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HIGH RESOLUTION PROFILING OF MARINE MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES REVEALS POPULATION DISTRIBUTIONS ACROSS THE WATER COLUMN AT STATION ALOHA

Microbial communities are central participants in the flux of matter and energy in oligotrophic gyres of the world’s oceans. Yet the variability of microbial populations in these communities across seasons, depths and environmental changes remains understudied. One major challenge is the lack of comprehensive reference databases of habitat-specific microbial taxa, genes, and genomes. Therefore, we employed large-scale metagenomic sequencing of depth profiles of planktonic microbial communities collected over 1.5 years at station ALOHA from the sea surface to 1000m depth. The metagenomic dataset (1 Tbp of sequences) represents a total of 9 million non-redundant genes from Station ALOHA. To obtain a higher resolution perspective on microbial population structure, we used an approach based on single copy protein-coding genes (mOTUs), that enables identification and profiling of microbial populations at a finer taxonomic resolution than possible using other methods like rRNA tag sequencing. Our analyses revealed distinct populations and putative ecotypes with distinct depth distribution patterns for many different picoplankton groups. These results provide new insights into oceanic microbial population diversity. For example, as many as 50 different abundant populations of Thaumarchaeota with specific depth distributions were identified, suggesting that these populations may have different adaptive characteristics and perhaps, distinct ecological roles. The establishment of these comprehensive population profiles provides a new approach for understanding the diversity and population structure of planktonic microbial groups throughout the water column in a major oceanic biome

Authors

Mende, D. R., University of Hawaii, USA, mendedan@hawaii.edu

Aylward, F. O., University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA, faylward@hawaii.edu

Bryant, J. A., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, jbryant@mit.edu

Eppley, J. M., University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA, jmeppley@hawaii.edu

Nielsen, T., DOE - Joint Genome Institute, USA, torben@hawaii.edu

DeLong, E. F., University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA, edelong@hawaii.edu

Details

Oral presentation

Session #:016
Date: 03/03/2017
Time: 10:15
Location: 323 C

Presentation is given by student: No