Project

Microbial Ecology

Goal: Evaluate the bacterial diversity in environmental samples

Methods: 454 Sequencing, Illumina Sequencing, Mothur, QIIME, R

Updates
0 new
0
Recommendations
0 new
0
Followers
0 new
30
Reads
0 new
248

Project log

Feras F Lafi
added a research item
The ecosystems of the Red Sea are among the least-explored microbial habitats in the marine environment. In this study, we investigated the microbial communities in the water column overlying the Atlantis II Deep and Discovery Deep in the Red Sea. Taxonomic classification of pyrosequencing reads of the 16S rRNA gene amplicons showed vertical stratification of microbial diversity from the surface water to 1500 m below the surface. Significant differences in both bacterial and archaeal diversity were observed in the upper (20 [corrected] and 50 m) and deeper layers (200 and 1500 m). There were no obvious differences in community structure at the same depth for the two sampling stations. The bacterial community in the upper layer was dominated by Cyanobacteria whereas the deeper layer harbored a large proportion of Proteobacteria. Among Archaea, Euryarchaeota, especially Halobacteriales, were dominant in the upper layer but diminished drastically in the deeper layer where Desulfurococcales belonging to Crenarchaeota became the dominant group. The results of our study indicate that the microbial communities sampled in this study are different from those identified in water column in other parts of the world. The depth-wise compositional variation in the microbial communities is attributable to their adaptations to the various environments in the Red Sea.
Feras F Lafi
added 17 research items
Sponge diseases have been widely reported, yet the causal factors and major pathogenic microbes remain elusive. In this study, two individuals of the sponge Crella cyathophora in total that showed similar disease-like characteristics were collected from two different locations along the Red Sea coast separated by more than 30 kilometers. The disease-like parts of the two individuals were both covered by green surfaces, and the body size was much smaller compared with adjacent healthy regions. Here, using high-throughput pyrosequencing technology, we investigated the prokaryotic communities in healthy and disease-like sponge tissues as well as adjacent seawater. Microbes in healthy tissues belonged mainly to the Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidetes, and were much more diverse at the phylum level than reported previously. Interestingly, the disease-like tissues from the two sponge individuals underwent shifts of prokaryotic communities and were both enriched with a novel clade affiliated with the phylum Verrucomicrobia, implying its intimate connection with the disease-like Red Sea sponge C. cyathophora. Enrichment of the phylum Verrucomicrobia was also considered to be correlated with the presence of algae assemblages forming the green surface of the disease-like sponge tissues. This finding represents an interesting case of sponge disease and is valuable for further study.
Since the composition of soil directs the diversity of the contained microbiome and its potential to produce bioactive compounds, many studies has been focused on sediment types with unique features characteristic of extreme environments. However, not much is known about the potential of microbiomes that inhabit the highly saline and hot Red Sea lagoons. This case study explores mangrove mud and the microbial mat of sediments collected from the Rabigh harbor lagoon and Al Kharrar lagoon for antimicrobial bioprospecting. Rabigh harbor lagoon appears the better location, and the best sediment type for this purpose is mangrove mud. On the other hand, Al Kharrar lagoon displayed increased anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation and an abundance of bacterial DNA associated with antibiotic resistance. Moreover, our findings show an identical shift in phyla associated with historic hydrocarbon contamination exposure reported in previous studies (that is, enrichment of Gamma- and Delta-proteobacteria), but we also report that bacterial DNA sequences associated with antibiotic synthesis enzymes are derived from Gamma-, Delta- and Alpha-proteobacteria. This suggests that selection pressure associated with hydrocarbon contamination tend to enrich the bacterial classes DNA associated with antibiotic synthesis enzymes. Although Actinobacteria tends to be the common target for research when it comes to antimicrobial bioprospecting, our study suggests that Firmicutes (Bacilli and Clostridia), Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, and Proteobacteria should be antimicrobial bioprospecting targets as well. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first metagenomic study that analyzed the microbiomes in Red Sea lagoons for antimicrobial bioprospecting.
The ecosystems of the Red Sea are among the least-explored microbial habitats in the marine environment. In this study, we investigated the microbial communities in the water column overlying the Atlantis II Deep and Discovery Deep in the Red Sea. Taxonomic classification of pyrosequencing reads of the 16S rRNA gene amplicons showed vertical stratification of microbial diversity from the surface water to 1500 m below the surface. Significant differences in both bacterial and archaeal diversity were observed in the upper (2 and 50 m) and deeper layers (200 and 1500 m). There were no obvious differences in community structure at the same depth for the two sampling stations. The bacterial community in the upper layer was dominated by Cyanobacteria whereas the deeper layer harbored a large proportion of Proteobacteria. Among Archaea, Euryarchaeota, especially Halobacteriales, were dominant in the upper layer but diminished drastically in the deeper layer where Desulfurococcales belonging to Crenarchaeota became the dominant group. The results of our study indicate that the microbial communities sampled in this study are different from those identified in water column in other parts of the world. The depth-wise compositional variation in the microbial communities is attributable to their adaptations to the various environments in the Red Sea.
Feras F Lafi
added a project goal
Evaluate the bacterial diversity in environmental samples