by the planted species. Only by taking into account the impact of forest management on below-ground microbial diversity can one hope to get a full ecosystem-based understanding, and this must be addressed via modelling in order to provide relevant and useful information for conservation and policy making. (author)

  13. Stimulation of microbial nitrogen cycling in aquatic ecosystems by benthic macrofauna: mechanisms and environmental implications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stief, P.

    2013-01-01

    (mainly nitrate and ammonium) and the emission of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide are evaluated. Published data indicate that ecosystem engineering by sediment-burrowing macrofauna stimulates benthic nitrification and denitrification, which together allows fixed nitrogen removal. However, the release...... enhance nitrous oxide emission from shallow aquatic ecosystems. The beneficial effect of benthic macrofauna on fixed nitrogen removal through coupled nitrification-denitrification can thus be offset by the concurrent release of (i) ammonium that stimulates aquatic primary production and (ii) nitrous oxide...... of ammonium from sediments is enhanced more strongly than the sedimentary uptake of nitrate. Ecosystem engineering by reef-building macrofauna increases nitrogen retention and ammonium concentrations in shallow aquatic ecosystems, but allows organic nitrogen removal through harvesting. Grazing by macrofauna...

  14. Methane- and dissolved organic carbon-fueled microbial loop supports a tropical subterranean estuary ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brankovits, D.; Pohlman, J.W.; Niemann, H.; Leigh, M.B.; Leewis, M.C.; Becker, K.W.; Iliffe, T.M.; Alvarez, F.; Lehmann, M.F.; Phillips, B.

    2017-01-01

    Subterranean estuaries extend inland into density-stratified coastal carbonate aquifers containing a surprising diversity of endemic animals (mostly crustaceans) within a highly oligotrophic habitat. How complex ecosystems (termed anchialine) thrive in this globally distributed, cryptic environment

  15. Diffuse flow environments within basalt- and sediment-based hydrothermal vent ecosystems harbor specialized microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Barbara J; Polson, Shawn W; Zeigler Allen, Lisa; Williamson, Shannon J; Lee, Charles K; Wommack, K Eric; Cary, S Craig

    2013-01-01

    Hydrothermal vents differ both in surface input and subsurface geochemistry. The effects of these differences on their microbial communities are not clear. Here, we investigated both alpha and beta diversity of diffuse flow-associated microbial communities emanating from vents at a basalt-based hydrothermal system along the East Pacific Rise (EPR) and a sediment-based hydrothermal system, Guaymas Basin. Both Bacteria and Archaea were targeted using high throughput 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing analyses. A unique aspect of this study was the use of a universal set of 16S rRNA gene primers to characterize total and diffuse flow-specific microbial communities from varied deep-sea hydrothermal environments. Both surrounding seawater and diffuse flow water samples contained large numbers of Marine Group I (MGI) Thaumarchaea and Gammaproteobacteria taxa previously observed in deep-sea systems. However, these taxa were geographically distinct and segregated according to type of spreading center. Diffuse flow microbial community profiles were highly differentiated. In particular, EPR dominant diffuse flow taxa were most closely associated with chemolithoautotrophs, and off axis water was dominated by heterotrophic-related taxa, whereas the opposite was true for Guaymas Basin. The diversity and richness of diffuse flow-specific microbial communities were strongly correlated to the relative abundance of Epsilonproteobacteria, proximity to macrofauna, and hydrothermal system type. Archaeal diversity was higher than or equivalent to bacterial diversity in about one third of the samples. Most diffuse flow-specific communities were dominated by OTUs associated with Epsilonproteobacteria, but many of the Guaymas Basin diffuse flow samples were dominated by either OTUs within the Planctomycetes or hyperthermophilic Archaea. This study emphasizes the unique microbial communities associated with geochemically and geographically distinct hydrothermal diffuse flow environments.

  16. Microbial community production, respiration, and structure of the microbial food web of an ecosystem in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maixandeau, Anne; LefèVre, Dominique; Karayanni, Hera; Christaki, Urania; van Wambeke, France; Thyssen, Melilotus; Denis, Michel; FernáNdez, Camila I.; Uitz, Julia; Leblanc, Karine; QuéGuiner, Bernard

    2005-07-01

    Gross community production (GCP), dark community respiration (DCR), and the biomass of the different size classes of organisms in the microbial community were measured in the northeastern Atlantic basin as part of the Programme Océan Multidisciplinaire Méso Echelle (POMME) project. The field experiment was conducted during three seasons (winter, spring, and late summer-fall) in 2001. Samples were collected from four different mesoscale structures within the upper 100 m. GCP rates increased from winter (101 ± 24 mmol O2 m-2 d-1) to spring (153 ± 27 mmol O2 m-2 d-1) and then decreased from spring to late summer (44 ± 18 mmol O2 m-2 d-1). DCR rates increased from winter (-47 ± 18 mmol O2 m-2 d-1) to spring (-97 ± 7 mmol O2 m-2 d-1) and then decreased from spring to late summer (50 ± 7 mmol O2 m-2 d-1). The onset of stratification depended on latitude as well as on the presence of mesoscale structures (eddies), and this largely contributed to the variability of GCP. The trophic status of the POMME area was defined as net autotrophic, with a mean annual net community production rate of +38 ± 18 mmol O2 m-2 d-1, exhibiting a seasonal variation from +2 ± 20 mmol O2 m-2 d-1 to +57 ± 20 mmol O2 m-2 d-1. This study highlights that small organisms (picoautotrophs, nanoautotrophs, and bacteria) are the main organisms contributing to biological fluxes throughout the year and that episodic blooms of microphytoplankton are related to mesoscale structures.

  17. Quantifying the Importance of the Rare Biosphere for Microbial Community Response to Organic Pollutants in a Freshwater Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanqi; Hatt, Janet K; Tsementzi, Despina; Rodriguez-R, Luis M; Ruiz-Pérez, Carlos A; Weigand, Michael R; Kizer, Heidi; Maresca, Gina; Krishnan, Raj; Poretsky, Rachel; Spain, Jim C; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T

    2017-04-15

    value of this astonishing biodiversity for ecosystem functioning remains poorly understood, primarily due to the fact that microbial community analysis frequently focuses on abundant organisms. Using a combination of culture-dependent and culture-independent (metagenomics) techniques, we showed that rare taxa and genes commonly contribute to the microbial community response to organic pollutants. Our findings should have implications for future studies that aim to study the role of rare species in environmental processes, including environmental bioremediation efforts of oil spills or other contaminants. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  18. Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a stream ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perkins, R.E.; Elwood, J.W.; Sayler, G.S.

    1986-06-01

    Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a lotic system were investigated in non-recirculating laboratory streams contains leaf detritus. Temporal patterns of microbial colonization, as determined by scanning electron microscopy, indicate leaf species dependency and that bacteria were the first colonizers followed by fungi. An extensive glycocalyx layer developed. Phosphorus incorporation rates of both the whole community and intracellular components were determined by time-course measurements of /sup 33/PO/sub 4/ or /sup 32/PO/sub 4/. Phosphorus turnover rates were determined by a sequential double-labeling procedure using /sup 33/PO/sub 4/ and /sup 32/PO/sub 4/, in which the microbiota were labeled with /sup 33/P until in isotopic equilibrium, then /sup 32/P was added. The turnover rate was determined by time-course measurements of the ratio /sup 32/P to /sup 33/P. Snail grazing resulted in an increase in phosphorus metabolism per unit microbial biomass; however, per unit area of leaf surface no increase was observed. Grazing also caused a two-fold reduction in microbial biomass. The results indicate that microbiota associated with decomposing leaves slowly recycle phosphorus, are slowly growing, and have a low metabolic activity. The spiraling length is shortened by microbiota on a short-term basis; however, it may increase on a long-term basis due to hydrological transport of detritus downstream.

  19. Microbial community assembly in an evolving ecosystem : Ecological succession and functional properties of soil microbes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dini Andreote, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Thema’s omtrent “gemeenschapssamenstelling” en “ecologische successie in bodems” zijn traditionele concepten binnen de ecologie, doch minder gewaardeerd in bodemmicrobiologie. Dit proefschrift is gericht op integratie van deze thema’s in microbiële ecologie door gebruik te maken van een natuurlijk

  20. Linking the Gut Microbial Ecosystem with the Environment: Does Gut Health Depend on Where We Live?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nishat Tasnim

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Global comparisons reveal a decrease in gut microbiota diversity attributed to Western diets, lifestyle practices such as caesarian section, antibiotic use and formula-feeding of infants, and sanitation of the living environment. While gut microbial diversity is decreasing, the prevalence of chronic inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, obesity, allergies and asthma is on the rise in Westernized societies. Since the immune system development is influenced by microbial components, early microbial colonization may be a key factor in determining disease susceptibility patterns later in life. Evidence indicates that the gut microbiota is vertically transmitted from the mother and this affects offspring immunity. However, the role of the external environment in gut microbiome and immune development is poorly understood. Studies show that growing up in microbe-rich environments, such as traditional farms, can have protective health effects on children. These health-effects may be ablated due to changes in the human lifestyle, diet, living environment and environmental biodiversity as a result of urbanization. Importantly, if early-life exposure to environmental microbes increases gut microbiota diversity by influencing patterns of gut microbial assembly, then soil biodiversity loss due to land-use changes such as urbanization could be a public health threat. Here, we summarize key questions in environmental health research and discuss some of the challenges that have hindered progress toward a better understanding of the role of the environment on gut microbiome development.

  1. Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a stream ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perkins, R.E.; Elwood, J.W.; Sayler, G.S.

    1986-06-01

    Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a lotic system were investigated in non-recirculating laboratory streams contains leaf detritus. Temporal patterns of microbial colonization, as determined by scanning electron microscopy, indicate leaf species dependency and that bacteria were the first colonizers followed by fungi. An extensive glycocalyx layer developed. Phosphorus incorporation rates of both the whole community and intracellular components were determined by time-course measurements of 33 PO 4 or 32 PO 4 . Phosphorus turnover rates were determined by a sequential double-labeling procedure using 33 PO 4 and 32 PO 4 , in which the microbiota were labeled with 33 P until in isotopic equilibrium, then 32 P was added. The turnover rate was determined by time-course measurements of the ratio 32 P to 33 P. Snail grazing resulted in an increase in phosphorus metabolism per unit microbial biomass; however, per unit area of leaf surface no increase was observed. Grazing also caused a two-fold reduction in microbial biomass. The results indicate that microbiota associated with decomposing leaves slowly recycle phosphorus, are slowly growing, and have a low metabolic activity. The spiraling length is shortened by microbiota on a short-term basis; however, it may increase on a long-term basis due to hydrological transport of detritus downstream

  2. Diversity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in cyanobacterial mats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Severin, I.; Acinas, S.G.; Stal, L.J.

    2010-01-01

    The structure of the microbial community and the diversity of the functional gene for dinitrogenase reductase and its transcripts were investigated by analyzing >1400 16S rRNA gene and nifH sequences from two microbial mats situated in the intertidal zone of the Dutch barrier island Schiermonnikoog.

  3. Reconstructing the genetic potential of the microbially-mediated nitrogen cycle in a salt marsh ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dini-Andreote, Francisco; de L. Brossi, Maria Julia; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Salles, Joana F

    2016-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems are considered buffer zones for the discharge of land-derived nutrients without accounting for potential negative side effects. Hence, there is an urgent need to better understand the ecological assembly and dynamics of the microorganisms that are involved in nitrogen (N) cycling

  4. CORRELATIONS BETWEEN PESTICIDE TRANSFORMATION RATE AND MICROBIAL RESPIRATION ACTIVITY IN SOIL OF DIFFERENT ECOSYSTEMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cecil sandy loam soils (ultisol) from forest (coniferous and deciduous), pasture, and arable ecosystems were sampled (0-10 cm) in the vicinity of Athens, GA, USA. Soil from each site was subdivided into three portions, consisting of untreated soil (control) as well as live and s...

  5. Hidden diversity revealed by genome-resolved metagenomics of iron-oxidizing microbial mats from Lō'ihi Seamount, Hawai'i.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fullerton, Heather; Hager, Kevin W; McAllister, Sean M; Moyer, Craig L

    2017-08-01

    The Zetaproteobacteria are ubiquitous in marine environments, yet this class of Proteobacteria is only represented by a few closely-related cultured isolates. In high-iron environments, such as diffuse hydrothermal vents, the Zetaproteobacteria are important members of the community driving its structure. Biogeography of Zetaproteobacteria has shown two ubiquitous operational taxonomic units (OTUs), yet much is unknown about their genomic diversity. Genome-resolved metagenomics allows for the specific binning of microbial genomes based on genomic signatures present in composite metagenome assemblies. This resulted in the recovery of 93 genome bins, of which 34 were classified as Zetaproteobacteria. Form II ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase genes were recovered from nearly all the Zetaproteobacteria genome bins. In addition, the Zetaproteobacteria genome bins contain genes for uptake and utilization of bioavailable nitrogen, detoxification of arsenic, and a terminal electron acceptor adapted for low oxygen concentration. Our results also support the hypothesis of a Cyc2-like protein as the site for iron oxidation, now detected across a majority of the Zetaproteobacteria genome bins. Whole genome comparisons showed a high genomic diversity across the Zetaproteobacteria OTUs and genome bins that were previously unidentified by SSU rRNA gene analysis. A single lineage of cosmopolitan Zetaproteobacteria (zOTU 2) was found to be monophyletic, based on cluster analysis of average nucleotide identity and average amino acid identity comparisons. From these data, we can begin to pinpoint genomic adaptations of the more ecologically ubiquitous Zetaproteobacteria, and further understand their environmental constraints and metabolic potential.

  6. Microbial eukaryotic diversity and distribution in a river plume and cyclonic eddy-influenced ecosystem in the South China Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wenxue; Wang, Lei; Liao, Yu; Huang, Bangqin

    2015-10-01

    To evaluate microbial eukaryotic diversity and distribution in mesoscale processes, we investigated 18S rDNA diversity in a river plume and cyclonic eddy-influenced ecosystem in the southwestern South China Sea (SCS). Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis was carried out using multiple primer sets. Relative to a wide range of previous similar studies, we observed a significantly higher proportion of sequences of pigmented taxa. Among the photosynthetic groups, Haptophyta accounted for 27.7% of the sequenced clones, which belonged primarily to Prymnesiophyceae. Unexpectedly, five operational taxonomic units of Cryptophyta were closely related to freshwater species. The Chlorophyta mostly fell within the Prasinophyceae, which was comprised of six clades, including Clade III, which is detected in the SCS for the first time in this study. Among the photosynthetic stramenopiles, Chrysophyceae was the most diverse taxon, which included seven clades. The majority of 18S rDNA sequences affiliated with the Dictyochophyceae, Eustigmatophyceae, and Pelagophyceae were closely related to those of pure cultures. The results of redundancy analysis and the permutation Mantel test based on unweighted UniFrac distances, conducted for spatial analyses of the Haptophyta subclades suggested that the Mekong River plume and cyclonic eddy play important roles in regulating microbial eukaryotic diversity and distribution in the southwestern SCS. © 2015 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Evolution of microbial activity in a mediterranean ecosystem submitted to chronic gamma irradiation. Investigation of nitrogen transfer with isotopic tracers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castet, R.

    1987-07-01

    A mediterranean ecosystem located on the site of Cadarache (France) has been experimentally by irradiated over the past fifteen years. The potential effects of ionizing radiations for different doses of its ecological system has been studied. The objective of the work was to demonstrate the level of soil microbial population and its activity. Chronic exposures reduced the biomass and the dehydrogenase activity by a factor of 50% and increased the amount of nitrate in the soil. To measure the direct impact of irradiations on soil microorganisms, we have irradiated soil sample in laboratory at 0.1; 0.5; 1 kGy, and observed its evolution during a period of six weeks thereafter. We have a reduction of the dehydrogenase activity and an increase of nitrate being proportionaly to the dose delivered. Using nitrogen labelled, we state that this high rate of nitrate production is due to an inhibition of the organization of this form of nitrogen. Conversely, the ammonification and the nitrification are not affected. Also, for anaerobic conditions created by glucose, the nitrate labelled (15N) permitted us to show that in untreated soil, 45% of nitrate was reduced to nitrogen gas by denitrification and 24% of nitrate was reduced to ammonium by dissimilation in the irradiated soil. These experiments show that gamma irradiations are of great interest for studying soil microorganisms. As of now, very little is known on the effects of this kind of stress for attention and need to be pursued on such ecosystems. Further investigations call [fr

  8. Tropical forest carbon balance in a warmer world: a critical review spanning microbial- to ecosystem-scale processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Tana E.; Cavaleri, Molly A.; Reed, Sasha C.

    2012-01-01

    Tropical forests play a major role in regulating global carbon (C) fluxes and stocks, and even small changes to C cycling in this productive biome could dramatically affect atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations. Temperature is expected to increase over all land surfaces in the future, yet we have a surprisingly poor understanding of how tropical forests will respond to this significant climatic change. Here we present a contemporary synthesis of the existing data and what they suggest about how tropical forests will respond to increasing temperatures. Our goals were to: (i) determine whether there is enough evidence to support the conclusion that increased temperature will affect tropical forest C balance; (ii) if there is sufficient evidence, determine what direction this effect will take; and, (iii) establish what steps should to be taken to resolve the uncertainties surrounding tropical forest responses to increasing temperatures. We approach these questions from a mass-balance perspective and therefore focus primarily on the effects of temperature on inputs and outputs of C, spanning microbial- to ecosystem-scale responses. We found that, while there is the strong potential for temperature to affect processes related to C cycling and storage in tropical forests, a notable lack of data combined with the physical, biological and chemical diversity of the forests themselves make it difficult to resolve this issue with certainty. We suggest a variety of experimental approaches that could help elucidate how tropical forests will respond to warming, including large-scale in situ manipulation experiments, longer term field experiments, the incorporation of a range of scales in the investigation of warming effects (both spatial and temporal), as well as the inclusion of a diversity of tropical forest sites. Finally, we highlight areas of tropical forest research where notably few data are available, including temperature effects on: nutrient cycling

  9. Formate as an energy source for microbial metabolism in chemosynthetic zones of hydrothermal ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Windman, Todd; Zolotova, Natalya; Schwandner, Florian; Shock, Everett L

    2007-12-01

    Formate, a simple organic acid known to support chemotrophic hyperthermophiles, is found in hot springs of varying temperature and pH. However, it is not yet known how metabolic strategies that use formate could contribute to primary productivity in hydrothermal ecosystems. In an effort to provide a quantitative framework for assessing the role of formate metabolism, concentration data for dissolved formate and many other solutes in samples from Yellowstone hot springs were used, together with data for coexisting gas compositions, to evaluate the overall Gibbs energy for many reactions involving formate oxidation or reduction. The result is the first rigorous thermodynamic assessment of reactions involving formate oxidation to bicarbonate and reduction to methane coupled with various forms of iron, nitrogen, sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen for hydrothermal ecosystems. We conclude that there are a limited number of reactions that can yield energy through formate reduction, in contrast to numerous formate oxidation reactions that can yield abundant energy for chemosynthetic microorganisms. Because the energy yields are so high, these results challenge the notion that hydrogen is the primary energy source of chemosynthetic microbes in hydrothermal ecosystems.

  10. Living microbial ecosystems within the active zone of catagenesis: Implications for feeding the deep biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horsfield, B.; Schenk, H. J.; Zink, K.; Ondrak, R.; Dieckmann, V.; Kallmeyer, J.; Mangelsdorf, K.; di Primio, R.; Wilkes, H.; Parkes, R. J.; Fry, J.; Cragg, B.

    2006-06-01

    Earth's largest reactive carbon pool, marine sedimentary organic matter, becomes increasingly recalcitrant during burial, making it almost inaccessible as a substrate for microorganisms, and thereby limiting metabolic activity in the deep biosphere. Because elevated temperature acting over geological time leads to the massive thermal breakdown of the organic matter into volatiles, including petroleum, the question arises whether microorganisms can directly utilize these maturation products as a substrate. While migrated thermogenic fluids are known to sustain microbial consortia in shallow sediments, an in situ coupling of abiotic generation and microbial utilization has not been demonstrated. Here we show, using a combination of basin modelling, kinetic modelling, geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry, that microorganisms inhabit the active generation zone in the Nankai Trough, offshore Japan. Three sites from ODP Leg 190 have been evaluated, namely 1173, 1174 and 1177, drilled in nearly undeformed Quaternary and Tertiary sedimentary sequences seaward of the Nankai Trough itself. Paleotemperatures were reconstructed based on subsidence profiles, compaction modelling, present-day heat flow, downhole temperature measurements and organic maturity parameters. Today's heat flow distribution can be considered mainly conductive, and is extremely high in places, reaching 180 mW/m 2. The kinetic parameters describing total hydrocarbon generation, determined by laboratory pyrolysis experiments, were utilized by the model in order to predict the timing of generation in time and space. The model predicts that the onset of present day generation lies between 300 and 500 m below sea floor (5100-5300 m below mean sea level), depending on well location. In the case of Site 1174, 5-10% conversion has taken place by a present day temperature of ca. 85 °C. Predictions were largely validated by on-site hydrocarbon gas measurements. Viable organisms in the same depth range have been

  11. Reactivation of a cryptobiotic stream ecosystem in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica: A long-term geomorphological experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKnight, Diane M.; Tate, C.M.; Andrews, E.D.; Niyogi, D.K.; Cozzetto, K.; Welch, K.; Lyons, W.B.; Capone, D.G.

    2007-01-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica contain many glacial meltwater streams that flow for 6 to 12??weeks during the austral summer and link the glaciers to the lakes on the valley floors. Dry valley streams gain solutes longitudinally through weathering reactions and microbial processes occurring in the hyporheic zone. Some streams have thriving cyanobacterial mats. In streams with regular summer flow, the mats are freeze-dried through the winter and begin photosynthesizing with the onset of flow. To evaluate the longer term persistence of cyanobacterial mats, we diverted flow to an abandoned channel, which had not received substantial flow for approximately two decades. Monitoring of specific conductance showed that for the first 3??years after the diversion, the solute concentrations were greater in the reactivated channel than in most other dry valley streams. We observed that cyanobacterial mats became abundant in the reactivated channel within a week, indicating that the mats had been preserved in a cryptobiotic state in the channel. Over the next several years, these mats had high rates of productivity and nitrogen fixation compared to mats from other streams. Experiments in which mats from the reactivated channel and another stream were incubated in water from both of the streams indicated that the greater solute concentrations in the reactivated channel stimulated net primary productivity of mats from both streams. These stream-scale experimental results indicate that the cryptobiotic preservation of cyanobacterial mats in abandoned channels in the dry valleys allows for rapid response of these stream ecosystems to climatic and geomorphological change, similar to other arid zone stream ecosystems. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Microbial diversity in The Cedars, an ultrabasic, ultrareducing, and low salinity serpentinizing ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Shino; Ishii, Shun'ichi; Wu, Angela; Cheung, Andrea; Tenney, Aaron; Wanger, Greg; Kuenen, J Gijs; Nealson, Kenneth H

    2013-09-17

    The Cedars, in coastal northern California, is an active site of peridotite serpentinization. The spring waters that emerge from this system feature very high pH, low redox potential, and low ionic concentrations, making it an exceptionally challenging environment for life. We report a multiyear, culture-independent geomicrobiological study of three springs at The Cedars that differ with respect to the nature of the groundwater feeding them. Within each spring, both geochemical properties and microbial diversity in all three domains of life remained stable over a 3-y period, with multiple samples each year. Between the three springs, however, the microbial communities showed considerable differences that were strongly correlated with the source of the serpentinizing groundwater. In the spring fed solely by deep groundwater, phylum Chloroflexi, class Clostridia, and candidate division OD1 were the major taxa with one phylotype in Euryarchaeota. Less-abundant phylotypes include several minor members from other candidate divisions and one phylotype that was an outlier of candidate division OP3. In the springs fed by the mixture of deep and shallow groundwater, organisms close to the Hydrogenophaga within Betaproteobacteria dominated and coexisted with the deep groundwater community members. The shallow groundwater community thus appears to be similar to those described in other terrestrial serpentinizing sites, whereas the deep community is distinctly different from any other previously described terrestrial serpentinizing community. These unique communities have the potential to yield important insights into the development and survival of life in these early-earth analog environments.

  13. Bioreactor microbial ecosystems for thiocyanate and cyanide degradation unravelled with genome-resolved metagenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantor, Rose S; van Zyl, A Wynand; van Hille, Robert P; Thomas, Brian C; Harrison, Susan T L; Banfield, Jillian F

    2015-12-01

    Gold ore processing uses cyanide (CN(-) ), which often results in large volumes of thiocyanate- (SCN(-) ) contaminated wastewater requiring treatment. Microbial communities can degrade SCN(-) and CN(-) , but little is known about their membership and metabolic potential. Microbial-based remediation strategies will benefit from an ecological understanding of organisms involved in the breakdown of SCN(-) and CN(-) into sulfur, carbon and nitrogen compounds. We performed metagenomic analysis of samples from two laboratory-scale bioreactors used to study SCN(-) and CN(-) degradation. Community analysis revealed the dominance of Thiobacillus spp., whose genomes harbour a previously unreported operon for SCN(-) degradation. Genome-based metabolic predictions suggest that a large portion of each bioreactor community is autotrophic, relying not on molasses in reactor feed but using energy gained from oxidation of sulfur compounds produced during SCN(-) degradation. Heterotrophs, including a bacterium from a previously uncharacterized phylum, compose a smaller portion of the reactor community. Predation by phage and eukaryotes is predicted to affect community dynamics. Genes for ammonium oxidation and denitrification were detected, indicating the potential for nitrogen removal, as required for complete remediation of wastewater. These findings suggest optimization strategies for reactor design, such as improved aerobic/anaerobic partitioning and elimination of organic carbon from reactor feed. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Prokaryotic diversity, composition structure, and phylogenetic analysis of microbial communities in leachate sediment ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jingjing; Wu, Weixiang; Chen, Chongjun; Sun, Faqian; Chen, Yingxu

    2011-09-01

    In order to obtain insight into the prokaryotic diversity and community in leachate sediment, a culture-independent DNA-based molecular phylogenetic approach was performed with archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA gene clone libraries derived from leachate sediment of an aged landfill. A total of 59 archaeal and 283 bacterial rDNA phylotypes were identified in 425 archaeal and 375 bacterial analyzed clones. All archaeal clones distributed within two archaeal phyla of the Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota, and well-defined methanogen lineages, especially Methanosaeta spp., are the most numerically dominant species of the archaeal community. Phylogenetic analysis of the bacterial library revealed a variety of pollutant-degrading and biotransforming microorganisms, including 18 distinct phyla. A substantial fraction of bacterial clones showed low levels of similarity with any previously documented sequences and thus might be taxonomically new. Chemical characteristics and phylogenetic inferences indicated that (1) ammonium-utilizing bacteria might form consortia to alleviate or avoid the negative influence of high ammonium concentration on other microorganisms, and (2) members of the Crenarchaeota found in the sediment might be involved in ammonium oxidation. This study is the first to report the composition of the microbial assemblages and phylogenetic characteristics of prokaryotic populations extant in leachate sediment. Additional work on microbial activity and contaminant biodegradation remains to be explored.

  15. Anthropogenic effects on interaction outcomes: examples from insect-microbial symbioses in forest and savanna ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Six, Diana L.; Thomas-Poulsen, Michael; Hansen, Allison K.

    2011-01-01

    The influence of humans on ecosystem dynamics has been, and continues to be, profound. Anthropogenic effects are expected to amplify as human populations continue to increase. Concern over these effects has given rise to a large number of studies focusing on impacts of human activities...... of mutualisms can be to an equally varied set of anthropogenic influences. We also show how alterations of mutualisms may ramify throughout affected systems. We stress that researchers must be cognizant that many observed changes in the behaviors, abundances, and distributions of organisms due to human...... activities are likely to be mediated by mutualists which may alter predictions and actual outcomes in significant ways....

  16. A metaproteomic approach to study human-microbial ecosystems at the mucosal luminal interface.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoxiao Li

    Full Text Available Aberrant interactions between the host and the intestinal bacteria are thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of many digestive diseases. However, studying the complex ecosystem at the human mucosal-luminal interface (MLI is challenging and requires an integrative systems biology approach. Therefore, we developed a novel method integrating lavage sampling of the human mucosal surface, high-throughput proteomics, and a unique suite of bioinformatic and statistical analyses. Shotgun proteomic analysis of secreted proteins recovered from the MLI confirmed the presence of both human and bacterial components. To profile the MLI metaproteome, we collected 205 mucosal lavage samples from 38 healthy subjects, and subjected them to high-throughput proteomics. The spectral data were subjected to a rigorous data processing pipeline to optimize suitability for quantitation and analysis, and then were evaluated using a set of biostatistical tools. Compared to the mucosal transcriptome, the MLI metaproteome was enriched for extracellular proteins involved in response to stimulus and immune system processes. Analysis of the metaproteome revealed significant individual-related as well as anatomic region-related (biogeographic features. Quantitative shotgun proteomics established the identity and confirmed the biogeographic association of 49 proteins (including 3 functional protein networks demarcating the proximal and distal colon. This robust and integrated proteomic approach is thus effective for identifying functional features of the human mucosal ecosystem, and a fresh understanding of the basic biology and disease processes at the MLI.

  17. The effects of high dose of two manganese supplements (organic and inorganic) on the rumen microbial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kišidayová, Svetlana; Pristaš, Peter; Zimovčáková, Michaela; Blanár Wencelová, Monika; Homol'ová, Lucia; Mihaliková, Katarína; Čobanová, Klaudia; Grešáková, Ľubomíra; Váradyová, Zora

    2018-01-01

    Little is known about the effects of the high dose and types of manganese supplements on rumen environment at manganese intake level close above the limit of 150 mg/kg of dry feed matter. The effects of high dose of two manganese supplements (organic and inorganic) on rumen microbial ecosystem after four months of treatment of 18 lambs divided into three treatment groups were studied. We examined the enzyme activities (α-amylase, xylanase, and carboxymethyl cellulase), total and differential microscopic counts of rumen ciliates, total microscopic counts of bacteria, and fingerprinting pattern of the eubacterial and ciliates population analyzed by PCR-DGGE. Lambs were fed a basal diet with a basal Mn content (34.3 mg/kg dry matter; control) and supplemented either with inorganic manganous sulfate or organic Mn-chelate hydrate (daily 182.7, 184 mg/kg dry matter of feed, respectively). Basal diet, offered twice daily, consisted of ground barley and hay (268 and 732 g/kg dry matter per animal and day). The rumens of the lambs harbored ciliates of the genera of Entodinium, Epidinium, Diplodinium, Eudiplodinium, Dasytricha, and Isotricha. No significant differences between treatment groups were observed in the total ciliate number, the number of ciliates at the genus level, as well as the total number of bacteria. Organic Mn did decrease the species richness and diversity of the eubacterial population examined by PCR-DGGE. No effects of type of Mn supplement on the enzyme activities were observed. In comparison to the control, α-amylase specific activities were decreased and carboxymethyl-cellulase specific activities were increased by the Mn supplements. Xylanase activities were not influenced. In conclusion, our results suggested that the intake of tested inorganic and organic manganese supplements in excess may affect the specific groups of eubacteria. More studies on intake of Mn supplements at a level close to the limit can reveal if the changes in microbial

  18. Short-term Effect of Nitrogen Addition on Microbial and Root Respiration in an Alpine Spruce Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian Wang1

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Soil respiration plays an important role in the carbon (C flux of the global C cycle and is greatly affected by nitrogen (N additions in the form of deposition or fertilization. The aim of this study was to investigate the response of total soil respiration (Rs, microbial respiration (Rm, and root respiration (Rr to short-term N addition and the potential mechanisms of short-term N deposition influencing soil respiration in an alpine spruce ecosystem. Four N treatment levels (0, 50, 100, 150 kg N ha-1 year-1 were applied monthly in a Picea balfouriana (commonly known as "alpine spruce" plantation beginning in November 2013 and Rs, Rm, and Rr were measured from May to November 2014. The results show that simulated N depositions stimulate Rs, Rm, and Rr and the beneficial effects decreased along N gradients from hourly to seasonal scales. The seasonal temperature coefficients (Q10 of Rs, Rm, and Rr ranged from 2.50 to 3.8, 2.99 to 4.63, and 1.86 to 2.96, while the diurnal Q10 ranged from 1.71 to 2.04, 1.89 to 2.32, 1.42 to 1.75, and there was a similar trend with soil respiration along N gradients. In addition, Rr showed significant positive correlation with fine root biomass, and Rm was likely driven by soil enzyme related to the microbial C cycle in the growing season. Our results indicate that short-term N addition stimulated fine root biomass and soil enzymatic activity to bring about a potential increase in soil respiration rates under low-N addition, while the opposite occurred under high-N addition.

  19. Lessons from Suiyo Seamount studies, for understanding extreme (ancient?) microbial ecosystems in the deep-sea hydrothermal fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruyama, A.; Higashi, Y.; Sunamura, M.; Urabe, T.

    2004-12-01

    Deep-sea hydrothermal ecosystems are driven with various geo-thermally modified, mainly reduced, compounds delivered from extremely hot subsurface environments. To date, several unique microbes including thermophilic archaeons have been isolated from/around vent chimneys. However, there is little information about microbes in over-vent and sub-vent fields. Here, we report several new findings on microbial diversity and ecology of the Suiyo Seamount that locates on the Izu-Bonin Arc in the northwest Pacific Ocean, as a result of the Japanese Archaean Park project, with special concern to the sub-vent biosphere. At first, we succeeded to reveal a very unique microbial ecosystem in hydrothermal plume reserved within the outer rim of the seamount crater, that is, it consisted of almost all metabolically active microbes belonged to only two Bacteria phylotypes, probably of sulfur oxidizers. In the center of the caldera seafloor (ca. 1,388-m deep) consisted mainly of whitish sands and pumices, we found many small chimneys (ca. 5-10 cm) and bivalve colonies distributed looking like gray to black patches. These geo/ecological features of the seafloor were supposed to be from a complex mixing of hydrothermal venting and strong water current near the seafloor. Through quantitative FISH analysis for various environmental samples, one of the two representative groups in the plume was assessed to be from some of the bivalve colonies. Using the Benthic Multi-coring System (BMS), total 10 points were drilled and 6 boreholes were maintained with stainless or titanium casing pipes. In the following submersible surveys, newly developed catheter- and column-type in situ growth chambers were deployed in and on the boreholes, respectively, for collecting indigenous sub-vent microbes. Finally, we succeeded to detect several new phylotypes of microbes in these chamber samples, e.g., within epsilon-Proteobacteria, a photosynthetic group of alpha-Proteobacteria, and hyperthermophile

  20. MAT FOR LEPTOSPIROSIS DIAGNOSIS

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    Esti Rahardianingtyas.

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Leptospirosis is a disease caused by bacterial infection leptospira interrogans.Leptospira bacteria is a spiral bacterium with solid strands with two flagella periplasmik.Septicaemic phase patient samples taken from the blood and cerebrospinal fluid, whereassamples taken at phase immune extracted from urine. The diagnosis of leptospirosis occurdirectly or indirectly. Diagnosis is done by directly isolate and identify the causative agents ofthe agent. Diagnosis is done indirectly by detecting specific antibodies from the patient's body.Gold Standard of the diagnosis of leptospirosis is MAT. Mat made by reacting antibodies toleptospira antigen. Positive results seen with clump formed.Key words: Leptospirosis, Leptospirosis Diagnostic, MAT (Microscopic Agglutination Test Leptospirosis merupakan penyakit yang disebabkan karena infeksi bakteri leptospirainterrogans. Bakteri leptospira merupakan bakteri spiral dengan untaian yang padat dengan duaflagella periplasmik. Sampel pasien pada fase septicaemic diambil dari darah dan cairanserebrospinal, sedangkan sampel yang diambil pada fase immune diambil dari urine. Diagnosisleptospirosis dilakukan secara langsung maupun tidak langsung. Diagnosis secara langsungdilakukan dengan cara mengisolasi agen penyebab dan mengidentifikasi agen tersebut. Diagnosissecara tidak langsung dilakukan dengan cara mendeteksi antibodi spesiflk dari dalam tubuhpasien. Gold Standart dari diagnosis leptospirosis adalah MAT. Mat dilakukan dengan caramereaksikan antibodi dengan antigen leptospira. Hasil positif dilihat dengan terbentuk gumpalanagglutinasiKata kunci: Leptospirosis, Leptospira, Leptospirosis Diagnosis.

  1. Co-Flocculation of Yeast Species, a New Mechanism to Govern Population Dynamics in Microbial Ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debra Rossouw

    Full Text Available Flocculation has primarily been studied as an important technological property of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strains in fermentation processes such as brewing and winemaking. These studies have led to the identification of a group of closely related genes, referred to as the FLO gene family, which controls the flocculation phenotype. All naturally occurring S. cerevisiae strains assessed thus far possess at least four independent copies of structurally similar FLO genes, namely FLO1, FLO5, FLO9 and FLO10. The genes appear to differ primarily by the degree of flocculation induced by their expression. However, the reason for the existence of a large family of very similar genes, all involved in the same phenotype, has remained unclear. In natural ecosystems, and in wine production, S. cerevisiae growth together and competes with a large number of other Saccharomyces and many more non-Saccharomyces yeast species. Our data show that many strains of such wine-related non-Saccharomyces species, some of which have recently attracted significant biotechnological interest as they contribute positively to fermentation and wine character, were able to flocculate efficiently. The data also show that both flocculent and non-flocculent S. cerevisiae strains formed mixed species flocs (a process hereafter referred to as co-flocculation with some of these non-Saccharomyces yeasts. This ability of yeast strains to impact flocculation behaviour of other species in mixed inocula has not been described previously. Further investigation into the genetic regulation of co-flocculation revealed that different FLO genes impact differently on such adhesion phenotypes, favouring adhesion with some species while excluding other species from such mixed flocs. The data therefore strongly suggest that FLO genes govern the selective association of S. cerevisiae with specific species of non-Saccharomyces yeasts, and may therefore be drivers of ecosystem organisational

  2. Cyanobacterial life at low O(2): community genomics and function reveal metabolic versatility and extremely low diversity in a Great Lakes sinkhole mat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voorhies, A A; Biddanda, B A; Kendall, S T; Jain, S; Marcus, D N; Nold, S C; Sheldon, N D; Dick, G J

    2012-05-01

    Cyanobacteria are renowned as the mediators of Earth's oxygenation. However, little is known about the cyanobacterial communities that flourished under the low-O(2) conditions that characterized most of their evolutionary history. Microbial mats in the submerged Middle Island Sinkhole of Lake Huron provide opportunities to investigate cyanobacteria under such persistent low-O(2) conditions. Here, venting groundwater rich in sulfate and low in O(2) supports a unique benthic ecosystem of purple-colored cyanobacterial mats. Beneath the mat is a layer of carbonate that is enriched in calcite and to a lesser extent dolomite. In situ benthic metabolism chambers revealed that the mats are net sinks for O(2), suggesting primary production mechanisms other than oxygenic photosynthesis. Indeed, (14)C-bicarbonate uptake studies of autotrophic production show variable contributions from oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis and chemosynthesis, presumably because of supply of sulfide. These results suggest the presence of either facultatively anoxygenic cyanobacteria or a mix of oxygenic/anoxygenic types of cyanobacteria. Shotgun metagenomic sequencing revealed a remarkably low-diversity mat community dominated by just one genotype most closely related to the cyanobacterium Phormidium autumnale, for which an essentially complete genome was reconstructed. Also recovered were partial genomes from a second genotype of Phormidium and several Oscillatoria. Despite the taxonomic simplicity, diverse cyanobacterial genes putatively involved in sulfur oxidation were identified, suggesting a diversity of sulfide physiologies. The dominant Phormidium genome reflects versatile metabolism and physiology that is specialized for a communal lifestyle under fluctuating redox conditions and light availability. Overall, this study provides genomic and physiologic insights into low-O(2) cyanobacterial mat ecosystems that played crucial geobiological roles over long stretches of Earth history.

  3. The role of the local microbial ecosystem in respiratory health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Steenhuijsen Piters, Wouter A A; Sanders, Elisabeth A M; Bogaert, Debby

    2015-08-19

    Respiratory tract infections are a major global health concern, accounting for high morbidity and mortality, especially in young children and elderly individuals. Traditionally, highly common bacterial respiratory tract infections, including otitis media and pneumonia, were thought to be caused by a limited number of pathogens including Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae. However, these pathogens are also frequently observed commensal residents of the upper respiratory tract (URT) and form-together with harmless commensal bacteria, viruses and fungi-intricate ecological networks, collectively known as the 'microbiome'. Analogous to the gut microbiome, the respiratory microbiome at equilibrium is thought to be beneficial to the host by priming the immune system and providing colonization resistance, while an imbalanced ecosystem might predispose to bacterial overgrowth and development of respiratory infections. We postulate that specific ecological perturbations of the bacterial communities in the URT can occur in response to various lifestyle or environmental effectors, leading to diminished colonization resistance, loss of containment of newly acquired or resident pathogens, preluding bacterial overgrowth, ultimately resulting in local or systemic bacterial infections. Here, we review the current body of literature regarding niche-specific upper respiratory microbiota profiles within human hosts and the changes occurring within these profiles that are associated with respiratory infections. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  4. Petrographic observations suggestive of microbial mats from ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Ray 1977). 3. Petrographic observations. 3.1 General wavy lamination. Thin section studies of both Rampur and Bijaigarh. Shale show wavy and crinkly lamination of clayey and carbonaceous shales facies (figures 2, 3). Car- bonaceous films of clayey shale facies are very thin, continuous to discontinuous wavy crinkly lami ...

  5. Long-term effects of irrigation with waste water on soil AM fungi diversity and microbial activities: the implications for agro-ecosystem resilience.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria del Mar Alguacil

    Full Text Available The effects of irrigation with treated urban wastewater (WW on the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF diversity and soil microbial activities were assayed on a long-term basis in a semiarid orange-tree orchard. After 43 years, the soil irrigated with fresh water (FW had higher AMF diversity than soils irrigated with WW. Microbial activities were significantly higher in the soils irrigated with WW than in those irrigated with FW. Therefore, as no negative effects were observed on crop vitality and productivity, it seems that the ecosystem resilience gave rise to the selection of AMF species better able to thrive in soils with higher microbial activity and, thus, to higher soil fertility.

  6. Microbial Life in the Subseafloor at Mid-Ocean Ridges: A Key to Understanding Ancient Ecosystems on Earth and Elsewhere?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baross, J. A.; Delaney, J. R.

    2001-12-01

    indicates that they originated from a hot subseafloor habitat. Based on the 16S rRNA sequences and the RFLP patterns of the 500 base sequence between the 16S and 23S rRNA genes (intergenic spacer region), these heterotrophic archaea represent new species, and a new genus, within the Thermococcales (Summit and Baross, 1998; 2001). These isolates grow over an unusually wide temperature range and in low levels of organic material. While Thermococcus and Methanococcus species are the most commonly isolated species of hyperthermophiles from subseafloor biotopes, preliminary phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA sequences of microbial communities in the diffuse flow fluids at new eruption sites show a high diversity of archaea that are not related to cultured organisms. Results to date support the hypothesis that subseafloor microbes associated with hydrothermal systems have nutritional, physiological and bioenergetic characteristics that reflect the physical and geochemical properties of their habitat. Moreover, we propose that deep-sea subsurface environments are analogs of ecosystems on other solar bodies. Thus, by examining the chemical and microbial ecology and energetics of the subsurface, and particularly the subsurface associated with hydrothermal systems, a framework for studying the prospects of extraterrestrial life can be developed. It is predicted that if there were life on other hydrothermally active solar bodies, the same energy sources would fuel microbial metabolism even though the molecular characteristics of these life forms may not resemble Earth organisms having identical metabolisms.

  7. Vertical structure and pH as factors for chitinolytic and pectinolytic microbial community of soils and terrestrial ecosystems of different climatic zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukacheva, Evgeniya; Natalia, Manucharova

    2016-04-01

    Chitin is a naturally occurring fibre-forming polymer that plays a protective role in many lower animals similar to that of cellulose in plants. Also it's a compound of cell walls of fungi. Chemically it is a long-chain unbranched polysaccharide made of N-acetylglucosamine residues; it is the second most abundant organic compound in nature, after cellulose. Pectin is a structural heteropolysaccharide contained in the primary cell walls of terrestrial plants. Roots of the plants and root crops contain pectin. Chitin and pectin are widely distributed throughout the natural world. Structural and functional features of the complex microbial degradation of biopolymers one of the most important direction in microbial ecology. But there is no a lot of data concerns degradation in vertical structure of terrestrial ecosystems and detailed studies concerning certain abiotic features as pH. Microbial complexes of natural areas were analyzed only as humus horizons (A1) of the soil profile. Only small part of microbial community could be studied with this approach. It is known that ecosystems have their own structure. It is possible to allocate some vertical tiers: phylloplane, litter (soil covering), soil. We investigated chitinolytic and pectinolytic microbial communities dedicated to different layers of the ecosystems. Also it was described depending on pH dominated in certain ecosystem with certain conditions. Quantity of eukaryote and procaryote organisms increased in the test samples with chitin and pectin. Increasing of eukaryote in samples with pectin was more then in samples with chitin. Also should be noted the significant increasing of actinomycet's quantity in the samples with chitin in comparison with samples with pectin. The variety and abundance of bacteria in the litter samples increased an order of magnitude as compared to other probes. Further prokaryote community was investigated by method FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization). FISH is a cytogenetic

  8. Biogeochemistry of a submerged groundwater seep ecosystem in Lake Huron near karst region of Alpena, MI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinsman-Costello, L. E.; Dick, G.; Sheik, C.; Burton, G. A.; Sheldon, N. D.

    2015-12-01

    Submerged groundwater seeps in Lake Huron establish ecosystems with distinctive geochemical conditions. In the Middle Island Sinkhole (MIS), a 23-m deep seep, groundwater seepage establishes low O2 (< 4 mg L-1), high sulfate (6 mM) conditions, in which a purple cyanobacteria-dominated mat thrives. The mat is capable of anoxygenic photosynthesis, oxygenic photosynthesis, and chemosynthesis. Within the top 3 cm of the mat-water interface, hydrogen sulfide concentrations increase to 1-7 mM. Little is known about the structure and function of microbes within organic-rich, high-sulfide sediments beneath the mat. Using pore water and sediment geochemical characterization along with microbial community analysis, we elucidated relationships between microbial community structure and ecosystem function along vertical gradients. In sediment pore waters, biologically reactive solutes (SO42-, NH4+, PO43-, and CH4) displayed steep vertical gradients, reflecting biological and geochemical functioning. In contrast, more conservative ions (Ca+2, Mg+2, Na+, and Cl-), did not change significantly with depth in MIS sediments, indicating groundwater influence in the sediment profile. MIS sediments contained more organic matter than typical Lake Huron sediments, and were generally higher in nutrients, metals, and sulfur (acid volatile sulfide). Using the Illumina MiSeq platform we detected 14,127 unique operational taxonomic units across sediment and surface mat samples. Microbial community composition in the MIS was distinctly different from non-groundwater affected areas at similar depth nearby in Lake Huron (ANOSIM, R= 0.74, p=0.002). MIS sediment communities were more diverse that MIS surface mat communities and changed with depth into sediments. MIS sediment community composition was related to several geochemical variables, including organic matter and multiple indicators of phosphorus availability. Elucidating the structure and function of microbial consortia in MIS, a highly

  9. Adaptive long-term monitoring of soil health in metal phytostabilization: ecological attributes and ecosystem services based on soil microbial parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epelde, Lur; Becerril, José M; Alkorta, Itziar; Garbisu, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Phytostabilization is a promising option for the remediation of metal contaminated soils which requires the implementation of long-term monitoring programs. We here propose to incorporate the paradigm of "adaptive monitoring", which enables monitoring programs to evolve iteratively as new information emerges and research questions change, to metal phytostabilization. Posing good questions that cover the chemical, toxicological and ecological concerns associated to metal contaminated soils is critical for an efficient long-term phytostabilization monitoring program. Regarding the ecological concerns, soil microbial parameters are most valuable indicators of the effectiveness of metal phytostabilization processes in terms of recovery of soil health. We suggest to group soil microbial parameters in higher-level categories such as "ecological attributes" (vigor, organization, stability) or "ecosystem services" in order to facilitate interpretation and, most importantly, to provide long-term phytostabilization monitoring programs with the required stability through time against changes in techniques, methods, interests, etc. that will inevitably occur during the monitoring program. Finally, a Phytostabilization Monitoring Card, based on both ecological attributes and ecosystem services, for soil microbial properties is provided.

  10. Primary and heterotrophic productivity relate to multikingdom diversity in a hypersaline mat

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bernstein, Hans C.; Brislawn, Colin J.; Dana, Karl; Flores-Wentz, Tobias; Cory, Alexandra B.; Fansler, Sarah J.; Fredrickson, James K.; Moran, James J.

    2017-10-01

    Benthic microbial ecosystems are widespread yet knowledge gaps still remain on the relationships between the diversity of species across kingdoms and productivity. Here, we ask two fundamental questions: 1) How does species diversity relate to the rates of primary and heterotrophic productivity? 2) How do diel variations in light-energy inputs influence productivity and microbiome diversity? To answer these questions, microbial mats from a magnesium sulfate hypersaline Lake were used to establish microcosms. Both the number and relatedness between bacterial and eukaryotic taxa in the microbiome were assayed via amplicon based sequencing of 16S and 18S rRNA genes over two diel cycles. These results correlated with biomass productivity obtained from substrate-specific 13C stable isotope incorporation that enabled comparisons between primary and heterotrophic productivity. Both bacterial and eukaryotic species richness and evenness were related only to the rates of 13C labeled glucose and acetate biomass incorporation. Interestingly, measures of these heterotrophic relationships changed from positive and negative correlations depending on carbon derived from glucose and acetate, respectively. Bacterial and eukaryotic diversity of this ecosystem is also controlled, in part, energy constraints imposed by changing irradiance over a diel cycle.

  11. Contrasting genomic properties of free-living and particle-attached microbial assemblages within a coastal ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria W Smith

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The Columbia River (CR is a powerful economic and environmental driver in the US Pacific Northwest. Microbial communities in the water column were analyzed from four diverse habitats: 1 an estuarine turbidity maximum (ETM; 2 a chlorophyll maximum of the river plume; 3 an upwelling-associated hypoxic zone; and 4 the deep ocean bottom. Three size fractions, 0.1-0.8, 0.8-3 and 3-200 μm were collected for each habitat in August 2007, and used for DNA isolation and 454 sequencing, resulting in 12 metagenomes of >5 million reads (>1.6 Gbp. To characterize the dominant microorganisms and metabolisms contributing to coastal biogeochemistry, we used predicted peptide and rRNA data. The 3- and 0.8-μm metagenomes, representing particulate fractions, were taxonomically diverse across habitats. The 3-μm size fractions contained a high abundance of eukaryota with diatoms dominating the hypoxic water and plume, while cryptophytes were more abundant in the ETM. The 0.1-μm metagenomes represented mainly free-living bacteria and archaea. The most abundant archaeal hits were observed in the deep ocean and hypoxic water (19% of prokaryotic peptides in the 0.1-μm metagenomes, and were homologous to Nitrosopumilus maritimus (ammonia-oxidizing Thaumarchaeota. Bacteria dominated metagenomes of all samples. In the euphotic zone (estuary, plume and hypoxic ocean, the most abundant bacterial taxa (≥40 % of prokaryotic peptides represented aerobic photoheterotrophs. In contrast, the low-oxygen, deep water metagenome was enriched with sequences for strict and facultative anaerobes. Interestingly, many of the same anaerobic bacterial families were enriched in the 3-μm size fraction of the ETM (2-10X more abundant relative to the 0.1-μm metagenome, indicating possible formation of anoxic microniches within particles. Results from this study provide a metagenome perspective on ecosystem-scale metabolism in an upwelling-influenced river-dominated coastal margin.

  12. Seasonal microbial and nutrient responses during a 5-year reduction in the daily temperature range of soil in a Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gestel, Natasja C; Dhungana, Nirmala; Tissue, David T; Zak, John C

    2016-01-01

    High daily temperature range of soil (DTRsoil) negatively affects soil microbial biomass and activity, but its interaction with seasonal soil moisture in regulating ecosystem function remains unclear. For our 5-year field study in the Chihuahuan Desert, we suspended shade cloth 15 cm above the soil surface to reduce daytime temperature and increase nighttime soil temperature compared to unshaded plots, thereby reducing DTRsoil (by 5 ºC at 0.2 cm depth) without altering mean temperatures. Microbial biomass production was primarily regulated by seasonal precipitation with the magnitude of the response dependent on DTRsoil. Reduced DTRsoil more consistently increased microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN; +38%) than microbial biomass carbon (MBC) with treatment responses being similar in spring and summer. Soil respiration depended primarily on soil moisture with responses to reduced DTRsoil evident only in wetter summer soils (+53%) and not in dry spring soils. Reduced DTRsoil had no effect on concentrations of dissolved organic C, soil organic matter (SOM), nor soil inorganic N (extractable NO3 (-)-N + NH4 (+)-N). Higher MBN without changes in soil inorganic N suggests faster N cycling rates or alternate sources of N. If N cycling rates increased without a change to external N inputs (atmospheric N deposition or N fixation), then productivity in this desert system, which is N-poor and low in SOM, could be negatively impacted with continued decreases in daily temperature range. Thus, the future N balance in arid ecosystems, under conditions of lower DTR, seems linked to future precipitation regimes through N deposition and regulation of soil heat load dynamics.

  13. Biorremediación de los efluentes de cultivo del camarón Litopenaeus vannamei (Boone, 1931 utilizando tapetes microbianos en un sistema de recirculación Bioremediacion of effluents ones of the culture of Litopenaeus vannamei (Boone, 1931 using microbial mats in a recirculating system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Lezama-Cervantes

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Se desarrolló un sistema de recirculación (SR integrando el cultivo del camarón con tapetes microbianos buscando mitigar los impactos ambientales de los subproductos del cultivo del camarón y avanzar hacia la biorremediación del agua de cultivo. Los consorcios microbianos obtenidos de ambientes naturales (TaM estuvieron constituidos por bacterias (55,6%, cianófitas (18,4%, diatomeas (9%, nemátodos (5,6% y clorófitas (1,4%, entre los grupos taxonómicos principales. La remoción de nutrientes y sólidos se evaluó en un SR (2 ciclos/hora conteniendo (n = 3 60 y 120 ind m-2 de Litopenaeus vannamei. Los resultados demostraron que los TaM redujeron los niveles de nitrógeno amoniacal por encima del 71% diariamente; la demanda bioquímica de oxígeno (DBO5 se redujo más de 68% y los sólidos suspendidos (SST hasta en 62% al compararse con los sistemas control (p 0,05. El agua bio-remediada tiene un efecto positivo en el cultivo de Litopenaeus vannamei, y promueve el crecimiento y sobrevivencia en presencia de TaM en el SR.We developed a recirculating system integrating shrimp culture with microbial mats aiming to mitigate the environmental impacts of by-products from shrimp culture and to advance toward the bioremediation of the shrimp culture water. The microbial consortia collected from natural environments (TaM was constituted by bacteria (55.6%, Cyanophyte (18.4%, diatoms (9%, nematods (5.6% and Chlorophyte algae (1.4% among the major taxonomic groups. The removal of nutrients and solids by these mats was assessed in a recirculating system (2 cycles/hour (n = 3 containing 60 and 120 ind m-2 of Litopenaeus vannamei. Results showed that the microbial mat reduces daily up to 71% of ammonia nitrogen, decreases around 68% of the biochemical oxygen demand (DBO5 and up to 62% of suspended solids (SST when comparing to the control systems (p 0.05. The Bioremediated culture water had a positive effect on the culture of Litopenaeus vannamei, and

  14. Changes in soil microbial community structure influenced by agricultural management practices in a mediterranean agro-ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; Zornoza, Raul; Cerdà, Artemi; Scow, Kate

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural practices have proven to be unsuitable in many cases, causing considerable reductions in soil quality. Land management practices can provide solutions to this problem and contribute to get a sustainable agriculture model. The main objective of this work was to assess the effect of different agricultural management practices on soil microbial community structure (evaluated as abundance of phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA). Five different treatments were selected, based on the most common practices used by farmers in the study area (eastern Spain): residual herbicides, tillage, tillage with oats and oats straw mulching; these agricultural practices were evaluated against an abandoned land after farming and an adjacent long term wild forest coverage. The results showed a substantial level of differentiation in the microbial community structure, in terms of management practices, which was highly associated with soil organic matter content. Addition of oats straw led to a microbial community structure closer to wild forest coverage soil, associated with increases in organic carbon, microbial biomass and fungal abundances. The microbial community composition of the abandoned agricultural soil was characterised by increases in both fungal abundances and the metabolic quotient (soil respiration per unit of microbial biomass), suggesting an increase in the stability of organic carbon. The ratio of bacteria:fungi was higher in wild forest coverage and land abandoned systems, as well as in the soil treated with oat straw. The most intensively managed soils showed higher abundances of bacteria and actinobacteria. Thus, the application of organic matter, such as oats straw, appears to be a sustainable management practice that enhances organic carbon, microbial biomass and activity and fungal abundances, thereby changing the microbial community structure to one more similar to those observed in soils under wild forest coverage.

  15. Water flow and solute transport in floating fen root mats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stofberg, Sija F.; EATM van der Zee, Sjoerd

    2015-04-01

    Floating fens are valuable wetlands, found in North-Western Europe, that are formed by floating root mats when old turf ponds are colonized by plants. These terrestrialization ecosystems are known for their biodiversity and the presence of rare plant species, and the root mats reveal different vegetation zones at a small scale. The vegetation zones are a result of strong gradients in abiotic conditions, including groundwater dynamics, nutrients and pH. To prevent irreversible drought effects such as land subsidence and mineralization of peat, water management involves import of water from elsewhere to maintain constant surface water levels. Imported water may have elevated levels of salinity during dry summers, and salt exposure may threaten the vegetation. To assess the risk of exposure of the rare plant species to salinity, the hydrology of such root mats must be understood. Physical properties of root mats have scarcely been investigated. We have measured soil characteristics, hydraulic conductivity, vertical root mat movement and groundwater dynamics in a floating root mat in the nature reserve Nieuwkoopse Plassen, in the Netherlands. The root mat mostly consists of roots and organic material, in which the soil has a high saturated water content, and strongly varies in its stage of decomposition. We have found a distinct negative correlation between degree of decomposition and hydraulic conductivity, similar to observations for bogs in the literature. Our results show that the relatively young, thin edge of the root mat that colonizes the surface water has a high hydraulic conductivity and floats in the surface water, resulting in very small groundwater fluctuations within the root mat. The older part of the root mat, that is connected to the deeper peat layers is hydrologically more isolated and the material has a lower conductivity. Here, the groundwater fluctuates strongly with atmospheric forcing. The zones of hydraulic properties and vegetation, appear to

  16. Microbial metabolisms in a 2.5-km-deep ecosystem created by hydraulic fracturing in shales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daly, Rebecca A.; Borton, Mikayla A.; Wilkins, Michael J.; Hoyt, David W.; Kountz, Duncan J.; Wolfe, Richard A.; Welch, Susan A.; Marcus, Daniel N.; Trexler, Ryan V.; MacRae, Jean D.; Krzycki, Joseph A.; Cole, David R.; Mouser, Paula J.; Wrighton, Kelly C.

    2016-09-05

    Hydraulic fracturing is the industry standard for extracting hydrocarbons from shale formations. Attention has been paid to the economic benefits and environmental impacts of this process, yet the biogeochemical changes induced in the deep subsurface are poorly understood. Recent single-gene investigations revealed that halotolerant microbial communities were enriched after hydraulic fracturing. Here the reconstruction of 31 unique genomes coupled to metabolite data from the Marcellus and Utica shales revealed that methylamine cycling supports methanogenesis in the deep biosphere. Fermentation of injected chemical additives also sustains long-term microbial persistence, while sulfide generation from thiosulfate represents a poorly recognized corrosion mechanism in shales. Extensive links between viruses and microbial hosts demonstrate active viral predation, which may contribute to the release of labile cellular constituents into the extracellular environment. Our analyses show that hydraulic fracturing provides the organismal and chemical inputs for colonization and persistence in the deep terrestrial subsurface.

  17. Effects of litter addition and warming on soil carbon, nutrient pools and microbial communities in a subarctic heath ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Michelsen, Anders; Jonasson, Sven Evert

    2008-01-01

    in the uppermost 5 cm soil, while decreasing the pool of total P per unit area of the organic profile and having no significant effects on N concentrations or pools. Microbial biomass C and N were unaffected by the treatments, while the microbial biomass P increased significantly with litter addition. Soil...... proportion of biomarkers for Gram-positive bacteria. The combined warming plus litter addition treatment decreased the soil water content in the uppermost 5 cm soil, which was a likely reason for many interactions between the effects of warming and litter addition. The soil organic matter quality...... of the combined treatment was also clearly different from the control based on a near-infrared reflectance (NIR) spectroscopic analysis, implying that the treatment altered the composition of soil organic matter. However, it appears that the biological processes and the microbial community composition responded...

  18. A unique model system of microbial carbonate precipitation: Stromatolites of Lagoa Vermelha, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warthmann, R. J.; Vasoncelos, C.; van Lith, Y.; Visscher, P. T.; McKenzie, J. A.

    2003-04-01

    Modern stromatolites are recognized as analogues to fossil laminated structures, which are remains of microbial activity that are widely found in sedimentary rocks beginning in the Neo-Archean, but are quite rare today. The key difference of modern microbial mats and stromatolites compared to ancient examples is the type of lithification. A few marine and hypersaline microbial mats have been observed to precipitate carbonates, and only in Shark Bay (Western, Australia) and Highborne Cay (Bahamas) has the formation of continuous laminae of carbonates been observed. Lagoa Vermelha, a moderate hypersaline lagoon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, offers the ideal conditions to promote lithification. Calcified, sometimes dolomitic stromatolites grow on the sediment surface, whereas within the sediments dolomite precipitates. The factors controlling carbonate precipitation in Lagoa Vermelha are the changing water chemistry and the special hydrology, combined with a high primary production by cyanobacteria, a high rate of respiration and the absence of higher organisms. Here, we present a study of the physico-chemical parameters, microbial processes and bio-minerals associated with these stromatolites and microbial mats. This approach provides boundary conditions to better understand dolomite formation. Several discrete lithified calcium carbonate layers are present. The first lithified layer is found beneath a 2-mm-thick biofilm, which contains Gloeocapsa. Below the underlying dense Microcoleus layer, the second micrite deposit is observed at 4-5 mm depth. Successive micritic laminae are preserved in the layer of decaying cyanobacteria that harbors large numbers of purple sulfur bacteria, heterotrophic microbes and sulfate-reducing bacteria. C-isotope studies of the carbonate layers indicate a contribution of organic derived carbon associated with microbial processes, such as sulfate reduction. The O-isotopic values indicate an evaporitic enrichment of the water. Understanding

  19. Subtle shifts in microbial communities occur alongside the release of carbon induced by drought and rewetting in contrasting peatland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, Caitlin; Freeman, Chris; Golyshin, Peter N; Ackermann, Gail; Fenner, Nathalie; McDonald, James E; Ehbair, Abdassalam; Jones, Timothy G; Murphy, Loretta M; Creer, Simon

    2017-09-12

    Peat represents a globally significant pool of sequestered carbon. However, peatland carbon stocks are highly threatened by anthropogenic climate change, including drought, which leads to a large release of carbon dioxide. Although the enzymatic mechanisms underlying drought-driven carbon release are well documented, the effect of drought on peatland microbial communities has been little studied. Here, we carried out a replicated and controlled drought manipulation using intact peat 'mesocosm cores' taken from bog and fen habitats, and used a combination of community fingerprinting and sequencing of marker genes to identify community changes associated with drought. Community composition varied with habitat and depth. Moreover, community differences between mesocosm cores were stronger than the effect of the drought treatment, emphasising the importance of replication in microbial marker gene studies. While the effect of drought on the overall composition of prokaryotic and eukaryotic communities was weak, a subset of the microbial community did change in relative abundance, especially in the fen habitat at 5 cm depth. 'Drought-responsive' OTUs were disproportionately drawn from the phyla Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. Collectively, the data provide insights into the microbial community changes occurring alongside drought-driven carbon release from peatlands, and suggest a number of novel avenues for future research.

  20. How ecosystems change following invasion by Robinia pseudoacacia: Insights from soil chemical properties and soil microbial, nematode, microarthropod and plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzaro, Lorenzo; Mazza, Giuseppe; d'Errico, Giada; Fabiani, Arturo; Giuliani, Claudia; Inghilesi, Alberto F; Lagomarsino, Alessandra; Landi, Silvia; Lastrucci, Lorenzo; Pastorelli, Roberta; Roversi, Pio Federico; Torrini, Giulia; Tricarico, Elena; Foggi, Bruno

    2018-05-01

    Biological invasions are a global threat to biodiversity. Since the spread of invasive alien plants may have many impacts, an integrated approach, assessing effects across various ecosystem components, is needed for a correct understanding of the invasion process and its consequences. The nitrogen-fixing tree Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust) is a major invasive species worldwide and is used in forestry production. While its effects on plant communities and soils are well known, there have been few studies on soil fauna and microbes. We investigated the impacts of the tree on several ecosystem components, using a multi-trophic approach to combine evidence of soil chemical properties and soil microbial, nematode, microarthropod and plant communities. We sampled soil and vegetation in managed forests, comparing those dominated by black locust with native deciduous oak stands. We found qualitative and quantitative changes in all components analysed, such as the well-known soil nitrification and acidification in stands invaded by black locust. Bacterial richness was the only component favoured by the invasion. On the contrary, abundance and richness of microarthropods, richness of nematodes, and richness and diversity of plant communities decreased significantly in invaded stands. The invasion process caused a compositional shift in all studied biotic communities and in relationships between the different ecosystem components. We obtained clear insights into the effects of invasion of managed native forests by black locust. Our data confirms that the alien species transforms several ecosystem components, modifying the plant-soil community and affecting biodiversity at different levels. Correct management of this aggressive invader in temperate forests is urgently required. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Coupling of the spatial dynamic of picoplankton and nanoflagellate grazing pressure and carbon flow of the microbial food web in the subtropical pelagic continental shelf ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, K.-P.; Tsai, A.-Y.; Tsai, P.-J.; Gong, G.-C.; Tsai, S.-F.

    2013-01-01

    In order to investigate the mechanism of spatial dynamics of picoplankton community (bacteria and Synechococcus spp.) and estimate the carbon flux of the microbial food web in the oligotrophic Taiwan Warm Current Water of subtropical marine pelagic ecosystem, we conducted size-fractionation experiments in five cruises by the R/V Ocean Research II during the summers of 2010 and 2011 in the southern East China Sea. We carried out culture experiments using surface water which, according to a temperature-salinity (T-S) diagram, is characterized as oligotrophic Taiwan Current Warm Water. We found a negative correlation bettween bacteria growth rate and temperature, indicating that the active growth of heterotrophic bacteria might be induced by nutrients lifted from deep layer by cold upwelling water. This finding suggests that the area we studied was a bottom-up control pelagic ecosystem. We suggest that the microbial food web of an oligotrophic ecosystem may be changed from top-down control to resource supply (bottom-up control) when a physical force brings nutrient into the oligotrophic ecosystem. Upwelling brings nutrient-rich water to euphotic zone and promotes bacteria growth, increasing the picoplankton biomass which increased the consumption rate of nanoflagellate. The net growth rate (growth rate-grazing rate) becomes negative when the densities of bacteria and Synechococcus spp. are lower than the threshold values. The interaction between growth and grazing will limit the abundances of bacteria (105-106 cells mL-1 and Synechococcus spp. (104-105 cells mL-1) within a narrow range, forming a predator-prey eddy. Meanwhile, 62% of bacteria production and 55% of Synechococcus spp. production are transported to higher trophic level (nanoflagellate), though the cascade effect might cause an underestimation of both percentages of transported carbon. Based on the increasing number of sizes we found in the size-fractionation experiments, we estimated that the predation

  2. Combining Microbial Enzyme Kinetics Models with Light Use Efficiency Models to Predict CO2 and CH4 Ecosystem Exchange from Flooded and Drained Peatland Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oikawa, P. Y.; Jenerette, D.; Knox, S. H.; Sturtevant, C. S.; Verfaillie, J. G.; Baldocchi, D. D.

    2014-12-01

    Under California's Cap-and-Trade program, companies are looking to invest in land-use practices that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is a drained cultivated peatland system and a large source of CO2. To slow soil subsidence and reduce CO2 emissions, there is growing interest in converting drained peatlands to wetlands. However, wetlands are large sources of CH4 that could offset CO2-based GHG reductions. The goal of our research is to provide accurate measurements and model predictions of the changes in GHG budgets that occur when drained peatlands are restored to wetland conditions. We have installed a network of eddy covariance towers across multiple land use types in the Delta and have been measuring CO2 and CH4 ecosystem exchange for multiple years. In order to upscale these measurements through space and time we are using these data to parameterize and validate a process-based biogeochemical model. To predict gross primary productivity (GPP), we are using a simple light use efficiency (LUE) model which requires estimates of light, leaf area index and air temperature and can explain 90% of the observed variation in GPP in a mature wetland. To predict ecosystem respiration we have adapted the Dual Arrhenius Michaelis-Menten (DAMM) model. The LUE-DAMM model allows accurate simulation of half-hourly net ecosystem exchange (NEE) in a mature wetland (r2=0.85). We are working to expand the model to pasture, rice and alfalfa systems in the Delta. To predict methanogenesis, we again apply a modified DAMM model, using simple enzyme kinetics. However CH4 exchange is complex and we have thus expanded the model to predict not only microbial CH4 production, but also CH4 oxidation, CH4 storage and the physical processes regulating the release of CH4 to the atmosphere. The CH4-DAMM model allows accurate simulation of daily CH4 ecosystem exchange in a mature wetland (r2=0.55) and robust estimates of annual CH4 budgets. The LUE

  3. Limits on carbon sequestration in arid blue carbon ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schile, Lisa M; Kauffman, J Boone; Crooks, Stephen; Fourqurean, James W; Glavan, Jane; Megonigal, J Patrick

    2017-04-01

    Coastal ecosystems produce and sequester significant amounts of carbon ("blue carbon"), which has been well documented in humid and semi-humid regions of temperate and tropical climates but less so in arid regions where mangroves, marshes, and seagrasses exist near the limit of their tolerance for extreme temperature and salinity. To better understand these unique systems, we measured whole-ecosystem carbon stocks in 58 sites across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in natural and planted mangroves, salt marshes, seagrass beds, microbial mats, and coastal sabkha (inter- and supratidal unvegetated salt flats). Natural mangroves held significantly more carbon in above- and belowground biomass than other vegetated ecosystems. Planted mangrove carbon stocks increased with age, but there were large differences for sites of similar age. Soil carbon varied widely across sites (2-367 Mg C/ha), with ecosystem averages that ranged from 49 to 156 Mg C/ha. For the first time, microbial mats were documented to contain soil carbon pools comparable to vascular plant-dominated ecosystems, and could arguably be recognized as a unique blue carbon ecosystem. Total ecosystem carbon stocks ranged widely from 2 to 515 Mg C/ha (seagrass bed and mangrove, respectively). Seagrass beds had the lowest carbon stock per unit area, but the largest stock per total area due to their large spatial coverage. Compared to similar ecosystems globally, mangroves and marshes in the UAE have lower plant and soil carbon stocks; however, the difference in soil stocks is far larger than with plant stocks. This incongruent difference between stocks is likely due to poor carbon preservation under conditions of weakly reduced soils (200-350 mV), coarse-grained sediments, and active shoreline migration. This work represents the first attempt to produce a country-wide coastal ecosystem carbon accounting using a uniform sampling protocol, and was motivated by specific policy goals identified by the Abu Dhabi Global

  4. The active microbial diversity drives ecosystem multifunctionality and is physiologically related to carbon availability in Mediterranean semi-arid soils

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bastida, F.; Torres, I.F.; Moreno, J.L.; Baldrian, Petr; Ondono, S.; Ruiz-Navarro, A.; Hernández, T.; Richnow, H. H.; Starke, R.; Garcia, C.; Jehmlich, N.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 25, č. 18 (2016), s. 4660-4673 ISSN 0962-1083 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LM2015055 Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : bacteria * community ecology * ecosystem services Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 6.086, year: 2016

  5. Efeito do oxyfluorfen, 2,4-D e glyphosate na atividade microbiana de solos com diferentes texturas e conteúdos de matéria orgânica Effect of oxyfluorfen, 2,4-D and glyphosate on the microbial activity in soils with different textures and organic matter contents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.P. de Souza

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Estudaram-se os efeitos dos herbicidas oxyfluorfen, 2,4-D e glyphosate na atividade microbiana de três solos com diferentes texturas e conteúdos de matéria orgânica, mediante ensaio respirométrico em laboratório. Os herbicidas foram aplicados isoladamente em cada substrato, num experimento em blocos casualizados, com três repetições. Os resultados apresentados indicaram um incremento da atividade microbiana no solo com a aplicação dos herbicidas estudados. Observou-se também, que o efeito dos herbicidas sobre a microbiota do solo é fortemente influenciado pelas características físicas do solo principalmente sua textura.The effect of the herbicide oxyfluorfen, 2,4-D and glyphosate on the microbial acitivity of three soils with different textures and organic matter contents was studied in the laboratory, through respirometric assay. The herbicides were applied separately, to each soil medium, in a random block experiment, with three replications. The results indicated an increase in microbial activity which was strongly influenced by the physical characteristics of the soil, mainly its texture.

  6. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Sch?ning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions,...

  7. Controls on O2 Production in Cyanobacterial Mats and Implications for Earth's Oxygenation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, Gregory J.; Grim, Sharon L.; Klatt, Judith M.

    2018-05-01

    Cyanobacterial mats are widely assumed to have been globally significant hot spots of biogeochemistry and evolution during the Archean and Proterozoic, but little is known about their quantitative contributions to global primary productivity or Earth's oxygenation. Modern systems show that mat biogeochemistry is the outcome of concerted activities and intimate interactions between various microbial metabolisms. Emerging knowledge of the regulation of oxygenic and sulfide-driven anoxygenic photosynthesis by versatile cyanobacteria, and their interactions with sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and sulfate-reducing bacteria, highlights how ecological and geochemical processes can control O2 production in cyanobacterial mats in unexpected ways. This review explores such biological controls on O2 production. We argue that the intertwined effects of light availability, redox geochemistry, regulation and competition of microbial metabolisms, and biogeochemical feedbacks result in emergent properties of cyanobacterial mat communities that are all critical yet largely overlooked mechanisms to potentially explain the protracted nature of Earth's oxygenation.

  8. TNT Degradation by Natural Microbial Assemblages at Frontal Boundaries Between Water Masses in Coastal Ecosystems (ER-2124)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-20

    receptor protein) and reduce substrate mineralization depending on how long it would take to disassociate the humic from the substrate upon dilution...geochemical samples . Anal. Chem. 72:3116-3121. Han, L., Sun, K., Jin, J., and B. Xing. 2016. Some concepts of soil organic carbon characteristics and...capacity for energetics released into hydrodynamically similar, UXO-impacted ecosystems where access to site samples may be limited. During samplings in

  9. Nitrogen, organic carbon and sulphur cycling in terrestrial ecosystems: linking nitrogen saturation to carbon limitation of soil microbial processes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kopáček, Jiří; Cosby, B. J.; Evans, C. D.; Hruška, J.; Moldan, F.; Oulehle, F.; Šantrůčková, H.; Tahovská, K.; Wright, R. F.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 115, 1-3 (2013), s. 33-51 ISSN 0168-2563. [BIOGEOMON : international symposium on ecosystem behavior /7./. Northport, 15.07.2012-20.07.2012] R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP504/12/1218 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : nitrogen * carbon * sulphur * acidification * forest soil * modelling Subject RIV: DJ - Water Pollution ; Quality Impact factor: 3.730, year: 2013

  10. Molecular microbial ecology manual

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kowalchuk, G.A.; Bruijn, de F.J.; Head, I.M.; Akkermans, A.D.L.

    2004-01-01

    The field of microbial ecology has been revolutionized in the past two decades by the introduction of molecular methods into the toolbox of the microbial ecologist. This molecular arsenal has helped to unveil the enormity of microbial diversity across the breadth of the earth's ecosystems, and has

  11. Effects of Microbial and Heavy Metal Contaminants on Environmental/Ecological Health and Revitalization of Coastal Ecosystems in Delaware Bay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gulnihal Ozbay

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The presence of heavy metals, excess nutrients, and microbial contaminants in aquatic systems of coastal Delaware has become a public concern as human population increases and land development continues. Delaware's coastal lagoons have been subjected to problems commonly shared by other coastal Mid-Atlantic states: turbidity, sedimentation, eutrophication, periodic hypoxic/anoxic conditions, toxic substances, and high bacterial levels. The cumulative impact of pollutants from run-off and point sources has degraded water quality, reduced the diversity and abundance of various fish species, invertebrates, and submerged aquatic vegetation. The effects are especially pronounced within the manmade dead end canal systems. In this article, we present selected case studies conducted in the Delaware Inland Bays. Due to the ecological services provided by bivalves, our studies in Delaware Inland Bays are geared toward oysters with special focus on the microbial loads followed by the water quality assessments of the bay. The relationships between oysters (Crassostrea virginica, microbial loads and nutrient levels in the water were investigated. The heavy metal levels monitored further away from the waste water treatment plant in the inland bays are marginally higher than the recommended EPA limits. Also, our studies confirmed that aerobic bacteria and Vibrionaceae levels are salinity dependent. Total bacteria in oysters increased when nitrate and total suspended solids increased in the waters. Studies such as these are important because every year millions of Americans consume raw oysters. Data collected over the last 10 years from our studies may be used to build a predictive index of conditions that are favorable for the proliferation of human pathogenic bacteria. Results from this study will benefit the local community by helping them understand the importance of oyster aquaculture and safe consumption of oysters while making them appreciate their

  12. Efficient Low-pH Iron Removal by a Microbial Iron Oxide Mound Ecosystem at Scalp Level Run.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grettenberger, Christen L; Pearce, Alexandra R; Bibby, Kyle J; Jones, Daniel S; Burgos, William D; Macalady, Jennifer L

    2017-04-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a major environmental problem affecting tens of thousands of kilometers of waterways worldwide. Passive bioremediation of AMD relies on microbial communities to oxidize and remove iron from the system; however, iron oxidation rates in AMD environments are highly variable among sites. At Scalp Level Run (Cambria County, PA), first-order iron oxidation rates are 10 times greater than at other coal-associated iron mounds in the Appalachians. We examined the bacterial community at Scalp Level Run to determine whether a unique community is responsible for the rapid iron oxidation rate. Despite strong geochemical gradients, including a >10-fold change in the concentration of ferrous iron from 57.3 mg/liter at the emergence to 2.5 mg/liter at the base of the coal tailings pile, the bacterial community composition was nearly constant with distance from the spring outflow. Scalp Level Run contains many of the same taxa present in other AMD sites, but the community is dominated by two strains of Ferrovum myxofaciens , a species that is associated with high rates of Fe(II) oxidation in laboratory studies. IMPORTANCE Acid mine drainage pollutes more than 19,300 km of rivers and streams and 72,000 ha of lakes worldwide. Remediation is frequently ineffective and costly, upwards of $100 billion globally and nearly $5 billion in Pennsylvania alone. Microbial Fe(II) oxidation is more efficient than abiotic Fe(II) oxidation at low pH (P. C. Singer and W. Stumm, Science 167:1121-1123, 1970, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.167.3921.1121). Therefore, AMD bioremediation could harness microbial Fe(II) oxidation to fuel more-cost-effective treatments. Advances will require a deeper understanding of the ecology of Fe(II)-oxidizing microbial communities and the factors that control their distribution and rates of Fe(II) oxidation. We investigated bacterial communities that inhabit an AMD site with rapid Fe(II) oxidation and found that they were dominated by two

  13. Cyanobacteria in Coral Reef Ecosystems: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Charpy

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Cyanobacteria have dominated marine environments and have been reef builders on Earth for more than three million years (myr. Cyanobacteria still play an essential role in modern coral reef ecosystems by forming a major component of epiphytic, epilithic, and endolithic communities as well as of microbial mats. Cyanobacteria are grazed by reef organisms and also provide nitrogen to the coral reef ecosystems through nitrogen fixation. Recently, new unicellular cyanobacteria that express nitrogenase were found in the open ocean and in coral reef lagoons. Furthermore, cyanobacteria are important in calcification and decalcification. All limestone surfaces have a layer of boring algae in which cyanobacteria often play a dominant role. Cyanobacterial symbioses are abundant in coral reefs; the most common hosts are sponges and ascidians. Cyanobacteria use tactics beyond space occupation to inhibit coral recruitment. Cyanobacteria can also form pathogenic microbial consortia in association with other microbes on living coral tissues, causing coral tissue lysis and death, and considerable declines in coral reefs. In deep lagoons, coccoid cyanobacteria are abundant and are grazed by ciliates, heteroflagellates, and the benthic coral reef community. Cyanobacteria produce metabolites that act as attractants for some species and deterrents for some grazers of the reef communities.

  14. Uncovering stability mechanisms in microbial ecosystems - combining microcosm experiments, computational modelling and ecological theory in a multidisciplinary approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worrich, Anja; König, Sara; Banitz, Thomas; Centler, Florian; Frank, Karin; Kästner, Matthias; Miltner, Anja; Thullner, Martin; Wick, Lukas

    2015-04-01

    Although bacterial degraders in soil are commonly exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions, the functional performance of the biodegradation processes can often be maintained by resistance and resilience mechanisms. However, there is still a gap in the mechanistic understanding of key factors contributing to the stability of such an ecosystem service. Therefore we developed an integrated approach combining microcosm experiments, simulation models and ecological theory to directly make use of the strengths of these disciplines. In a continuous interplay process, data, hypotheses, and central questions are exchanged between disciplines to initiate new experiments and models to ultimately identify buffer mechanisms and factors providing functional stability. We focus on drying and rewetting-cycles in soil ecosystems, which are a major abiotic driver for bacterial activity. Functional recovery of the system was found to depend on different spatial processes in the computational model. In particular, bacterial motility is a prerequisite for biodegradation if either bacteria or substrate are heterogeneously distributed. Hence, laboratory experiments focussing on bacterial dispersal processes were conducted and confirmed this finding also for functional resistance. Obtained results will be incorporated into the model in the next step. Overall, the combination of computational modelling and laboratory experiments identified spatial processes as the main driving force for functional stability in the considered system, and has proved a powerful methodological approach.

  15. Ecological impacts of environmental toxicants and radiation on the microbial ecosystem: a model simulation of computational microbiology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doi, Masahiro; Sakashita, Tetsuya; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Fuma, Shoichi; Takeda, Hiroshi; Miyamoto, Kiriko; Yanagisawa, K.; Nakamura, Yuji; Kawabata, Zenichiro

    2000-01-01

    This study explores a microorganic closed-ecosystem by computer simulation to illustrate symbiosis among populations in the microcosm that consists of heterotroph protozoa, Tetrahymena thermophila B as a consumer, autotroph algae, Euglena gracilis Z as a primary producer and saprotroph Bacteria, Escherichia coli DH5 as decomposer. The simulation program is written as a procedure of StarLogoT1.5.1, which is developed by Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling, Tufts University. The virtual microcosm is structured and operated by the following rules; 1) Environment is defined as a lattice model, which consists of 10,201 square patches, 300 micron Wide, 300 micron Length and 100 micron Hight. 2) Each patch has its own attributes, Nutrient, Detritus and absolute coordinates, 3) Components of the species, Tetrahymena, Euglena and E-coli are defined as sub-system, and each sub-system has its own attributes as location, heading direction, cell-age, structured biomass, reserves energy and demographic parameters (assimilation rate, breeding threshold, growth rate, etc.). 4) Each component of the species, Tetrahymena, Euglena and E-coli, lives by foraging (Tetrahymena eats E-coli), excreting its metabolic products to the environment (as a substrate of E-coli), breeding and dying according vital condition. 5) Euglena utilizes sunlight energy by photosynthesis process and produces organic compounds. E-coli breaks down the organic compounds of dead protoplasm or metabolic wastes (Detritus) and releases inorganic substances to construct down stream of food cycle. Virtual ecosystem in this study is named SIM-COSM, a parallel computing model for self-sustaining system of complexity. It found that SIM-COSM is a valuable to illustrate symbiosis among populations in the microcosm, where a feedback mechanism acts in response to disturbances and interactions among species and environment. In the simulation, microbes increased demographic and environmental

  16. Organic and mineral imprints in fossil photosynthetic mats of an East Antarctic lake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepot, K; Compère, P; Gérard, E; Namsaraev, Z; Verleyen, E; Tavernier, I; Hodgson, D A; Vyverman, W; Gilbert, B; Wilmotte, A; Javaux, E J

    2014-09-01

    Lacustrine microbial mats in Antarctic ice-free oases are considered modern analogues of early microbial ecosystems as their primary production is generally dominated by cyanobacteria, the heterotrophic food chain typically truncated due to extreme environmental conditions, and they are geographically isolated. To better understand early fossilization and mineralization processes in this context, we studied the microstructure and chemistry of organo-mineral associations in a suite of sediments 50-4530 cal. years old from a lake in Skarvsnes, Lützow Holm Bay, East Antarctica. First, we report an exceptional preservation of fossil autotrophs and their biomolecules on millennial timescales. The pigment scytonemin is preserved inside cyanobacterial sheaths. As non-pigmented sheaths are also preserved, scytonemin likely played little role in the preservation of sheath polysaccharides, which have been cross-linked by ether bonds. Coccoids preserved thylakoids and autofluorescence of pigments such as carotenoids. This exceptional preservation of autotrophs in the fossil mats argues for limited biodegradation during and after deposition. Moreover, cell-shaped aggregates preserved sulfur-rich nanoglobules, supporting fossilization of instable intracellular byproducts of chemotrophic or phototrophic S-oxidizers. Second, we report a diversity of micro- to nanostructured CaCO3 precipitates intimately associated with extracellular polymeric substances, cyanobacteria, and/or other prokaryotes. Micro-peloids Type 1 display features that distinguish them from known carbonates crystallized in inorganic conditions: (i) Type 1A are often filled with globular nanocarbonates and/or surrounded by a fibrous fringe, (ii) Type 1B are empty and display ovoid to wrinkled fringes of nanocrystallites that can be radially oriented (fibrous or triangular) or multilayered, and (iii) all show small-size variations. Type 2 rounded carbonates 1-2 μm in diameter occurring inside autofluorescent

  17. Influence of liming substances and temperature on microbial activity and leaching of soil organic matter in coniferous forest ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andersson, Stefan

    1999-01-01

    Liming has been proposed as a means to counteract the anthropogenic acidification of forest soils in Sweden. The increased pH caused by liming may affect the production and leaching of dissolved organic matter (DOM) from the mor humus layer. The aim of this thesis was to assess changes in leaching of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) and microbial activity in relation to liming. Leaching experiments were carried out in the laboratory with incubated field-limed soils and by monitoring of dissolved components in lysimeter water collected in a field liming experiment in southern Sweden from 1992-1997. Liming increased the leaching of DOC and DON from the mor humus layer but in the B horizon there were indications of different adsorption properties of DON compared to DOC, which affected the leaching of DOC and DON from the B horizon. DOC leaching was mainly regulated by temperature in mor humus from a site in southern Sweden, while pH had a greater effect in mor humus from a site in northern Sweden. This may have been due to relatively higher bacterial growth in the limed mor humus from southern Sweden. The experiments indicated that bacteria had a decisive role in the microbial production of DOM and bacterial activity was stimulated more by the increase in pH than by the change in the chemical composition of DOM after liming. Field data indicated that increasedCO 2 respiration in the limed treatment decreased carbon storage in the mor humus layer. There may have been an increase in carbon and nitrogen storage in the B horizon due to an increased adsorption caused by the higher leaching of DOM from the mor humus layer. The changes in storage could not be confirmed statistically, but there was a significant decline in the C/N ratio in the mor humus layer in the limed treatment. The adsorption patterns of DOC and DON indicated in the field were confirmed in a laboratory experiment

  18. Response of the Eastern Mediterranean microbial ecosystem to dust and dust affected by acid processing in the atmosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael David Krom

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Acid processes in the atmosphere, particularly those caused by anthropogenic acid gases, increase the amount of bioavailable P in dust and hence are predicted to increase microbial biomass and primary productivity when supplied to oceanic surface waters. This is likely to be particularly important in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS, which is P limited during the winter bloom and N&P co-limited for phytoplankton in summer. However, it is not clear how the acid processes acting on Saharan dust will affect the microbial biomass and primary productivity in the EMS. Here, we carried out bioassay manipulations on EMS surface water on which Saharan dust was added as dust (Z, acid treated dust (ZA, dust plus excess N (ZN and acid treated dust with excess N (ZNA during springtime (May 2012 and measured bacterioplankton biomass, metabolic and other relevant chemical and biological parameters. We show that acid treatment of Saharan dust increased the amount of bioavailable P supplied by a factor of ~40 compared to non-acidified dust (18.4 nmoles P mg-1 dust vs. 0.45 nmoles P mg-1 dust, respectively. The increase in chlorophyll, primary and bacterial productivity for treatments Z and ZA were controlled by the amount of N added with the dust while those for treatments ZN and ZNA (in which excessive N was added were controlled by the amount of P added. These results confirm that the surface waters were N&P co-limited for phytoplankton during springtime. However, total chlorophyll and primary productivity in the acid treated dust additions (ZA and ZNA were less than predicted from that calculated from the amount of the potentially limiting nutrient added. This biological inhibition was interpreted as being due to labile trace metals being added with the acidified dust. A probable cause for this biological inhibition was the addition of dissolved Al, which forms potentially toxic Al nanoparticles when added to seawater. Thus, the effect of anthropogenic acid

  19. The influence of nanoflagellates on the spatial variety of picoplankton and the carbon flow of the microbial food web in the oligotrophic subtropical pelagic continental shelf ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Kuo-Ping; Tsai, An-Yi; Tsai, Pei-Jung; Gong, Gwo-Ching; Huang, Bang-Qin; Tsai, Sheng-Fang

    2014-06-01

    To investigate the mechanism of the spatial dynamics of picoplankton community (bacteria and Synechococcus spp.) and to estimate the carbon flux of the microbial food web in the oligotrophic Taiwan Warm Current Water of the subtropical marine pelagic ecosystem, we conducted size-fractionation experiments during five cruises by the R/V Ocean Research II during the summers of 2010 and 2011 in the southern East China Sea. We carried out culture experiments using surface water, which according to a temperature-salinity (T-S) diagram, is characterized as oligotrophic Taiwan Current Warm Water. We found a negative correlation between bacteria growth rate and temperature, and another negative correlation between nitrate and temperature indicating that the active growth of heterotrophic bacteria might be induced by nutrients lifted from a deep layer by cold upwelling water. This finding suggests that the area we studied was a bottom-up control pelagic ecosystem. Upwelling brings nutrient-rich water to the euphotic zone and promotes bacterial growth, resulting in increased picoplankton biomass, which increases the consumption rate of nanoflagellates. The net growth rate (growth rate-grazing rate) becomes negative when the densities of bacteria and Synechococcus spp. are lower than the threshold values. The interaction between growth and grazing will limit the abundance of bacteria (105-106 cells ml-1) and Synechococcus spp. (104-105 cells ml-1) within a narrow range. Meanwhile, 61% of bacteria production and 54% of Synechococcus spp. production are transported to a higher trophic level (nanoflagellate), though the cascade effect might cause an underestimation of both percentages of transported carbon. Based on the successive size-fractionation experiments, we estimated that the predation values were underestimated and that the diet of nanoflagellates is composed of 64% bacteria and 36% Synechococcus spp.

  20. The database on transgenic luminescent microorganisms as an instrument of studying a microbial component of closed ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyandin, A. N.; Lankin, Y. P.; Kargatova, T. V.; Popova, L. Y.; Pechurkin, N. S.

    Luminescent transgenic microorganisms are widely used for study of microbial communities' functioning including closed ones. Bioluminescence is of high sensitive to effects of different environmental factors. Integration of lux-genes into different metabolic ways allows studying many aspects of microorganisms' life permitting to carry out measurements in situ. There is much information about applications of bioluminescent bacteria in different researches. But for effective using these data their summarizing and accumulation in common source is required. Therefore an information system on characteristics of transgenic microorganisms with cloned lux-genes was created. The database and client software related were developed. A database structure includes information on common characteristics of cloned lux-genes, their sources and properties, on regulation of gene expression in bacterial cells, on dependence of bioluminescence manifestation on biotic, abiotic and anthropogenic environmental factors. The database also can store description of changes in bacterial populations depending on environmental changes. The database created allows storing and using bibliographic information and also links to web sites of world collections of microorganisms. Internet publishing software permitting to open access to the database through the Internet is developed.

  1. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  2. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annabel Meyer

    Full Text Available Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM, intensely used mown pastures (IP and extensively used pastures (EP, respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK. The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  3. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity. PMID:24039974

  4. Matérn thinned Cox processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Ina Trolle; Hahn, Ute

    2016-01-01

    and hard core behaviour can be achieved by applying a dependent Matérn thinning to a Cox process. An exact formula for the intensity of a Matérn thinned shot noise Cox process is derived from the Palm distribution. For the more general class of Matérn thinned Cox processes, formulae for the intensity...

  5. Matérn thinned Cox processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Ina Trolle; Hahn, Ute

    of clustering and hard core behaviour can be achieved by applying a dependent Matérn thinning to a Cox process. An exact formula for the intensity of a Matérn thinned shot noise Cox process is derived from the Palm distribution. For the more general class of Matérn thinned Cox processes, formulae...

  6. High pH microbial ecosystems in a newly discovered, ephemeral, serpentinizing fluid seep at Yanartaş (Chimera), Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer-Dombard, D'Arcy R; Woycheese, Kristin M; Yargıçoğlu, Erin N; Cardace, Dawn; Shock, Everett L; Güleçal-Pektas, Yasemin; Temel, Mustafa

    2014-01-01

    Gas seeps emanating from Yanartaş (Chimera), Turkey, have been documented for thousands of years. Active serpentinization produces hydrogen and a range of carbon gases that may provide fuel for life. Here we report a newly discovered, ephemeral fluid seep emanating from a small gas vent at Yanartaş. Fluids and biofilms were sampled at the source and points downstream. We describe site conditions, and provide microbiological data in the form of enrichment cultures, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of solids, and PCR screens of nitrogen cycle genes. Source fluids are pH 11.95, with a Ca:Mg of ~200, and sediments under the ignited gas seep measure 60°C. Collectively, these data suggest the fluid is the product of active serpentinization at depth. Source sediments are primarily calcite and alteration products (chlorite and montmorillonite). Downstream, biofilms are mixed with montmorillonite. SEM shows biofilms distributed homogeneously with carbonates. Organic carbon accounts for 60% of the total carbon at the source, decreasing downstream to <15% as inorganic carbon precipitates. δ(13)C ratios of the organic carbon fraction of solids are depleted (-25 to -28‰) relative to the carbonates (-11 to -20‰). We conclude that heterotrophic processes are dominant throughout the surface ecosystem, and carbon fixation may be key down channel. δ(15)N ratios ~3‰, and absence of nifH in extracted DNA suggest that nitrogen fixation is not occurring in sediments. However, the presence of narG and nirS at most locations and in enrichments indicates genomic potential for nitrate and nitrite reduction. This small seep with shallow run-off is likely ephemeral, but abundant preserved microterracettes in the outflow and the surrounding area suggest it has been present for some time. This site and others like it present an opportunity for investigations of preserved deep biosphere signatures, and subsurface-surface interactions.

  7. High pH microbial ecosystems in a newly discovered, ephemeral, serpentinizing fluid seep at Yanartaş (Chimaera, Turkey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D'Arcy Renee Meyer-Dombard

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Gas seeps emanating from ophiolites at Yanartaş (Chimaera, Turkey, have been documented for thousands of years. Active serpentinization produces hydrogen and a range of carbon gases that may provide fuel for life. Here we report a newly discovered, ephemeral fluid seep emanating from a small gas vent at Yanartaş. Fluids and biofilms were sampled at the source and points downstream. We describe site conditions, and provide microbiological data in the form of enrichment cultures, scanning electron microscopy (SEM, carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of solids, and PCR screens of nitrogen cycle genes. Source fluids are pH 11.95, with a Ca:Mg of ~200, and sediments under the ignited gas seep measure 60°C. Collectively, these data suggest the fluid is the product of active serpentinization at depth. Source sediments are primarily calcite and alteration products (chlorite and montmorillonite. Downstream, biofilms are mixed with montmorillonite. SEM shows biofilms distributed homogeneously with carbonates. Organic carbon accounts for 60% of the total carbon at the source, decreasing downstream to <15% as inorganic carbon precipitates. δ13C ratios of the organic carbon fraction of solids are depleted (−25 to −28 ‰ relative to the carbonates (−11 to −20‰. We conclude that heterotrophic processes are dominant throughout the surface ecosystem, and carbon fixation may be key down channel. δ15N ratios ~ 3‰, and absence of nifH in extracted DNA suggest that nitrogen fixation is not occurring in sediments. However, the presence of narG and nirS at most locations and in enrichments indicates genomic potential for nitrate and nitrite reduction. This small seep with shallow run-off is likely ephemeral, but abundant preserved microterracettes in the outflow and the surrounding area suggest it has been present for some time. This site and others like it present an opportunity for investigations of preserved deep biosphere signatures, and

  8. Unusually negative nitrogen isotopic compositions (δ15N) of mangroves and lichens in an oligotrophic, microbially-influenced ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogel, M. L.; Wooller, M. J.; Cheeseman, J.; Smallwood, B. J.; Roberts, Q.; Romero, I.; Meyers, M. J.

    2008-12-01

    Extremes in δ15N values in mangrove tissues and lichens (range =+4 to -22‰) were measured from a mangrove forest ecosystem located on Twin Cays, offshore islands in Belize, Central America. The N isotopic compositions and concentrations of NH4+/NH3 in porewater, rainwater, and atmospheric ammonia, and the δ15N of lichens, mangrove leaves, roots, stems, and wood were examined to study the biogeochemical processes important for establishing these unusual N isotopic ratios. Dwarfed Rhizophora mangle trees had the most negative δ15N, whereas fringing Rhizophora trees, the most positive δ15N values. Porewater ammonium concentrations had little relationship to N isotopic fractionation in mangrove tissues. In dwarfed mangroves, the δ15N of fine and coarse roots were 6-9‰ more positive than leaf tissue from the same tree, indicating different sources of N for root and leaf tissues. When P was added to dwarfed mangrove trees without added N, δ15N increased within one year from -12‰ to -2‰, approaching the δ15N of porewater ammonium (δ15N=+4‰). Isotopically depleted ammonia in the atmosphere (δ15N=-19‰) and in rainwater (δ15N=-10‰) were found on Twin Cays. We propose that foliar uptake of these atmospheric sources by P-stressed, dwarfed mangrove trees and lichens can explain their very negative δ15N values. In environments where P is limiting for growth, uptake of atmospheric N by Rhizophora mangle may be an important adaptive strategy.

  9. Unusually negative nitrogen isotopic compositions (δ15N of mangroves and lichens in an oligotrophic, microbially-influenced ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Romero

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Extremes in δ15N values in mangrove tissues and lichens (range =+4 to −22‰ were measured from a mangrove forest ecosystem located on Twin Cays, offshore islands in Belize, Central America. The N isotopic compositions and concentrations of NH4+/NH3 in porewater, rainwater, and atmospheric ammonia, and the δ15N of lichens, mangrove leaves, roots, stems, and wood were examined to study the biogeochemical processes important for establishing these unusual N isotopic ratios. Dwarfed Rhizophora mangle trees had the most negative δ15N, whereas fringing Rhizophora trees, the most positive δ15N values. Porewater ammonium concentrations had little relationship to N isotopic fractionation in mangrove tissues. In dwarfed mangroves, the δ15N of fine and coarse roots were 6–9‰ more positive than leaf tissue from the same tree, indicating different sources of N for root and leaf tissues. When P was added to dwarfed mangrove trees without added N, δ15N increased within one year from −12‰ to −2‰, approaching the δ15N of porewater ammonium (δ15N=+4‰. Isotopically depleted ammonia in the atmosphere (δ15N=−19‰ and in rainwater (δ15N=−10‰ were found on Twin Cays. We propose that foliar uptake of these atmospheric sources by P-stressed, dwarfed mangrove trees and lichens can explain their very negative δ15N values. In environments where P is limiting for growth, uptake of atmospheric N by Rhizophora mangle may be an important adaptive strategy.

  10. Projet ViscoMatData

    OpenAIRE

    ENGUENG,; ABIB,

    2009-01-01

    ViscoMatData est un logiciel extranet d'une gestion d'une base de données multilingue sur les propriétés des matériaux viscoélastiques des chaussées. Ce rapport constitue l'un des livrables de la deuxième partie de ce projet. Pour présenter le travail réalisé durant cette deuxième partie, nous commencerons par faire un rappel sur le contexte du projet et le projet et le projet lui-même. Puis, nous nous intéresserons à l'architecture mise en place pour le développement, la réalisation et nous ...

  11. Preface - BraMat 2017

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munteanu, Daniel

    2018-04-01

    The main goal of the BraMat 2017 Conference was, as for the previous editions, to stimulate an international exchange of information in the field of materials science and engineering and to establish future research directions. The main topics of this edition included: ​Metallic materials (Section I), Biomaterials (Section II), Ceramics, polymers and composite materials (Section III), Surface engineering (Section IV), Nanomaterials (Section V), Welding engineering (Section VI), Safety engineering (Section VII), and Magnesium science and engineering (Section VIII).

  12. Safety Protocols at MAT Lab

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wadawale, A.; Chopade, S.; Chaudhury, K.; Pal, M.K.; Kushwah, N.; Shah, A.Y.; Kedarnath, G.; Priyadarsini, K.I.; Jain, V.K.

    2017-01-01

    MAT Lab of Chemistry Division, BARC (A Class 10000 Clean room laboratory) has been in operation since 2004 for process development of ultra-purification of several strategically important materials (Ga, As, Sb, In, CsI and Ge) and synthesis of their organometallic compounds. Of these, work related to purification of As, Sb, and In, has been discontinued. Due to high toxicity and pyrophoric nature of some of the compounds, stringent safety regulations were formulated and subsequently implemented by the division

  13. Foam-mat drying technology: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, Z; Jideani, V A

    2017-08-13

    This article reviews various aspects of foam-mat drying such as foam-mat drying processing technique, main additives used for foam-mat drying, foam-mat drying of liquid and solid foods, quality characteristics of foam-mat dried foods, and economic and technical benefits for employing foam-mat drying. Foam-mat drying process is an alternative method that allows the removal of water from liquid materials and pureed materials. In this drying process, a liquid material is converted into foam that is stable by being whipped after adding an edible foaming agent. The stable foam is then spread out in sheet or mat and dried by using hot air (40-90°C) at atmospheric pressure. Methyl cellulose (0.25-2%), egg white (3-20%), maltodextrin (0.5-05%), and gum Arabic (2-9%) are the commonly utilized additives for the foam-mat drying process at the given range, either combined together for their effectiveness or individual effect. The foam-mat drying process is suitable for heat sensitive, viscous, and sticky products that cannot be dried using other forms of drying methods such as spray drying because of the state of product. More interest has developed for foam-mat drying because of the simplicity, cost effectiveness, high speed drying, and improved product quality it provides.

  14. Microbial Population Dynamics and Ecosystem Functions of Anoxic/Aerobic Granular Sludge in Sequencing Batch Reactors Operated at Different Organic Loading Rates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enikö Szabó

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The granular sludge process is an effective, low-footprint alternative to conventional activated sludge wastewater treatment. The architecture of the microbial granules allows the co-existence of different functional groups, e.g., nitrifying and denitrifying communities, which permits compact reactor design. However, little is known about the factors influencing community assembly in granular sludge, such as the effects of reactor operation strategies and influent wastewater composition. Here, we analyze the development of the microbiomes in parallel laboratory-scale anoxic/aerobic granular sludge reactors operated at low (0.9 kg m-3d-1, moderate (1.9 kg m-3d-1 and high (3.7 kg m-3d-1 organic loading rates (OLRs and the same ammonium loading rate (0.2 kg NH4-N m-3d-1 for 84 days. Complete removal of organic carbon and ammonium was achieved in all three reactors after start-up, while the nitrogen removal (denitrification efficiency increased with the OLR: 0% at low, 38% at moderate, and 66% at high loading rate. The bacterial communities at different loading rates diverged rapidly after start-up and showed less than 50% similarity after 6 days, and below 40% similarity after 84 days. The three reactor microbiomes were dominated by different genera (mainly Meganema, Thauera, Paracoccus, and Zoogloea, but these genera have similar ecosystem functions of EPS production, denitrification and polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA storage. Many less abundant but persistent taxa were also detected within these functional groups. The bacterial communities were functionally redundant irrespective of the loading rate applied. At steady-state reactor operation, the identity of the core community members was rather stable, but their relative abundances changed considerably over time. Furthermore, nitrifying bacteria were low in relative abundance and diversity in all reactors, despite their large contribution to nitrogen turnover. The results suggest that the OLR has

  15. Community ecology of hot spring cyanobacterial mats: predominant populations and their functional potential

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klatt, C. G.; Wood, J. M.; Rusch, D. B.

    2011-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mat communities from 60¿°C and 65¿°C regions in the effluent channels of Mushroom and Octopus Springs (Yellowstone National Park, WY, USA) were investigated by shotgun metagenomic sequencing. Analyses of assembled metagenomic sequences resolved six dominant chlorophototrophic...

  16. Biomassa microbiana e matéria orgânica leve em solos sob sistemas agrícolas orgânico e convencional na Chapada da Ibiapaba - CE Microbial biomass and light organic matter in soils under organic and conventional systems in the Chapada da Ibiapaba - CE, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Alisson da Silva Xavier

    2006-04-01

    superficial. Os resultados indicaram que o manejo realizado nas áreas sob cultivo orgânico com acerola e pastagem contribuiu para a manutenção e recuperação dos conteúdos de C e N da biomassa microbiana (BMS e da matéria orgânica leve (MOL do solo. Os incrementos e, ou, reduções de C e N nos compartimentos BMS e MOL, comparativamente à área nativa de referência, foram proporcionalmente maiores que os valores obtidos, quando considerados somente os estoques de C orgânico e N totais, principalmente na área sob sistema de cultivo convencional. Isto indica serem tais compartimentos sensíveis às mudanças no estado da matéria orgânica de acordo com o manejo. Os sistemas de manejo orgânico e pastagem constituem estratégias de manejo importantes que devem ser consideradas para a conservação e, ou, aumento da matéria orgânica e, conseqüentemente, para a melhoria da qualidade do solo e implementação do seqüestro de C na região da Chapada da Ibiapaba, Ceará.Several studies reveal that the substitution of native vegetation by agricultural systems results in decreases in the C and N soil organic matter pools. Aiming to test the hypothesis that management practices favoring organic residue inputs promote increases in the most sensitive organic matter pools, the present study intended to study areas of an organic management system of acerola fruit production and a conventional cultivation area cropped with carrot and beet in crop rotation with corn. These areas belong to the Farm Amway Nutrilite do Brasil and Central Pivot Farmers Association, respectively, both in the Chapada da Ibiapaba, Ceará State, Brazil. A pasture area on the former was also selected. Areas under native forest, located near the cultivation areas, were sampled. Samples of a Quartzipsamment soil were collected from the depths 0-5 and 5-15 cm. The total soil organic C, microbial C and N (Cmic and Nmic, light organic matter C and N (Cmol and Nmol and the mineralizable C were determined

  17. Alterações na matéria orgânica e na biomassa microbiana em solo de mata natural submetido a diferentes manejos Changes in organic matter and in microbial biomass of a natural forest soil under different management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MILTON MARCHIORI JÚNIOR

    2000-06-01

    Full Text Available Avaliou-se, em um Latossolo Roxo, o efeito de diferentes formas de manejo do solo sobre a matéria orgânica do solo e na biomassa microbiana. Os tratamentos usados foram: mata natural; mata natural até 1976 e café até 1994 (amostragem na projeção da copa e na entrelinha; mata natural até 1976, café até 1991 e milho até 1994; mata natural até 1940, café até 1960, citros até 1978, e cana-de-açúcar até 1994 (amostragem na linha e na entrelinha. A mata natural apresentou os maiores valores de C orgânico no solo e na fração humina e os menores valores foram obtidos nas áreas com cana-de-açúcar, que apresentaram os maiores valores de C microbiano em relação à mata natural. O uso agrícola do solo aumentou a porcentagem de C orgânico na forma de ácidos húmicos e fúlvicos, em relação à mata natural. Em geral, o solo apresentou mais de 74% do C orgânico na forma de húmus residual.The effect of soil management on forms of carbon and microbial biomass was studied in a Typic Euthortox soil. The treatments tested were: natural forest; natural forest till 1976 and coffee till 1994 (sampling on the shoot projection and between lines ; natural forest till 1976, coffee till 1991 and corn till 1994; natural forest till 1940, coffee till 1960, citrus till 1978 and sugar cane till 1994 (sampling on the planting line and between lines . The treatment with sugar cane presented the largest values of microbial carbon in relation to the natural forest. The agricultural management of soil increased the percentage of organic carbon in humic and fulvic acids forms. The soil presented more than 74% of organic carbon in the form of residual humus.

  18. Microbial Communities: Tracing Growth Processes from Antarctic Lakes to Early Earth to Other Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumner, D. Y.

    2014-12-01

    Life in the Universe is dominated by microbes: they are numerically the most abundant cells in our bodies and in Earth's biosphere, and they are the only life that might be present elsewhere in our solar system. Life beyond our solar system could include macroscopic organisms, but everything we understand about the origin of life suggests it must start with microbes. Thus, understanding microbial ecosystems, in the absence of macroscopic organisms, is critical to understanding early life on Earth and life elsewhere in the Universe - if it exists. But what are the general principles of microbial ecology in the absence of predation? What happens when each cell is a chemical factory that can swap among metabolic processes in response to environmental and emergent cues? Geobiologists and astrobiologists are addressing these questions in diverse ways using both Earth's modern biosphere and its fossil record. Modern microbial communities in shallow, ice-covered lakes, Antarctica (Fig.), provide a model for high productivity microbial ecosystems with no to low predation. In these lakes, photosynthetic communities create macroscopic pinnacles and domes, sometime lithified into stromatolites. They provide an ecological, geochemical and morphological model for Precambrian microbial communities in low sedimentation, low current environments. Insights from these communities include new growth processes for ancient mats, especially some that grew prior to the oxidation of Earth's atmosphere. The diversity of biosignatures created in these communities also provides context for models of life under ice elsewhere in our solar system such as paleolakes on Mars and on icy moons. Results from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team document formerly habitable fluvial and lacustrine environments. Lacustrine environments, in particular, are favorable for preserving biosignatures, and continued investigations by MSL will provide a deeper understanding of the duration of habitable

  19. MatLab Script and Functional Programming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaykhian, Gholam Ali

    2007-01-01

    MatLab Script and Functional Programming: MatLab is one of the most widely used very high level programming languages for scientific and engineering computations. It is very user-friendly and needs practically no formal programming knowledge. Presented here are MatLab programming aspects and not just the MatLab commands for scientists and engineers who do not have formal programming training and also have no significant time to spare for learning programming to solve their real world problems. Specifically provided are programs for visualization. The MatLab seminar covers the functional and script programming aspect of MatLab language. Specific expectations are: a) Recognize MatLab commands, script and function. b) Create, and run a MatLab function. c) Read, recognize, and describe MatLab syntax. d) Recognize decisions, loops and matrix operators. e) Evaluate scope among multiple files, and multiple functions within a file. f) Declare, define and use scalar variables, vectors and matrices.

  20. The limnic ecosystems at Forsmark and Laxemar-Simpevarp

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andersson, Eva

    2010-12-01

    The overall objective of this report is to describe the limnic ecosystems at Forsmark and Laxemar- Simpevarp, identify important processes in a radionuclide perspective and provide a description of the radionuclide model for the biosphere used in SR-Site. The report includes a thorough description of the lakes and streams in Forsmark and Laxemar- Simpevarp and covers the following areas: catchment area characteristics, hydrology, climate, sediment characteristics, physical characteristics of streams, habitat distribution in lakes, biotic components (biomass as well as production), water chemistry, and comparison with other lakes and streams in the region, and a historical description. Ecosystem models for carbon and mass balances for a number of elements have been calculated to further improve the understanding of the lake ecosystems. Important processes for the safety assessment are described and evaluated in the report. A separate chapter is included to specifically describe how and where these processes are included in the radionuclide model. The radionuclide model is described and parameterisation and guidance to parameter calculation is provided. The last chapter of the report provides a summary of the knowledge of the limnic systems at the two areas. The Forsmark regional model area contains more than 25 permanent lakes and pools. All lakes are small and shallow, and are characterized as oligotrophic hardwater lakes. Calcareous soils in the area give rise to high calcium concentrations in the surface water, which in turn leads to high pH and low nutrient concentrations in water as phosphorus often co-precipitates with calcium. The shallow depths and moderate water colour permit photosynthesis in the entire benthic habitat of the lakes, and the bottoms are covered by dense stands of the macroalgae Chara sp. Moreover, many of the lakes also have a thick microbial mat (>10 cm), consisting of cyanobacteria and diatoms, in the benthic habitat. Fish in the lakes

  1. The limnic ecosystems at Forsmark and Laxemar-Simpevarp

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andersson, Eva

    2010-12-15

    The overall objective of this report is to describe the limnic ecosystems at Forsmark and Laxemar- Simpevarp, identify important processes in a radionuclide perspective and provide a description of the radionuclide model for the biosphere used in SR-Site. The report includes a thorough description of the lakes and streams in Forsmark and Laxemar- Simpevarp and covers the following areas: catchment area characteristics, hydrology, climate, sediment characteristics, physical characteristics of streams, habitat distribution in lakes, biotic components (biomass as well as production), water chemistry, and comparison with other lakes and streams in the region, and a historical description. Ecosystem models for carbon and mass balances for a number of elements have been calculated to further improve the understanding of the lake ecosystems. Important processes for the safety assessment are described and evaluated in the report. A separate chapter is included to specifically describe how and where these processes are included in the radionuclide model. The radionuclide model is described and parameterisation and guidance to parameter calculation is provided. The last chapter of the report provides a summary of the knowledge of the limnic systems at the two areas. The Forsmark regional model area contains more than 25 permanent lakes and pools. All lakes are small and shallow, and are characterized as oligotrophic hardwater lakes. Calcareous soils in the area give rise to high calcium concentrations in the surface water, which in turn leads to high pH and low nutrient concentrations in water as phosphorus often co-precipitates with calcium. The shallow depths and moderate water colour permit photosynthesis in the entire benthic habitat of the lakes, and the bottoms are covered by dense stands of the macroalgae Chara sp. Moreover, many of the lakes also have a thick microbial mat (>10 cm), consisting of cyanobacteria and diatoms, in the benthic habitat. Fish in the lakes

  2. Ecosystem and physiological scales of microbial responses to nutrients in a detritus-based stream: results of a 5-year continuous enrichment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller Suberkropp; Vladislav Gulis; Amy D. Rosemond; Jonathan Benstead

    2010-01-01

    Our study examined the response of leaf detritus–associated microorganisms (both bacteria and fungi) to a 5-yr continuous nutrient enrichment of a forested headwater stream. Leaf litter dominates detritus inputs to such streams and, on a system wide scale, serves as the key substrate for microbial colonization. We determined physiological responses as microbial biomass...

  3. Electrospinning of microbial polyester for cell culture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kwon, Oh Hyeong [Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Kumoh National Institute of Technology, 1 Yangho-dong, Gumi, Gyeongbuk 730-701 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Ik Sang [Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Kumoh National Institute of Technology, 1 Yangho-dong, Gumi, Gyeongbuk 730-701 (Korea, Republic of); Ko, Young-Gwang [Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Kumoh National Institute of Technology, 1 Yangho-dong, Gumi, Gyeongbuk 730-701 (Korea, Republic of); Meng, Wan [Department of Polymer Science, Kyungpook National University, 1370 Sankyuk-dong, Buk-gu, Daegu 702-701 (Korea, Republic of); Jung, Kyung-Hye [Department of Polymer Science, Kyungpook National University, 1370 Sankyuk-dong, Buk-gu, Daegu 702-701 (Korea, Republic of); Kang, Inn-Kyu [Department of Polymer Science, Kyungpook National University, 1370 Sankyuk-dong, Buk-gu, Daegu 702-701 (Korea, Republic of); Ito, Yoshihiro [Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology, KSP East 309, Sakado 3-2-1, Takatsu-ku, Kawasaki 213-0012 (Japan)

    2007-03-01

    Biodegradable and biocompatible poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV), a copolymer of microbial polyester, was fabricated as a nanofibrous mat by electrospinning. The specific surface area and the porosity of electrospun PHBV nanofibrous mat were determined. When the mechanical properties of flat film and electrospun PHBV nanofibrous mats were investigated, both the tensile modulus and strength of electrospun PHBV were less than those of cast PHBV film. However, the elongation ratio of nanofiber mat was higher than that of the cast film. The structure of electrospun nanofibers using PHBV-trifluoroethanol solutions depended on the solution concentrations. When x-ray diffraction patterns of bulk PHBV before and after electrospinning were compared, the crystallinity of PHBV was not significantly affected by the electrospinning process. Chondrocytes adhered and grew on the electrospun PHBV nanofibrous mat better than on the cast PHBV film. Therefore, the electrospun PHBV was considered to be suitable for cell culture.

  4. Investigation of VEGGIE Root Mat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subbiah, Arun M.

    2013-01-01

    VEGGIE is a plant growth facility that utilizes the phenomenon of capillary action as its primary watering system. A cloth made of Meta Aramid fiber, known as Nomex is used to wick water up from a reservoir to the bottom of the plants roots. This root mat system is intended to be low maintenance with no moving parts and requires minimal crew interface time. Unfortunately, the water wicking rates are inconsistent throughout the plant life cycle, thus causing plants to die. Over-wicking of water occurs toward the beginning of the cycle, while under-wicking occurs toward the middle. This inconsistency of wicking has become a major issue, drastically inhibiting plant growth. The primary objective is to determine the root cause of the inconsistent wicking through experimental testing. Suspect causes for the capillary water column to break include: a vacuum effect due to a negative pressure gradient in the water reservoir, contamination of material due to minerals in water and back wash from plant fertilizer, induced air bubbles while using syringe refill method, and material limitations of Nomex's ability to absorb and retain water. Experimental testing will be conducted to systematically determine the cause of under and over-wicking. Pressure gages will be used to determine pressure drop during the course of the plant life cycle and during the water refill process. A debubbler device will be connected to a root mat in order to equalize pressure inside the reservoir. Moisture and evaporation tests will simultaneously be implemented to observe moisture content and wicking rates over the course of a plant cycle. Water retention tests will be performed using strips of Nomex to determine materials wicking rates, porosity, and absorptivity. Through these experimental tests, we will have a better understanding of material properties of Nomex, as well as determine the root cause of water column breakage. With consistent test results, a forward plan can be achieved to resolve

  5. In silico approaches to study mass and energy flows in microbial consortia: a syntrophic case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mallette Natasha

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Three methods were developed for the application of stoichiometry-based network analysis approaches including elementary mode analysis to the study of mass and energy flows in microbial communities. Each has distinct advantages and disadvantages suitable for analyzing systems with different degrees of complexity and a priori knowledge. These approaches were tested and compared using data from the thermophilic, phototrophic mat communities from Octopus and Mushroom Springs in Yellowstone National Park (USA. The models were based on three distinct microbial guilds: oxygenic phototrophs, filamentous anoxygenic phototrophs, and sulfate-reducing bacteria. Two phases, day and night, were modeled to account for differences in the sources of mass and energy and the routes available for their exchange. Results The in silico models were used to explore fundamental questions in ecology including the prediction of and explanation for measured relative abundances of primary producers in the mat, theoretical tradeoffs between overall productivity and the generation of toxic by-products, and the relative robustness of various guild interactions. Conclusion The three modeling approaches represent a flexible toolbox for creating cellular metabolic networks to study microbial communities on scales ranging from cells to ecosystems. A comparison of the three methods highlights considerations for selecting the one most appropriate for a given microbial system. For instance, communities represented only by metagenomic data can be modeled using the pooled method which analyzes a community's total metabolic potential without attempting to partition enzymes to different organisms. Systems with extensive a priori information on microbial guilds can be represented using the compartmentalized technique, employing distinct control volumes to separate guild-appropriate enzymes and metabolites. If the complexity of a compartmentalized network creates an

  6. The limnic ecosystems at Forsmark and Laxemar-Simpevarp. Site descriptive modelling SDM-Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norden, Sara; Soederbaeck, Bjoern; Andersson, Eva

    2008-11-01

    The overall objective of this report is to provide a thorough description of the limnic ecosystems at both Forsmark and Laxemar-Simpevarp. This information may be used in the Safety Assessment and as a basis for the Environmental Impact Assessment. Three aims were set up for the report: 1) to characterize and describe the limnic ecosystems today and in the past in the Forsmark and Laxemar-Simpevarp areas and compare these ecosystems with limnic ecosystems in other areas; 2) to evaluate and visualize major pools, fluxes and sinks of elements within the limnic ecosystems; and finally 3) to describe human impact on the limnic ecosystems. The report includes a thorough description of the lakes and streams in Forsmark and Laxemar-Simpevarp and covers the following areas: catchment area characteristics, hydrology, climate, sediment characteristics, physical characteristics of streams, habitat distribution in lakes, biotic components, water chemistry, comparisons with other lakes and streams in the region, and a historical description. Ecosystem models for carbon and mass balances for a number of elements have been calculated to further improve the understanding of the lake ecosystems. Important processes for the safety assessment are described and evaluated in the report. The Forsmark regional model area contains more than 20 permanent lakes and pools. All lakes are small and shallow, and are characterized as oligotrophic hardwater lakes. Calcareous soils in the area give rise to high calcium concentrations in the surface water, which in turn leads to high pH and low nutrient concentrations in water as phosphorus often co-precipitates with calcium. The shallow depths and moderate water colour permit photosynthesis in the entire benthic habitat of the lakes, and the bottoms are covered by dense stands of the macroalgae Chara sp. Moreover, many of the lakes also have a thick microbial mat (>10 cm), consisting of cyanobacteria and diatoms, in the benthic habitat. Fish in

  7. Effect of salinity changes on the bacterial diversity, photosynthesis and oxygen consumption of cyanobacterial mats from an intertidal flat of the Arabian Gulf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abed, Raeid M M; Kohls, Katharina; de Beer, Dirk

    2007-06-01

    The effects of salinity fluctuation on bacterial diversity, rates of gross photosynthesis (GP) and oxygen consumption in the light (OCL) and in the dark (OCD) were investigated in three submerged cyanobacterial mats from a transect on an intertidal flat. The transect ran 1 km inland from the low water mark along an increasingly extreme habitat with respect to salinity. The response of GP, OCL and OCD in each sample to various salinities (65 per thousand, 100 per thousand, 150 per thousand and 200 per thousand) were compared. The obtained sequences and the number of unique operational taxonomic units showed clear differences in the mats' bacterial composition. While cyanobacteria decreased from the lower to the upper tidal mat, other bacterial groups such as Chloroflexus and Cytophaga/Flavobacteria/Bacteriodetes showed an opposite pattern with the highest dominance in the middle and upper tidal mats respectively. Gross photosynthesis and OCL at the ambient salinities of the mats decreased from the lower to the upper tidal zone. All mats, regardless of their tidal location, exhibited a decrease in areal GP, OCL and OCD rates at salinities > 100 per thousand. The extent of inhibition of these processes at higher salinities suggests an increase in salt adaptation of the mats microorganisms with distance from the low water line. We conclude that the resilience of microbial mats towards different salinity regimes on intertidal flats is accompanied by adjustment of the diversity and function of their microbial communities.

  8. The limnic ecosystems at Forsmark and Laxemar-Simpevarp. Site descriptive modelling SDM-Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Norden, Sara; Soederbaeck, Bjoern [Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co., Stockholm (Sweden); Andersson, Eva [SWECO, Stockholm (Sweden)

    2008-11-15

    The overall objective of this report is to provide a thorough description of the limnic ecosystems at both Forsmark and Laxemar-Simpevarp. This information may be used in the Safety Assessment and as a basis for the Environmental Impact Assessment. Three aims were set up for the report: 1) to characterize and describe the limnic ecosystems today and in the past in the Forsmark and Laxemar-Simpevarp areas and compare these ecosystems with limnic ecosystems in other areas; 2) to evaluate and visualize major pools, fluxes and sinks of elements within the limnic ecosystems; and finally 3) to describe human impact on the limnic ecosystems. The report includes a thorough description of the lakes and streams in Forsmark and Laxemar-Simpevarp and covers the following areas: catchment area characteristics, hydrology, climate, sediment characteristics, physical characteristics of streams, habitat distribution in lakes, biotic components, water chemistry, comparisons with other lakes and streams in the region, and a historical description. Ecosystem models for carbon and mass balances for a number of elements have been calculated to further improve the understanding of the lake ecosystems. Important processes for the safety assessment are described and evaluated in the report. The Forsmark regional model area contains more than 20 permanent lakes and pools. All lakes are small and shallow, and are characterized as oligotrophic hardwater lakes. Calcareous soils in the area give rise to high calcium concentrations in the surface water, which in turn leads to high pH and low nutrient concentrations in water as phosphorus often co-precipitates with calcium. The shallow depths and moderate water colour permit photosynthesis in the entire benthic habitat of the lakes, and the bottoms are covered by dense stands of the macroalgae Chara sp. Moreover, many of the lakes also have a thick microbial mat (>10 cm), consisting of cyanobacteria and diatoms, in the benthic habitat. Fish in

  9. Lipid biomarkers for bacterial ecosystems: studies of cultured organisms, hydrothermal environments and ancient sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summons, R. E.; Jahnke, L. L.; Simoneit, B. R.

    1996-01-01

    This paper forms part of our long-term goal of using molecular structure and carbon isotopic signals preserved as hydrocarbons in ancient sediments to improve understanding of the early evolution of Earth's surface environment. We are particularly concerned with biomarkers which are informative about aerobiosis. Here, we combine bacterial biochemistry with the organic geochemistry of contemporary and ancient hydrothermal ecosystems to construct models for the nature, behaviour and preservation potential of primitive microbial communities. We use a combined molecular and isotopic approach to characterize lipids produced by cultured bacteria and test a variety of culture conditions which affect their biosynthesis. This information is then compared with lipid mixtures isolated from contemporary hot springs and evaluated for the kinds of chemical change that would accompany burial and incorporation into the sedimentary record. In this study we have shown that growth temperature does not appear to alter isotopic fractionation within the lipid classes produced by a methanotropic bacterium. We also found that cultured cyanobacteria biosynthesize diagnostic methylalkanes and dimethylalkanes with the latter only made when growing under low pCO2. In an examination of a microbial mat sample from Octopus Spring, Yellowstone National Park (USA), we could readily identify chemical structures with 13C contents which were diagnostic for the phototrophic organisms such as cyanobacteria and Chloroflexus. We could not, however, find molecular evidence for operation of a methane cycle in the particular mat samples we studied.

  10. Development of kenaf mat for slope stabilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, M. M.; Manaf, M. B. H. Ab; Zainol, N. Z.

    2017-09-01

    This study focusing on the ability of kenaf mat to act as reinforcement to laterite compared to the conventional geosynthetic in term of stabilizing the slope. Kenaf mat specimens studied in this paper are made up from natural kenaf fiber with 3mm thickness, 150mm length and 20mm width. With the same size of specimens, geosynthetic that obtain from the industry are being tested for both direct shear and tensile tests. Plasticity index of the soil sample used is equal to 13 which indicate that the soil is slightly plastic. Result shows that the friction angle of kenaf mat is higher compared to friction between soil particles itself. In term of resistance to tensile load, the tensile strength of kenaf mat is 0.033N/mm2 which is lower than the tensile strength of geosynthetic.

  11. Determination of microbial versus root-produced CO2 in an agricultural ecosystem by means of δ13CO2 measurements in soil air

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schüßler, Wolfram; Neubert, Rolf; Levin, Ingeborg; Fischer, Natalie; Sonntag, Christian

    2000-01-01

    The amounts of microbial and root-respired CO2 in a maize/winter wheat agricultural system in south western Germany were investigated by measurements of the CO2 mixing ratio and the 13C/12C ratio in soil air. CO2 fluxes at the soil surface for the period of investigation (1993–1995) were also

  12. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems provides data and information on the extent and classification of ecosystems circa 2000, including coastal,...

  13. Soil organic carbon (SOC) accumulation in rice paddies under long-term agro-ecosystem experiments in southern China - VI. Changes in microbial community structure and respiratory activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, D.; Liu, X.; Liu, Y.; Li, L.; Pan, G.; Crowley, D.; Tippkötter, R.

    2011-02-01

    Biological stabilization within accumulated soil organic carbon (SOC) has not been well understood, while its role in physical and chemical protection as well as of chemical recalcitrance had been addressed in Chinese rice paddies. In this study, topsoil samples were collected and respiratory activity measured in situ following rice harvest under different fertilization treatments of three long-term experimental sites across southern China in 2009. The SOC contents, microbial biomass carbon (SMBC) and nitrogen (SMBN) were analysed using chemical digestion and microbial community structure assessment via clony dilute plate counting methods. While SOC contents were consistently higher under compound chemical fertilization (Comp-Fert) or combined organic and inorganic fertilization (Comb-Fert) compared to N fertilization only (N-Fert), there was significantly higher fungal-bacterial ratio under Comb-Fert than under N-Fert and Comp-Fert. When subtracting the background effect under no fertilization treatment (Non-Fert), the increase both in SMBC and SMBN under fertilization treatment was found very significantly correlated to the increase in SOC over controls across the sites. Also, the ratio of culturable fungal to bacterial population numbers (F/B ratio) was well correlated with soil organic carbon contents in all samples across the sites studied. SOC accumulation favoured a build-up the microbial community with increasing fungal dominance in the rice paddies under fertilization treatments. While soil respiration rates were high under Comb-Fert as a result of enhanced microbial community build-up, the specific soil respiratory activity based on microbial biomass carbon was found in a significantly negatively correlation with the SOC contents for overall samples. Thus, a fungal-dominated microbial community seemed to slow SOC turnover, thereby favouring SOC accumulation under Comp-Fert or under Comb-Fert in the rice paddies. Therefore, the biological stabilization

  14. Microbial composition of biofilms associated with lithifying rubble of Acropora palmata branches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beltrán, Yislem; Cerqueda-García, Daniel; Taş, Neslihan; Thomé, Patricia E; Iglesias-Prieto, Roberto; Falcón, Luisa I

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs are among the most productive ecosystems on the planet, but are rapidly declining due to global-warming-mediated changes in the oceans. Particularly for the Caribbean region, Acropora sp. stony corals have lost ∼80% of their original coverage, resulting in vast extensions of dead coral rubble. We analyzed the microbial composition of biofilms that colonize and lithify dead Acropora palmata rubble in the Mexican Caribbean and identified the microbial assemblages that can persist under scenarios of global change, including high temperature and low pH. Lithifying biofilms have a mineral composition that includes aragonite and magnesium calcite (16 mole% MgCO(3)) and calcite, while the mineral phase corresponding to coral skeleton is basically aragonite. Microbial composition of the lithifying biofilms are different in comparison to surrounding biotopes, including a microbial mat, water column, sediments and live A. palmata microbiome. Significant shifts in biofilm composition were detected in samples incubated in mesocosms. The combined effect of low pH and increased temperature showed a strong effect after two-week incubations for biofilm composition. Findings suggest that lithifying biofilms could remain as a secondary structure on reef rubble possibly impacting the functional role of coral reefs. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Seasonal variations of the composition of microbial biofilms in sandy tidal flats: Focus of fatty acids, pigments and exopolymers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passarelli, Claire; Meziane, Tarik; Thiney, Najet; Boeuf, Dominique; Jesus, Bruno; Ruivo, Mickael; Jeanthon, Christian; Hubas, Cédric

    2015-02-01

    Biofilms, or microbial mats, are common associations of microorganisms in tidal flats; they generally consist of a large diversity of organisms embedded in a matrix of Extracellular Polymeric Substances (EPS). These molecules are mainly composed of carbohydrates and proteins, but their detailed monomer compositions and seasonal variations are currently unknown. Yet this composition determines the numerous roles of biofilms in these systems. This study investigated the changes in composition of carbohydrates in intertidal microbial mats over a year to decipher seasonal variations in biofilms and in varying hydrodynamic conditions. This work also aimed to assess how these compositions are related to microbial assemblages. In this context, natural biofilms whose development was influenced or not by artificial structures mimicking polychaete tubes were sampled monthly for over a year in intertidal flats of the Chausey archipelago. Biofilms were compared through the analysis of their fatty acid and pigment contents, and the monosaccharide composition of their EPS carbohydrates. Carbohydrates from both colloidal and bound EPS contained mainly glucose and, to a lower extent, galactose and mannose but they showed significant differences in their detailed monosaccharide compositions. These two fractions displayed different seasonal evolution, even if glucose accumulated in both fractions in summer; bound EPS only were affected by artificial biogenic structures. Sediment composition in fatty acids and pigments showed that microbial communities were dominated by diatoms and heterotrophic bacteria. Their relative proportions, as well as those of other groups like cryptophytes, changed between times and treatments. The changes in EPS composition were not fully explained by modifications of microbial assemblages but also depended on the processes taking place in sediments and on environmental conditions. These variations of EPS compositions are likely to alter different

  16. Microbial production and consumption of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) in a sea grass (Zostera noltii)-dominated marine intertidal sediment ecosystem (Bassin d'Arcachon, France)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jonkers, HM; van Bergeijk, SA; van Gemerden, H

    The relation between net dimethyl sulfide (DMS) production and changes in near surface (0-5 mm) oxygen concentrations in a sea grass (Zostera noltii Hornem)-covered intertidal sediment ecosystem was examined during a diel cycle. Sediment covered with Zostera was found to be more oxygenated than

  17. Calcium dynamics in microbialite-forming exopolymer-rich mats on the atoll of Kiritimati, Republic of Kiribati, Central Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ionescu, D; Spitzer, S; Reimer, A; Schneider, D; Daniel, R; Reitner, J; de Beer, D; Arp, G

    2015-03-01

    Microbialite-forming microbial mats in a hypersaline lake on the atoll of Kiritimati were investigated with respect to microgradients, bulk water chemistry, and microbial community composition. O2, H2S, and pH microgradients show patterns as commonly observed for phototrophic mats with cyanobacteria-dominated primary production in upper layers, an intermediate purple layer with sulfide oxidation, and anaerobic bottom layers with sulfate reduction. Ca(2+) profiles, however, measured in daylight showed an increase of Ca(2+) with depth in the oxic zone, followed by a sharp decline and low concentrations in anaerobic mat layers. In contrast, dark measurements show a constant Ca(2+) concentration throughout the entire measured depth. This is explained by an oxygen-dependent heterotrophic decomposition of Ca(2+)-binding exopolymers. Strikingly, the daylight maximum in Ca(2+) and subsequent drop coincides with a major zone of aragonite and gypsum precipitation at the transition from the cyanobacterial layer to the purple sulfur bacterial layer. Therefore, we suggest that Ca(2+) binding exopolymers function as Ca(2+) shuttle by their passive downward transport through compression, triggering aragonite precipitation in the mats upon their aerobic microbial decomposition and secondary Ca(2+) release. This precipitation is mediated by phototrophic sulfide oxidizers whose action additionally leads to the precipitation of part of the available Ca(2+) as gypsum. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Investigation of needleless electrospun PAN nanofiber mats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabantina, Lilia; Mirasol, José Rodríguez; Cordero, Tomás; Finsterbusch, Karin; Ehrmann, Andrea

    2018-04-01

    Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) can be spun from a nontoxic solvent (DMSO, dimethyl sulfoxide) and is nevertheless waterproof, opposite to the biopolymers which are spinnable from aqueous solutions. This makes PAN an interesting material for electrospinning nanofiber mats which can be used for diverse biotechnological or medical applications, such as filters, cell growth, wound healing or tissue engineering. On the other hand, PAN is a typical base material for producing carbon nanofibers. Nevertheless, electrospinning PAN necessitates convenient spinning parameters to create nanofibers without too many membranes or agglomerations. Thus we have studied the influence of spinning parameters on the needleless electrospinning process of PAN dissolved in DMSO and the resulting nanofiber mats.

  19. Characterization of Pustular Mats and Related Rivularia-Rich Laminations in Oncoids From the Laguna Negra Lake (Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estela C. Mlewski

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Stromatolites are organo-sedimentary structures that represent some of the oldest records of the early biosphere on Earth. Cyanobacteria are considered as a main component of the microbial mats that are supposed to produce stromatolite-like structures. Understanding the role of cyanobacteria and associated microorganisms on the mineralization processes is critical to better understand what can be preserved in the laminated structure of stromatolites. Laguna Negra (Catamarca, Argentina, a high-altitude hypersaline lake where stromatolites are currently formed, is considered as an analog environment of early Earth. This study aimed at characterizing carbonate precipitation within microbial mats and associated oncoids in Laguna Negra. In particular, we focused on carbonated black pustular mats. By combining Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Laser Microdissection and Whole Genome Amplification, Cloning and Sanger sequencing, and Focused Ion Beam milling for Transmission Electron Microscopy, we showed that carbonate precipitation did not directly initiate on the sheaths of cyanobacterial Rivularia, which dominate in the mat. It occurred via organo-mineralization processes within a large EPS matrix excreted by the diverse microbial consortium associated with Rivularia where diatoms and anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria were particularly abundant. By structuring a large microbial consortium, Rivularia should then favor the formation of organic-rich laminations of carbonates that can be preserved in stromatolites. By using Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy and Synchrotron-based deep UV fluorescence imaging, we compared laminations rich in structures resembling Rivularia to putatively chemically-precipitated laminations in oncoids associated with the mats. We showed that they presented a different mineralogy jointly with a higher content in organic remnants, hence providing some criteria of biogenicity to be searched

  20. Sulfate Reduction and Thiosulfate Transformations in a Cyanobacterial Mat during a Diel Oxygen Cycle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    JØRGENSEN, BB

    1994-01-01

    Bacterial sulfate reduction and transformations of thiosulfate were studied with radiotracers in a Microcoleus chthono-plastes-dominated microbial mat growing in a hypersaline pond at the Red Sea. The study showed how a diel cycle of oxygen evolution affected respiration by sulfate-reducing bacte......Bacterial sulfate reduction and transformations of thiosulfate were studied with radiotracers in a Microcoleus chthono-plastes-dominated microbial mat growing in a hypersaline pond at the Red Sea. The study showed how a diel cycle of oxygen evolution affected respiration by sulfate......-reducing bacteria and the metabolism of thiosulfate through oxidative and reductive pathways. Sulfate reduction occurred in both oxic and anoxic layers of the mat and varied diurnally, apparently according to temperature rather than to oxygen. Time course experiments showed that the radiotracer method...... underestimated sulfate reduction in the oxic zone due to rapid reoxidation of the produced sulfide. Extremely high reduction rates of up to 10 mu mol cm(-3) d(-1) were measured just below the euphotic zone. Although thiosulfate was simultaneously oxidized, reduced and disproportionated by bacteria in all layers...

  1. Diversity of Mat-Forming Fungi in Relation to Soil Properties, Disturbance, and Forest Ecotype at Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M. Trappe

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available In forest ecosystems, fungal mats are functionally important in nutrient and water uptake in litter and wood decomposition processes, in carbon resource allocation, soil weathering and in cycling of soil resources. Fungal mats can occur abundantly in forests and are widely distributed globally. We sampled ponderosa pine/white fir and mountain hemlock/noble fir communities at Crater Lake National Park for mat-forming soil fungi. Fungus collections were identified by DNA sequencing. Thirty-eight mat-forming genotypes were identified; members of the five most common genera (Gautieria, Lepiota, Piloderma, Ramaria, and Rhizopogon comprised 67% of all collections. The mycorrhizal genera Alpova and Lactarius are newly identified as ectomycorrhizal mat-forming taxa, as are the saprotrophic genera Flavoscypha, Gastropila, Lepiota and Xenasmatella. Twelve typical mat forms are illustrated, representing both ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic fungi that were found. Abundance of fungal mats was correlated with higher soil carbon to nitrogen ratios, fine woody debris and needle litter mass in both forest ecotypes. Definitions of fungal mats are discussed, along with some of the challenges in defining what comprises a fungal “mat”.

  2. HiRadMat: materials under scrutiny

    CERN Multimedia

    Anaïs Schaeffer

    2011-01-01

    CERN's new facility, HiRadMat (High Radiation to Materials), which is designed to test materials for the world's future particle accelerators, should be operational and welcoming its first experiments by the end of the year.   The HiRadMat facility, located in the TNC tunnel. The materials used in the LHC and its experiments are exposed to very high-energy particles. The LHC machine experts obviously didn't wait for the first collisions in the world's most powerful accelerator to put the materials through their paces - the equipment was validated following a series of stringent tests. And these tests will get even tougher now, with the arrival of HiRadMat. The tunnel that formerly housed the West Area Neutrino Facility (WANF) has been completely revamped to make way for CERN's latest facility, HiRadMat. Supported by the Radioprotection service, a team from the Engineering (EN) Department handled the dismantling operations from October 2009 to December 2010. "We could only work on disman...

  3. Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem goods and services are the many life-sustaining benefits we receive from nature and contribute to environmental and human health and well-being. Ecosystem-focused research will develop methods to measure ecosystem goods and services.

  4. Chemical changes to leaf litter from trees grown under elevated CO2 and the implications for microbial utilization in a stream ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rier, S. T.; Tuchman, N. C.; Wetzel, R. G.

    2005-01-01

    The effects of elevated carbon dioxide on the chemistry and subsequent response of stream microorganisms growing on leaf litter of three riparian tree species (quaking aspen, white willow and sugar maple) were studied. Results showed that the effects were species-specific, i.e. aspen leaves contained high concentrations of lignin, maple leafs contained higher concentrations of soluble phenolic compounds and willow leaves contained higher concentrations of carbohydrate-bound condensed tannins. Initially, the higher concentrations of soluble phenolic compounds in maple leaves were rapidly leached in stream water, but overall, the impact of altered leaf chemistry on riparian trees grown under elevated carbon dioxide was clearly variable; no strongly suppressed microbial activity during stream incubation was observed. Any evidence of suppression observed, was species-specific. 49 refs., 2 tabs., 3 figs

  5. Thermodynamics and phase transformations the selected works of Mats Hillert

    CERN Document Server

    Lilensten, Jean

    2006-01-01

    This book is a compendium of Mat Hillert's publications. Mat Hillert is a world specialist in metal alloy at the origin of a universal computing code used to calculate the diagrams of phase. This work is in English.

  6. Siwonhan-mat: The third taste of Korean foods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soon Ah Kang

    2016-03-01

    Conclusion: Siwonhan-mat is a unique sensation found in Korean food. Understanding siwonhan-mat is a key to learning about Korean food and its food culture. Therefore, this paper serves an important role in understanding Korean food. Siwonhan-mat is often mistranslated using words to describe temperature, such as cool. This misinterpretation has resulted in confusion over the original meaning of siwonhan-mat and contributed to the incorrect usage of the word.

  7. Method for production of carbon nanofiber mat or carbon paper

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naskar, Amit K.

    2015-08-04

    Method for the preparation of a non-woven mat or paper made of carbon fibers, the method comprising carbonizing a non-woven mat or paper preform (precursor) comprised of a plurality of bonded sulfonated polyolefin fibers to produce said non-woven mat or paper made of carbon fibers. The preforms and resulting non-woven mat or paper made of carbon fiber, as well as articles and devices containing them, and methods for their use, are also described.

  8. Statistical Physics Approaches to Microbial Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Pankaj

    The unprecedented ability to quantitatively measure and probe complex microbial communities has renewed interest in identifying the fundamental ecological principles governing community ecology in microbial ecosystems. Here, we present work from our group and others showing how ideas from statistical physics can help us uncover these ecological principles. Two major lessons emerge from this work. First, large, ecosystems with many species often display new, emergent ecological behaviors that are absent in small ecosystems with just a few species. To paraphrase Nobel laureate Phil Anderson, ''More is Different'', especially in community ecology. Second, the lack of trophic layer separation in microbial ecology fundamentally distinguishes microbial ecology from classical paradigms of community ecology and leads to qualitative different rules for community assembly in microbes. I illustrate these ideas using both theoretical modeling and novel new experiments on large microbial ecosystems performed by our collaborators (Joshua Goldford and Alvaro Sanchez). Work supported by Simons Investigator in MMLS and NIH R35 R35 GM119461.

  9. Does siwonhan-mat represent delicious in Korean foods?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dai Ja Jang

    2016-06-01

    Conclusion: Balancing kan is a determining factor of siwonhan-mat in Korean cuisine. Particularly, a strong association between siwonhan-mat and deliciousness was found in kuk and tang, suggesting the importance of siwonhan-mat in experiencing the best flavor in Korean food.

  10. Beaded Fiber Mats of PVA Containing Unsaturated Heteropoly Salt

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guo Cheng YANG; Yan PAN; Jian GONG; Chang Lu SHAO; Shang Bin WEN; Chen SHAO; Lun Yu QU

    2004-01-01

    Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) fiber mats containing unsaturated heteropoly salt was prepared for the first time. IR, X-ray diffraction and SEM photographs characterized the beaded fiber mats.The viscoelasticity and the conductivity of the solution were the key factors that influence the formation of the beaded fiber mats.

  11. Developing DNA barcoding (matK) primers for marama bean ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The homology found with Tylosema fassoglensis (trnK gene) and Pisum sativum (matK gene) suggests that an identical region was amplified for Tylosema esculentum. A phylogenetic tree was constructed based on the matK sequences and the results suggest that the matK region can also be used in determining levels of ...

  12. Molecular fossils of prokaryotes in ancient authigenic minerals: archives of microbial activity in reefs and mounds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heindel, Katrin; Birgel, Daniel; Richoz, Sylvain; Westphal, Hildegard; Peckmann, Jörn

    2016-04-01

    Molecular fossils (lipid biomarkers) are commonly used as proxies in organic-rich sediments of various sources, including eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Usually, molecular fossils of organisms transferred from the water column to the sediment are studied to monitor environmental changes (e.g., temperature, pH). Apart from these 'allochthonous' molecular fossils, prokaryotes are active in sediments and mats on the seafloor and leave behind 'autochthonous' molecular fossils in situ. In contrast to many phototrophic organisms, most benthic sedimentary prokaryotes are obtaining their energy from oxidation or reduction of organic or inorganic substrates. A peculiarity of some of the sediment-thriving prokaryotes is their ability to trigger in situ mineral precipitation, often but not only due to metabolic activity, resulting in authigenic rocks (microbialites). During that process, prokaryotes are rapidly entombed in the mineral matrix, where the molecular fossils are protected from early (bio)degradation. In contrast to other organic compounds (DNA, proteins etc.), molecular fossils can be preserved over very long time periods (millions of years). Thus, molecular fossils in authigenic mineral phases are perfectly suitable to trace microbial activity back in time. Among the best examples of molecular fossils, which are preserved in authigenic rocks are various microbialites, forming e.g. in phototrophic microbial mats and at cold seeps. Microbialite formation is reported throughout earth history. We here will focus on reefal microbialites form the Early Triassic and the Holocene. After the End-Permian mass extinction, microbialites covered wide areas on the ocean margins. In microbialites from the Griesbachian in Iran and Turkey (both Neotethys), molecular fossils of cyanobacteria, archaea, anoxygenic phototrophs, and sulphate-reducing bacteria indicate the presence of layered microbial mats on the seafloor, in which carbonate precipitation was induced. In association with

  13. Microbial immobilization and recycling of 137Cs in the organic layers of forest ecosystems: Relationship to environmental conditions, humification and invertebrate activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brueckmann, Axel; Wolters, Volkmar

    1994-01-01

    The 137 Cs content of the microbial biomass in the organic layers of 10 German forest sites was quantified with a modified fumigation/extraction method. A K Cs factor was calculated for biomass 137 Cs from the difference between unfumigated and fumigated samples by means of laboratory cultures. The size of the estimated K Cs factors varied between 1.54 and 2.90 (mean, 2.17; S.D., 0.48). The microflora at the different forest sites contained between 1 and 56% of the total amount of 137 Cs found in the organic layers (mean, 13%). Litterbag experiments showed that 137 Cs was actively transported into the L layer by the microflora and that this effect was enhanced by the mesofauna. It is concluded that the immobilization and recycling of 137 Cs by the microflora in the organic layer of forest soils is determined by three major factors: 137 Cs availability, growth conditions of the microflora and biotic interactions

  14. Integrated site-specific quantification of faecal bacteria and detection of DNA markers in faecal contamination source tracking as a microbial risk tracking tool in urban Lake ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donde, Oscar Omondi; Tian, Cuicui; Xiao, Bangding

    2017-11-01

    The presence of feacal-derived pathogens in water is responsible for several infectious diseases and deaths worldwide. As a solution, sources of fecal pollution in waters must be accurately assessed, properly determined and strictly controlled. However, the exercise has remained challenging due to the existing overlapping characteristics by different members of faecal coliform bacteria and the inadequacy of information pertaining to the contribution of seasonality and weather condition on tracking the possible sources of pollution. There are continued efforts to improve the Faecal Contamination Source Tracking (FCST) techniques such as Microbial Source Tracking (MST). This study aimed to make contribution to MST by evaluating the efficacy of combining site specific quantification of faecal contamination indicator bacteria and detection of DNA markers while accounting for seasonality and weather conditions' effects in tracking the major sources of faecal contamination in a freshwater system (Donghu Lake, China). The results showed that the use of cyd gene in addition to lacZ and uidA genes differentiates E. coli from other closely related faecal bacteria. The use of selective media increases the pollution source tracking accuracy. BSA addition boosts PCR detection and increases FCST efficiency. Seasonality and weather variability also influence the detection limit for DNA markers.

  15. Microbial Mats: the implication of these microbial communities in early stages of fossilization

    OpenAIRE

    Iniesto Rodríguez, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Tesis doctoral inédita leída en la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias, Departamento de Ecología. Fecha de lectura: 03-03-2016 Esta tesis tiene embargado el acceso al texto completo hasta el 03-09-2017 Durante décadas la paleontología ha tratado de establecer los mecanismos que pudieran explicar la génesis de los Konservat-Lagerstätten, yacimientos paleontológicos que se caracterizan por la excepcional preservación de sus restos. Estos fósiles mantienen en algu...

  16. Mekh-mat entrance examinations problems

    CERN Document Server

    Vardi, I

    2000-01-01

    This paper provides a complete solution set to 25 ``killer problems'' given to Jewish candidates to the Mekh--mat at Moscow State University during the 1970's and 1980's. Typically, the problems are at the mathematical olympiad level and some feature interesting theorems. However, a number of the problems are flawed, or even completely wrong. The paper therefore includes an evaluation of the problems in the style of a referee report.

  17. Chemical engineering and thermodynamics using Mat lab

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim Heon; Kim, Moon Gap; Lee, Hak Yeong; Yeo, Yeong Gu; Ham, Seong Won

    2002-02-01

    This book consists of twelve chapters and four appendixes about chemical engineering and thermodynamics using Mat lab, which deals with introduction, energy budget, entropy, thermodynamics process, generalization on any fluid, engineering equation of state for PVT properties, deviation of the function, phase equilibrium of pure fluid, basic of multicomponent, phase equilibrium of compound by state equation, activity model and reaction system. The appendixes is about summary of computer program, related mathematical formula and material property of pure component.

  18. Cyanobacterial ecotypes in different optical microenvironments of a 68 C hot spring mat community revealed by 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer region variation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ferris, Mike J.; Kühl, Michael; Wieland, Andrea

    2003-01-01

    We examined the population of unicellular cyanobacteria (Synechococcus) in the upper 3-mm vertical interval of a 68°C region of a microbial mat in a hot spring effluent channel (Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming). Fluorescence microscopy and microsensor measurements of O2 and oxygenic photosynth...

  19. The Sirius Passet Lagerstätte: silica death masking opens the window on the earliest mat ground community of the Cambrian Explosion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Strang, Katie M; Armstrong, Howard; Harper, David A. T.; Trabucho-Alexandre, João

    2016-01-01

    The Sirius Passet Lagerstätte (SP), Peary Land, North Greenland, occurs in black slates deposited at or just below storm wave base. It represents the earliest Cambrian microbial mat community with exceptional preservation, predating the Burgess Shale by 10 million years. Trilobites from the SP are

  20. On the use of high-throughput sequencing for the study of cyanobacterial diversity in Antarctic aquatic mats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pessi, Igor Stelmach; Maalouf, Pedro De Carvalho; Laughinghouse, Haywood Dail; Baurain, Denis; Wilmotte, Annick

    2016-06-01

    The study of Antarctic cyanobacterial diversity has been mostly limited to morphological identification and traditional molecular techniques. High-throughput sequencing (HTS) allows a much better understanding of microbial distribution in the environment, but its application is hampered by several methodological and analytical challenges. In this work, we explored the use of HTS as a tool for the study of cyanobacterial diversity in Antarctic aquatic mats. Our results highlight the importance of using artificial communities to validate the parameters of the bioinformatics procedure used to analyze natural communities, since pipeline-dependent biases had a strong effect on the observed community structures. Analysis of microbial mats from five Antarctic lakes and an aquatic biofilm from the Sub-Antarctic showed that HTS is a valuable tool for the assessment of cyanobacterial diversity. The majority of the operational taxonomic units retrieved were related to filamentous taxa such as Leptolyngbya and Phormidium, which are common genera in Antarctic lacustrine microbial mats. However, other phylotypes related to different taxa such as Geitlerinema, Pseudanabaena, Synechococcus, Chamaesiphon, Calothrix, and Coleodesmium were also found. Results revealed a much higher diversity than what had been reported using traditional methods and also highlighted remarkable differences between the cyanobacterial communities of the studied lakes. The aquatic biofilm from the Sub-Antarctic had a distinct cyanobacterial community from the Antarctic lakes, which in turn displayed a salinity-dependent community structure at the phylotype level. © 2016 Phycological Society of America.

  1. Distribution and Composition of Thiotrophic Mats in the Hypoxic Zone of the Black Sea (150–170 m Water Depth, Crimea Margin)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessen, Gerdhard L.; Lichtschlag, Anna; Struck, Ulrich; Boetius, Antje

    2016-01-01

    At the Black Sea chemocline, oxygen- and sulfide-rich waters meet and form a niche for thiotrophic pelagic bacteria. Here we investigated an area of the Northwestern Black Sea off Crimea close to the shelf break, where the chemocline reaches the seafloor at around 150–170 m water depth, to assess whether thiotrophic bacteria are favored in this zone. Seafloor video transects were carried out with the submersible JAGO covering 20 km2 on the region between 110 and 200 m depth. Around the chemocline we observed irregular seafloor depressions, covered with whitish mats of large filamentous bacteria. These comprised 25–55% of the seafloor, forming a belt of 3 km width around the chemocline. Cores from the mats obtained with JAGO showed higher accumulations of organic matter under the mats compared to mat-free sediments. The mat-forming bacteria were related to Beggiatoa-like large filamentous sulfur bacteria based on 16S rRNA sequences from the mat, and visual characteristics. The microbial community under the mats was significantly different from the surrounding sediments and enriched with taxa affiliated with polymer degrading, fermenting and sulfate reducing microorganisms. Under the mats, higher organic matter accumulation, as well as higher remineralization and radiotracer-based sulfate reduction rates were measured compared to outside the mat. Mat-covered and mat-free sediments showed similar degradability of the bulk organic matter pool, suggesting that the higher sulfide fluxes and subsequent development of the thiotrophic mats in the patches are consequences of the accumulation of organic matter rather than its qualitative composition. Our observations suggest that the key factors for the distribution of thiotrophic mat-forming communities near to the Crimean shelf break are hypoxic conditions that (i) repress grazers, (ii) enhance the accumulation and degradation of labile organic matter by sulfate-reducers, and (iii) favor thiotrophic filamentous bacteria

  2. Distribution and Composition of Thiotrophic Mats in the Hypoxic Zone of the Black Sea (150-170 m Water Depth, Crimea Margin).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessen, Gerdhard L; Lichtschlag, Anna; Struck, Ulrich; Boetius, Antje

    2016-01-01

    At the Black Sea chemocline, oxygen- and sulfide-rich waters meet and form a niche for thiotrophic pelagic bacteria. Here we investigated an area of the Northwestern Black Sea off Crimea close to the shelf break, where the chemocline reaches the seafloor at around 150-170 m water depth, to assess whether thiotrophic bacteria are favored in this zone. Seafloor video transects were carried out with the submersible JAGO covering 20 km(2) on the region between 110 and 200 m depth. Around the chemocline we observed irregular seafloor depressions, covered with whitish mats of large filamentous bacteria. These comprised 25-55% of the seafloor, forming a belt of 3 km width around the chemocline. Cores from the mats obtained with JAGO showed higher accumulations of organic matter under the mats compared to mat-free sediments. The mat-forming bacteria were related to Beggiatoa-like large filamentous sulfur bacteria based on 16S rRNA sequences from the mat, and visual characteristics. The microbial community under the mats was significantly different from the surrounding sediments and enriched with taxa affiliated with polymer degrading, fermenting and sulfate reducing microorganisms. Under the mats, higher organic matter accumulation, as well as higher remineralization and radiotracer-based sulfate reduction rates were measured compared to outside the mat. Mat-covered and mat-free sediments showed similar degradability of the bulk organic matter pool, suggesting that the higher sulfide fluxes and subsequent development of the thiotrophic mats in the patches are consequences of the accumulation of organic matter rather than its qualitative composition. Our observations suggest that the key factors for the distribution of thiotrophic mat-forming communities near to the Crimean shelf break are hypoxic conditions that (i) repress grazers, (ii) enhance the accumulation and degradation of labile organic matter by sulfate-reducers, and (iii) favor thiotrophic filamentous bacteria

  3. Resilience and receptivity worked in tandem to sustain a geothermal mat community amidst erratic environmental conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Wriddhiman; Roy, Chayan; Roy, Rimi; Nilawe, Pravin; Mukherjee, Ambarish; Haldar, Prabir Kumar; Chauhan, Neeraj Kumar; Bhattacharya, Sabyasachi; Agarwal, Atima; George, Ashish; Pyne, Prosenjit; Mandal, Subhrangshu; Rameez, Moidu Jameela; Bala, Goutam

    2015-07-17

    To elucidate how geothermal irregularities affect the sustainability of high-temperature microbiomes we studied the synecological dynamics of a geothermal microbial mat community (GMMC) vis-à-vis fluctuations in its environment. Spatiotemporally-discrete editions of a photosynthetic GMMC colonizing the travertine mound of a circum-neutral hot spring cluster served as the model-system. In 2010 a strong geyser atop the mound discharged mineral-rich hot water, which nourished a GMMC continuum from the proximal channels (PC) upto the slope environment (SE) along the mound's western face. In 2011 that geyser extinguished and consequently the erstwhile mats disappeared. Nevertheless, two relatively-weaker vents erupted in the southern slope and their mineral-poor outflow supported a small GMMC patch in the SE. Comparative metagenomics showed that this mat was a relic of the 2010 community, conserved via population dispersal from erstwhile PC as well as SE niches. Subsequently in 2012, as hydrothermal activity augmented in the southern slope, ecological niches widened and the physiologically-heterogeneous components of the 2011 "seed-community" split into PC and SE meta-communities, thereby reclaiming either end of the thermal gradient. Resilience of incumbent populations, and the community's receptiveness towards immigrants, were the key qualities that ensured the GMMC's sustenance amidst habitat degradation and dispersal to discrete environments.

  4. Charpy V, an application in Mat lab

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castillo M, J.A.; Torres V, M.

    2003-01-01

    The obtained results with the system Charpy V V 1 designed in Mat lab for the estimate of parameters of three mathematical models are shown. The adjustment of data is used to determine the fracture energy, the lateral expansion and the percentage of ductility of steels coming from the reactor vessels of Laguna Verde, Veracruz. The data come from test tubes type Charpy V of irradiated material and not irradiated. To verify our results they were compared with those obtained by General Electric of data coming from the Laguna Verde nuclear power plant. (Author)

  5. How compressible is recombinant battery separator mat?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pendry, C. [Hollingsworth and Vose, Postlip Mills Winchcombe (United Kingdom)

    1999-03-01

    In the past few years, the recombinant battery separator mat (RBSM) for valve-regulated lead/acid (VRLA) batteries has become the focus of much attention. Compression, and the ability of microglass separators to maintain a level of `springiness` have helped reduce premature capacity loss. As higher compressions are reached, we need to determine what, if any, damage can be caused during the assembly process. This paper reviews the findings when RBSM materials, with different surface areas, are compressed under forces up to 500 kPa in the dry state. (orig.)

  6. Alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    P.W. Rundel; C.I. Millar

    2016-01-01

    Alpine ecosystems are typically defined as those areas occurring above treeline, while recognizing that alpine ecosystems at a local scale may be found below this boundary for reasons including geology, geomorphology, and microclimate. The lower limit of the alpine ecosystems, the climatic treeline, varies with latitude across California, ranging from about 3500 m in...

  7. Ecosystem Jenga!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umphlett, Natalie; Brosius, Tierney; Laungani, Ramesh; Rousseau, Joe; Leslie-Pelecky, Diandra L.

    2009-01-01

    To give students a tangible model of an ecosystem and have them experience what could happen if a component of that ecosystem were removed; the authors developed a hands-on, inquiry-based activity that visually demonstrates the concept of a delicately balanced ecosystem through a modification of the popular game Jenga. This activity can be…

  8. Contributions of ectomycorrhizal fungal mats to forest soil respiration

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. Phillips; L.A. Kluber; J.P. Martin; B.A. Caldwell; B.J. Bond

    2012-01-01

    Distinct aggregations of fungal hyphae and rhizomorphs, or “mats”, formed by some genera of ectomycorrhizal (EcM) fungi are common features of soils in coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest. We measured in situ respiration rates of Piloderma mats and neighboring non-mat soils in an old-growth Douglas-fir forest in western Oregon to investigate whether there was...

  9. Inoculação microbiana da silagem de alfafa (Medicago sativa e seu efeito sobre o consumo de matéria seca e sobre a fermentação ruminal em bovinos - DOI: 10.4025/actascianimsci.v25i2.2074 Microbial inoculation of alfalfa silage (Medicago sativa and its effect on dry matter intake and ruminal fermentation in bovines - DOI: 10.4025/actascianimsci.v25i2.2074

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Henrique Mazza Rodrigues

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available O objetivo do presente estudo foi avaliar os efeitos da inoculação microbiana da alfafa (Medicago sativa para ensilagem sobre o consumo de matéria seca, fermentação ruminal e taxa de passagem de líquidos em bovinos. Doze vacas não-gestantes e não-lactantes foram distribuídas em um delineamento em blocos, e os tratamentos corresponderam à silagem pré-secada de alfafa (60% de MS e 19,5% de PB controle ou inoculada com o produto Silobac® (Lactobacillus plantarum e Pediococcus pentosaceus. A dieta experimental continha 50% de silagem de alfafa e 50% de concentrado. O experimento teve duração total de 21 dias, sendo o 21º dia utilizado para colheitas de líquido ruminal realizadas às 0h, 2h, 4h, 6h, 8h, 10h e 12h, após a 1a refeição. A inoculação microbiana da silagem de alfafa não alterou o consumo de MS (inoculada = 2,56 vs. controle = 2,39% PV, o pH do líquido ruminal (6,15 vs. 6,27, a concentração ruminal de N-NH3 (19,0 vs. 18,2mg/dl, a concentração total de AGVs (122,5 vs. 113,8mM ou a proporção molar de ácido acético (66,1 vs. 66,8% molar, propiônico (21,1 vs. 19,6% molar e butírico (12,8 vs. 13,6% molar. Parâmetros relativos à dinâmica líquida ruminal, como o volume líquido (59,5 vs. 63,4 litros e a taxa de passagem de líquidos (8,6 vs. 8,0%/h, também não foram alterados com a inoculação.The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of microbial inoculation of alfalfa (Medicago sativa for ensiling on dry matter intake, ruminal fermentation and liquid passage rate in twelve non pregnant dry cows. A randomized block design was used and the treatments were alfalfa haylage control (60% DM and 19.5% CP or inoculated with Silobac® product (Lactobacillus plantarum and Pediococcus pentosaceus. Experimental diet contained 50% of alfalfa silage and 50% of concentrate. Experimental period lasted for twenty-one days; the 21st day was used for ruminal liquid sampling at 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 e 12 hours

  10. Physical and Mechanical Properties of Jute Mat Reinforced Epoxy Composites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.M Sadaf

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Cellulose jute fibre offers a number of benefits as reinforcement for synthetic polymers since it has a high specific strength and stiffness, low hardness, relatively low density and biodegradability. To reduce moisture uptake and hence to improve the mechanical properties of the composites, bleached jute mats were incorporated as reinforcing elements in the epoxy matrix. Composites at varying volume fractions and different orientations of jute mat were fabricated by hot compression machine under specific pressures and temperatures. Tensile, flexure, impact and water absorption tests of composites were conducted. Jute mat oriented at (0 ± 45–90° composites showed reduced strength compared to (0–90° fibre mat composites. Impact strength and water uptake of high volume fraction jute mat reinforced composites was higher compared to that of lower volume fraction composites. Fracture surfaces of jute mat composites were analyzed under SEM. Fracture surface of (0–90° jute mat oriented composites showed twisted fibres, while (0 ± 45–90° jute mat oriented composites had fibre pull-out without any twisting. Overall, composites containing 52% jute mat at orientations of (0–90° showed better properties compared to other fabricated composites.

  11. Phosphorus 32 cycling in the root-litter mat of Pernambuco atlantic coastal forest, Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salcedo, I.H.; Sampaio, E.V.S.; Elliott, E.T.

    1991-01-01

    We propose a compartmental model to describe P cycling in the root-litter mat and surface mineral soil of an Atlantic coastal forest. Considerable amounts of P accumulate in this root-litter mat, relative to available P in the underlying mineral soil. We studied the mechanisms responsible for P retention five days after addition of sup(32)P on the surface of the 02 horizon. Total sup(31)P and sup(32)P were determined in leaves, humus, mineral soil and roots. In addition, we determined sup(31)P and sup(32)P in the solution and microbial biomass of the humus material. Fluxes of sup(31)P were obtained from published data and from experimental results of sup(32)P distribution among compartments. The main fluxes taking P out from the soils solution were uptake by the microbial biomass and sorption by the humus (12.9 e 5.2 mg P m sup(-2) week sup(-1), respectively), while the mean flux into the roots was 3.1 mg P m sup(-2) week sup(-1). The main compartment responsible for P accumulation was the humus+fragments, which had the highest P content (61% of total P in the forest floor) and the longest turnover time (15.5 months). (author)

  12. Microbes as engines of ecosystem function: when does community structure enhance predictions of ecosystem processes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily B. Graham

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Microorganisms are vital in mediating the earth’s biogeochemical cycles; yet, despite our rapidly increasing ability to explore complex environmental microbial communities, the relationship between microbial community structure and ecosystem processes remains poorly understood. Here, we address a fundamental and unanswered question in microbial ecology: ‘When do we need to understand microbial community structure to accurately predict function?’ We present a statistical analysis investigating the value of environmental data and microbial community structure independently and in combination for explaining rates of carbon and nitrogen cycling processes within 82 global datasets. Environmental variables were the strongest predictors of process rates but left 44% of variation unexplained on average, suggesting the potential for microbial data to increase model accuracy. Although only 29% of our datasets were significantly improved by adding information on microbial community structure, we observed improvement in models of processes mediated by narrow phylogenetic guilds via functional gene data, and conversely, improvement in models of facultative microbial processes via community diversity metrics. Our results also suggest that microbial diversity can strengthen predictions of respiration rates beyond microbial biomass parameters, as 53% of models were improved by incorporating both sets of predictors compared to 35% by microbial biomass alone. Our analysis represents the first comprehensive analysis of research examining links between microbial community structure and ecosystem function. Taken together, our results indicate that a greater understanding of microbial communities informed by ecological principles may enhance our ability to predict ecosystem process rates relative to assessments based on environmental variables and microbial physiology.

  13. Electrospinning and stabilization of chitosan nanofiber mats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimmelsmann, N.; Grothe, T.; Homburg, S. V.; Ehrmann, A.

    2017-10-01

    Chitosan is of special interest for biotechnological and medical applications due to its antibacterial, antifungal and other intrinsic physical and chemical properties. The biopolymer can, e.g., be used for biotechnological purposes, as a filter medium, in medical products, etc. In all these applications, the inner surface should be maximized to increase the contact area with the filtered medium etc. and thus the chitosan’s efficacy. Chitosan dissolves in acidic solutions, opposite to neutral water. Electrospinning is possible, e.g., by co-spinning with PEO (poly(ethylene oxide)). Tests with different chitosan:PEO ratios revealed that higher PEO fractions resulted in better spinnability and more regular fibre mats, but make stabilization of the fibre structure more challenging.

  14. Flygande mat - kabinpersonals måltidssituation

    OpenAIRE

    Johansson, Johanna; Hugosson, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    Inledning Yrket som kabinanställd inom flyget präglas av serviceanda och ansvar för passagerares säkerhet. Arbetsmiljön innebär fysiska påfrestningar vad gäller till exempel kabintryck och låg syrenivå. Mat och måltider intas under olika tider på dygnet och infaller sällan på normala måltidstider. Kabinpersonalens måltider regleras av regler, avtal och policyer rörande arbetstidens längd. Syfte Syftet var att undersöka kabinpersonalens måltider under arbetstid, med fokus på riktlinjer och pol...

  15. MAT@USC Candidates and Latino English Language Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomeli, Cynthia Leticia

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to further understand the perceptions of MAT@USC teacher candidates and how their perceptions and previous experiences affect the educational experiences of Latino English language learners. Three questions were developed to guide this study: (1) What are the perceptions of MAT@USC candidates in selected courses…

  16. Matting Of Hair Due To ′Sunsilk′ Shampoo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadeem Mohd

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available Matting of hair been reported from time to time due to treatment of hair with detergent, shampoos, waving lotions, setting lotions and bleaches. A case of matting of hairs in a young girl due to a change in the brand of shampoo is reported.

  17. Effects of preprocessing method on TVOC emission of car mat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Min; Jia, Li

    2013-02-01

    The effects of the mat preprocessing method on total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) emission of car mat are studied in this paper. An appropriate TVOC emission period for car mat is suggested. The emission factors for total volatile organic compounds from three kinds of new car mats are discussed. The car mats are preprocessed by washing, baking and ventilation. When car mats are preprocessed by washing, the TVOC emission for all samples tested are lower than that preprocessed in other methods. The TVOC emission is in stable situation for a minimum of 4 days. The TVOC emitted from some samples may exceed 2500μg/kg. But the TVOC emitted from washed Polyamide (PA) and wool mat is less than 2500μg/kg. The emission factors of total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) are experimentally investigated in the case of different preprocessing methods. The air temperature in environment chamber and the water temperature for washing are important factors influencing on emission of car mats.

  18. Microbial ecology-based engineering of Microbial Electrochemical Technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Christin; Korth, Benjamin; Harnisch, Falk

    2018-01-01

    Microbial ecology is devoted to the understanding of dynamics, activity and interaction of microorganisms in natural and technical ecosystems. Bioelectrochemical systems represent important technical ecosystems, where microbial ecology is of highest importance for their function. However, whereas aspects of, for example, materials and reactor engineering are commonly perceived as highly relevant, the study and engineering of microbial ecology are significantly underrepresented in bioelectrochemical systems. This shortfall may be assigned to a deficit on knowledge and power of these methods as well as the prerequisites for their thorough application. This article discusses not only the importance of microbial ecology for microbial electrochemical technologies but also shows which information can be derived for a knowledge-driven engineering. Instead of providing a comprehensive list of techniques from which it is hard to judge the applicability and value of information for a respective one, this review illustrates the suitability of selected techniques on a case study. Thereby, best practice for different research questions is provided and a set of key questions for experimental design, data acquisition and analysis is suggested. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  19. Tropical marine ecosystems: The microbial component

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chandramohan, D.

    for vital biogeochemical cycles. Although the bacteriology of fish has been extensively studied in connection with spoilage, comparatively little work has been done on the role of intestinal flora in fish nutrition. A number of plant and animal diseases have...

  20. Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.C.; Spigel, Ben

    2016-01-01

    This paper reviews and discusses the emergent entrepreneurial ecosystem approach. Entrepreneurial ecosystems are defined as a set of interdependent actors and factors coordinated in such a way that they enable productive entrepreneurship within a particular territory. The purpose of this paper is to

  1. Lipid and Phylogenetic Analysis of a Gypsum-hosted Endoevaporitic Microbial Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turk, K. A.; Jahnke, L. L.; Green, S. J.; Kubo, M. D.; Vogel, M. B.; Des Marais, D. J.

    2007-12-01

    Gypsum evaporites host diverse, productive and volumetrically significant microbial communities and are relevant modern-day analogs to both Precambrian sabkha deposits and, potentially, Martian evaporites. Extensive evaporites form in subaqueous environments of high salinity ponds (>150 permil) maintained by the Exportadora de Sal, S. A. (ESSA) in Guerrero Negro, B.C.S., Mexico. A gypsarenite (reworked clastic gypsum) crust found along the southeast margin of ESSA's Pond 9 was collected in February 2004 and each vibrantly colored layer in the top centimeter was sampled. Extant microbial communities from each layer were characterized using complementary culture-independent molecular techniques, lipid biomarker analysis, and compound specific isotopic analysis. Coupling molecular analysis with lipid biomarker analysis revealed that oxygenic photosynthetic organisms dominate the surface layers (top 3 mm). Polar lipids from the surface layers consisted predominantly of glycolipids, which are characteristic of algae, cyanobacteria and green anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria. Consistent with prior analyses of gypsum evaporites, 16S rRNA gene clone libraries indicate that cyanobacterial populations belong primarily to the genus Cyanothece. The bacterial community below the surface layers is more diverse and dominated by anaerobic organisms. Phototrophic purple sulfur bacteria, sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), and Bacteroidetes were particularly abundant. The relative abundances of SRB increased with depth; Desulfobacteraceae clones were distributed throughout the crust, but not at the surface, while Desulfovibrionaceae clones were found predominantly in the deepest layers. These molecular results are consistent with fatty acid biomarker analysis. δ13C values of major lipid classes in the crust and sediment range from 14 to 36‰, which is considerably lower than corresponding values for benthic Microcoleus-dominated cyanobacterial mats found at lower salinities at ESSA

  2. Byers Peninsula: A reference site for coastal, terrestrial and limnetic ecosystem studies in maritime Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quesada, A.; Camacho, A.; Rochera, C.; Velázquez, D.

    2009-11-01

    This article describes the development of an international and multidisciplinary project funded by the Spanish Polar Programme on Byers Peninsula (Livingston Island, South Shetlands). The project adopted Byers Peninsula as an international reference site for coastal and terrestrial (including inland waters) research within the framework of the International Polar Year initiative. Over 30 scientists from 12 countries and 26 institutions participated in the field work, and many others participated in the processing of the samples. The main themes investigated were: Holocene changes in climate, using both lacustrine sediment cores and palaeo-nests of penguins; limnology of the lakes, ponds, rivers and wetlands; microbiology of microbial mats, ecology of microbial food webs and viral effects on aquatic ecosystems; ornithology, with investigations on a Gentoo penguin rookery ( Pygoscelis papua) as well as the flying ornithofauna; biocomplexity and life cycles of species from different taxonomic groups; analysis of a complete watershed unit from a landscape perspective; and human impacts, specifically the effect of trampling on soil characteristics and biota. Byers Peninsula offers many features as an international reference site given it is one of the largest ice-free areas in the Antarctic Peninsula region, it has a variety of different landscape units, and it hosts diverse aquatic ecosystems. Moreover, the Byers Peninsula is a hotspot for Antarctic biodiversity, and because of its high level of environmental protection, it has been very little affected by human activities. Finally, the proximity to the Spanish polar installations on Livingston Island and the experience derived from previous expeditions to the site make it logistically feasible as a site for ongoing monitoring and research.

  3. Exascale Co-Design Center for Materials in Extreme Environments (ExMatEx) Annual Report - Year 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Germann, T. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Richards, D. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); McPherson, A. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Belak, J. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2013-11-25

    All activities of the Exascale Co-design Center for Materials in Extreme Environments (Ex- MatEx) are focused on the two ultimate goals of the project: (1) demonstrating and delivering a prototype scale-bridging materials science application based upon adaptive physics refinement, and (2) identifying the requirements for the exascale ecosystem that are necessary to perform computational materials science simulations (both single- and multi-scale). During the first year of ExMatEx, our focus was on establishing how we do computational materials science, by developing an initial suite of flexible proxy applications. These “proxy apps” are the primary vehicle for the co-design process, involving assessments and tradeoff evaluations both within the ExMatEx team, and with the entire exascale ecosystem. These interactions have formed the basis of our second year activities. The set of artifacts from these co-design interactions are the lessons learned, that are used to re-express the applications and algorithms within the context of emerging architectures, programming models, and runtime systems.

  4. Aerobic Granular Sludge: Effect of Salt and Insights into Microbial Ecology

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Zhongwei

    2017-01-01

    Like other artificial microbial ecosystems (e.g. CAS plant and anaerobic digester), a firm understanding of the microbial ecology of AGS system is essential for process design and optimization. The second part

  5. Bacterial sulfur cycle shapes microbial communities in surface sediments of an ultramafic hydrothermal vent field

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schauer, Regina; Røy, Hans; Augustin, Nico

    2011-01-01

    RNA sequence analysis, was characterized by the capability to metabolize sulfur components. High sulfate reduction rates as well as sulfide depleted in (34)S furthe