Program and Agenda

Abstract

COMPARATIVE MICROBIAL COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND BIOGEOGRAPHY OF ATLANTIC AND PACIFIC “PLASTISPHERE” COMMUNITIES

Plastic Marine Debris (PMD) is the most abundant form of marine debris found in all of the ocean’s gyres. The Plastisphere is defined as the thin layer of life found on the outer surface of PMD. Plastisphere microbial communities on microplastics (<5 mm) collected from open ocean surface waters are distinct from the surrounding seawater and harbor a diversity of microbial species including potential pathogens. However, the variability of the Plastisphere over space and time remains underexplored. We completed collection and next-generation amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA gene V6 hypervariable regions on samples from two open-ocean transects in the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre and the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, giving us good data sets for comparing regional differences within and between oceans. Our data reveal that many of the same bacterial Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) inhabit the Plastisphere of Atlantic and Pacific gyres, but dominant OTUs are often distinct on different pieces of plastic regardless of ocean basin. Our sampling strategy allows us to compare and contrast Plastisphere biogeography along marine longitudinal and latitudinal gradients.

http://amarallab.mbl.edu

Authors

Amaral-Zettler, L. A., Marine Biological Laboratory, USA, amaral@mbl.edu

Boyd, G., Sea Education Association, USA, gboyd@seaed.org

Slikas, B., Marine Biological Laboratory, USA, bslikas@mbl.edu

Zettler, E. R., Sea Education Association, USA, ezettler@sea.edu

Mincer, T. J., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA, tmincer@whoi.edu

Details

Oral presentation

Session #:140
Date: 2/24/2014
Time: 10:30
Location: 316 B

Presentation is given by student: No