BIOGEOGRAPHIC COMPARISON OF LOPHELIA-ASSOCIATED BACTERIAL COMMUNITIES IN THE WESTERN ATLANTIC
Over the last decade, publications on deep-sea corals have tripled. Most attention has been paid to Lophelia pertusa, a globally distributed scleractinian coral that creates critical three-dimensional habitat in the deep ocean. The bacterial community associated with L. pertusa has been previously described by a number of studies at sites in the Mediterranean Sea, Norwegian fjords, off Great Britain, and in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). However, use of different methodologies prevents direct comparisons in most cases. Our objectives were to address intra-regional variation and to describe the conserved bacterial core community. We collected samples from three distinct colonies of L. pertusa at each of four locations within the western Atlantic: three sites within the GOM and one off the east coast of the United States. Amplicon libraries of 16S rRNA genes were generated using V4-V5 primers and 454 pyrosequencing. The dominant phylum was Proteobacteria (75–96%). At the family level, 80–95% of each sample was comprised of five groups: Pirellulaceae, Pseudonocardiaceae, Rhodobacteraceae, Sphingomonadaceae, and unclassified Oceanospirillales. Principal coordinate analysis based on a weighted unifrac distance showed a clear distinction between the GOM and Atlantic samples. Interestingly, the replicate samples from each location did not always cluster together, indicating there is not a strong site-specific influence. A core bacterial community, conserved in 100% of the samples, was dominated by the alphaproteobacterial genus Novosphingobium.
Kellogg, C. A., U.S. Geological Survey, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Goldsmith, D. B., Cherokee Nation Technical Solutions, contracted to U.S. Geological Survey, USA, email@example.com
Gray, M. A., U.S. Geological Survey, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: 313 A
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