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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2014 Nov;80(21):6807-18. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01774-14. Epub 2014 Aug 29.

Illuminating microbial dark matter in meromictic Sakinaw Lake.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
2
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Genome Science and Technology Program, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Graduate Program in Bioinformatics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada shallam@mail.ubc.ca.

Abstract

Despite recent advances in metagenomic and single-cell genomic sequencing to investigate uncultivated microbial diversity and metabolic potential, fundamental questions related to population structure, interactions, and biogeochemical roles of candidate divisions remain. Numerous molecular surveys suggest that stratified ecosystems manifesting anoxic, sulfidic, and/or methane-rich conditions are enriched in these enigmatic microbes. Here we describe diversity, abundance, and cooccurrence patterns of uncultivated microbial communities inhabiting the permanently stratified waters of meromictic Sakinaw Lake, British Columbia, Canada, using 454 sequencing of the small-subunit rRNA gene with three-domain resolution. Operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were affiliated with 64 phyla, including more than 25 candidate divisions. Pronounced trends in community structure were observed for all three domains with eukaryotic sequences vanishing almost completely below the mixolimnion, followed by a rapid and sustained increase in methanogen-affiliated (∼10%) and unassigned (∼60%) archaeal sequences as well as bacterial OTUs affiliated with Chloroflexi (∼22%) and candidate divisions (∼28%). Network analysis revealed highly correlated, depth-dependent cooccurrence patterns between Chloroflexi, candidate divisions WWE1, OP9/JS1, OP8, and OD1, methanogens, and unassigned archaeal OTUs indicating niche partitioning and putative syntrophic growth modes. Indeed, pathway reconstruction using recently published Sakinaw Lake single-cell genomes affiliated with OP9/JS1 and OP8 revealed complete coverage of the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway with potential to drive syntrophic acetate oxidation to hydrogen and carbon dioxide under methanogenic conditions. Taken together, these observations point to previously unrecognized syntrophic networks in meromictic lake ecosystems with the potential to inform design and operation of anaerobic methanogenic bioreactors.

PMID:
25172853
PMCID:
PMC4249029
DOI:
10.1128/AEM.01774-14
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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