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  Microbial Activities and Selection from Surface Ocean to Subseafloor on the Namibian Continental Shelf

Vuillemin, A., Coskun, Ö. K., Orsi, W. D. (2022): Microbial Activities and Selection from Surface Ocean to Subseafloor on the Namibian Continental Shelf. - Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 88, 9.
https://doi.org/10.1128/aem.00216-22

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Vuillemin, A.1, Author              
Coskun, Ömer K.2, Author
Orsi, William D.2, Author
Glass, Jennifer B.2, Editor
Affiliations:
13.7 Geomicrobiology, 3.0 Geochemistry, Departments, GFZ Publication Database, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum, ou_146043              
2External Organizations, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Bacteroidetes; Benguela upwelling system; Deltaproteobacteria SAR324; Gammaproteobacteria; Gammaproteobacteria SUP05; chemolithoautotrophy; cryptic sulfur cycle; dark carbon fixation; dsrA and aprA genes; metatranscriptomics; oxygen minimum zones; stable isotope probing.
 Abstract: Oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) are hot spots for redox-sensitive nitrogen transformations fueled by sinking organic matter. In comparison, the regulating role of sulfur-cycling microbes in marine OMZs, their impact on carbon cycling in pelagic and benthic habitats, and activities below the seafloor remain poorly understood. Using 13C DNA stable isotope probing (SIP) and metatranscriptomics, we explored microbial guilds involved in sulfur and carbon cycling from the ocean surface to the subseafloor on the Namibian shelf. There was a clear separation in microbial community structure across the seawater-seafloor boundary, which coincided with a 100-fold-increased concentration of microbial biomass and unique gene expression profiles of the benthic communities. 13C-labeled 16S rRNA genes in SIP experiments revealed carbon-assimilating taxa and their distribution across the sediment-water interface. Most of the transcriptionally active taxa among water column communities that assimilated 13C from diatom exopolysaccharides (mostly Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, and Planctomycetes) also assimilated 13C-bicarbonate under anoxic conditions in sediment incubations. Moreover, many transcriptionally active taxa from the seafloor community (mostly sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria and sulfide-oxidizing Gammaproteobacteria) that assimilated 13C-bicarbonate under sediment anoxic conditions also assimilated 13C from diatom exopolysaccharides in the surface ocean and OMZ waters. Despite strong selection at the sediment-water interface, many taxa related to either planktonic or benthic communities were found to be present at low abundance and actively assimilating carbon under both sediment and water column conditions. In austral winter, mixing of shelf waters reduces stratification and suspends sediments from the seafloor into the water column, potentially spreading metabolically versatile microbes across niches. IMPORTANCE Microbial activities in oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) transform inorganic fixed nitrogen into greenhouse gases, impacting the Earth's climate and nutrient equilibrium. Coastal OMZs are predicted to expand with global change and increase carbon sedimentation to the seafloor. However, the role of sulfur-cycling microbes in assimilating carbon in marine OMZs and related seabed habitats remain poorly understood. Using 13C DNA stable isotope probing and metatranscriptomics, we explore microbial guilds involved in sulfur and carbon cycling from ocean surface to subseafloor on the Namibian shelf. Despite strong selection and differential activities across the sediment-water interface, many active taxa were identified in both planktonic and benthic communities, either fixing inorganic carbon or assimilating organic carbon from algal biomass. Our data show that many planktonic and benthic microbes linked to the sulfur cycle can cross redox boundaries when mixing of the shelf waters reduces stratification and suspends seafloor sediment particles into the water column.

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 Dates: 20222022
 Publication Status: Finally published
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1128/aem.00216-22
GFZPOF: p4 T5 Future Landscapes
OATYPE: Hybrid Open Access
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Title: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Source Genre: Journal, SCI, Scopus
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 88 (9) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: - Identifier: CoNE: https://gfzpublic.gfz-potsdam.de/cone/journals/resource/journals31
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology