Format

Send to

Choose Destination
ISME J. 2014 Jun;8(6):1153-65. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2013.225. Epub 2013 Dec 19.

Endospores of thermophilic bacteria as tracers of microbial dispersal by ocean currents.

Author information

1
1] Division of Microbial Ecology, Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria [2] Austrian Polar Research Institute, Vienna, Austria.
2
1] Center for Geomicrobiology, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark [2] School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.
3
School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.
4
Center for Geomicrobiology, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
5
Division of Microbial Ecology, Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

Microbial biogeography is influenced by the combined effects of passive dispersal and environmental selection, but the contribution of either factor can be difficult to discern. As thermophilic bacteria cannot grow in the cold seabed, their inactive spores are not subject to environmental selection. We therefore conducted a global experimental survey using thermophilic endospores that are passively deposited by sedimentation to the cold seafloor as tracers to study the effect of dispersal by ocean currents on the biogeography of marine microorganisms. Our analysis of 81 different marine sediments from around the world identified 146 species-level 16S rRNA phylotypes of endospore-forming, thermophilic Firmicutes. Phylotypes showed various patterns of spatial distribution in the world oceans and were dispersal-limited to different degrees. Co-occurrence of several phylotypes in locations separated by great distances (west of Svalbard, the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of California) demonstrated a widespread but not ubiquitous distribution. In contrast, Arctic regions with water masses that are relatively isolated from global ocean circulation (Baffin Bay and east of Svalbard) were characterized by low phylotype richness and different compositions of phylotypes. The observed distribution pattern of thermophilic endospores in marine sediments suggests that the impact of passive dispersal on marine microbial biogeography is controlled by the connectivity of local water masses to ocean circulation.

PMID:
24351936
PMCID:
PMC4030223
DOI:
10.1038/ismej.2013.225
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center