Inter-field variability in the microbial communities of hydrothermal vent deposits from a back-arc basin.
ABSTRACT Diverse microbial communities thrive on and in deep-sea hydrothermal vent mineral deposits. However, our understanding of the inter-field variability in these communities is poor, as limited sampling and sequencing efforts have hampered most previous studies. To explore the inter-field variability in these communities, we used barcoded pyrosequencing of the variable region 4 (V4) of the 16S rRNA gene to characterize the archaeal and bacterial communities of over 30 hydrothermal deposit samples from six vent fields located along the Eastern Lau Spreading Center. Overall, the bacterial and archaeal communities of the Eastern Lau Spreading Center are similar to other active vent deposits, with a high diversity of Epsilonproteobacteria and thermophilic Archaea. However, the archaeal and bacterial communities from the southernmost vent field, Mariner, were significantly different from the other vent fields. At Mariner, the epsilonproteobacterial genus Nautilia and the archaeal family Thermococcaceae were prevalent in most samples, while Lebetimonas and Thermofilaceae were more abundant at the other vent fields. These differences appear to be influenced in part by the unique geochemistry of the Mariner fluids resulting from active degassing of a subsurface magma chamber. These results show that microbial communities associated with hydrothermal vent deposits in back-arc basins are taxonomically similar to those from mid-ocean ridge systems, but differences in geologic processes between vent fields in a back-arc basin can influence microbial community structure.
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ABSTRACT: Sulfide 'chimneys' characteristic of seafloor hydrothermal venting are diverse microbial habitats. (13) C/(12) C ratios of microbial lipids have rarely been used to assess carbon assimilation pathways on these structures, despite complementing gene- and culture-based approaches. Here, we integrate analyses of the diversity of intact polar lipids (IPL) and their side-chain δ(13) C values (δ(13) Clipid ) with 16S rRNA gene-based phylogeny to examine microbial carbon flow on active and inactive sulfide structures from the Manus Basin. Surficial crusts of active structures, dominated by Epsilonproteobacteria, yield bacterial δ(13) Clipid values higher than biomass δ(13) C (total organic carbon), implicating autotrophy via the reverse tricarboxylic acid cycle. Our data also suggest δ(13) Clipid values vary on individual active structures without accompanying microbial diversity changes. Temperature and/or dissolved substrate effects - likely due to variable advective-diffusive fluxes to chimney exteriors - may be responsible for differing (13) C fractionation during assimilation. In an inactive structure, δ(13) Clipid values lower than biomass δ(13) C and a distinctive IPL and 16S rRNA gene diversity suggest a shift to a more diverse community and an alternate carbon assimilation pathway after venting ceases. We discuss here the potential of IPL and δ(13) Clipid analyses to elucidate carbon flow in hydrothermal structures when combined with other molecular tools.Environmental Microbiology 06/2014; · 6.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The microbial diversity associated with actively venting deep-sea hydrothermal deposits is tightly connected to the geochemistry of the hydrothermal fluids. Although the dominant members of these deposits drive the structure of the microbial communities, it is less well understood whether the lower abundance groups are as closely connected to the geochemical milieu, or driven perhaps by biotic factors such as microbial community interactions. We used the natural geochemical gradients that exist in the back-arc basin, Eastern Lau Spreading Center and Valu-Fa Ridge (ELSC/VFR) in the Southwestern Pacific, to explore whether the chemolithotrophic Aquificales are influenced by geographical location, host-rock of the vent field or deposit type. Using a combination of cloning, DNA fingerprinting (DGGE) and enrichment culturing approaches, all genera of this order previously described at marine vents were detected, i.e., Desulfurobacterium, Thermovibrio, Aquifex, Hydrogenivirga, Persephonella and Hydrogenothermus. The comparison between clone libraries and DGGE showed similar patterns of distribution of different Aquificales whereas results differed for the enrichment cultures that were retrieved. However, the use of cultivation-based and -independent methods did provide complementary phylogenetic diversity overview of the Aquificales in these systems. Together, this survey revealed that the ELSC/VFR contains some of the largest diversity of Aquificales ever reported at a deep-sea vent area, that the diversity patterns are tied to the geography and geochemistry of the system, and that this geochemical diverse back-arc basin may harbor new members of the Aquificales.Systematic and Applied Microbiology 05/2014; · 3.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The marine hyperthermophilic crenarchaeon Ignicoccus hospitalis supports the propagation on its surface of Nanoarchaeum equitans, an evolutionarily enigmatic archaeon that resembles highly derived parasitic and symbiotic bacteria. The cellular and molecular mechanisms that enable this interarchaea relationship and the intimate physiologic consequences to I. hospitalis are unknown. Here, we used concerted proteomic and transcriptomic analyses to probe into the functional genomic response of I. hospitalis as N. equitans multiplies on its surface. The expression of over 97% of the genes was detected at mRNA level and over 80% of the predicted proteins were identified and their relative abundance measured by proteomics. These indicate that little, if any, of the host genomic information is silenced during growth in the laboratory. The primary response to N. equitans was at the membrane level, with increases in relative abundance of most protein complexes involved in energy generation as well as that of several transporters and proteins involved in cellular membrane stabilization. Similar upregulation was observed for genes and proteins involved in key metabolic steps controlling nitrogen and carbon metabolism, although the overall biosynthetic pathways were marginally impacted. Proliferation of N. equitans resulted, however, in selective downregulation of genes coding for transcription factors and replication and cell cycle control proteins as I. hospitalis shifted its physiology from its own cellular growth to that of its ectosymbiont/parasite. The combination of these multiomic approaches provided an unprecedented level of detail regarding the dynamics of this interspecies interaction, which is especially pertinent as these organisms are not genetically tractable.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 11 July 2014; doi:10.1038/ismej.2014.112.The ISME Journal 07/2014; · 8.95 Impact Factor