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Structure and function of the Arctic and Antarctic marine microbiota as revealed by metagenomics


Zhang, W and Cao, S and Ding, W and Wang, M and Fan, S and Yang, B and McMinn, A and Wang, M and Xie, B-B and Qin, Q-L and Chen, X-L and He, J and Zhang, Y-Z, Structure and function of the Arctic and Antarctic marine microbiota as revealed by metagenomics, Microbiome, 8 Article 47. ISSN 2049-2618 (2020) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1186/s40168-020-00826-9




The Arctic and Antarctic are the two most geographically distant bioregions on earth. Recent sampling efforts and following metagenomics have shed light on the global ocean microbial diversity and function, yet the microbiota of polar regions has not been included in such global analyses.


Here a metagenomic study of seawater samples (n = 60) collected from different depths at 28 locations in the Arctic and Antarctic zones was performed, together with metagenomes from the Tara Oceans. More than 7500 (19%) polar seawater-derived operational taxonomic units could not be identified in the Tara Oceans datasets, and more than 3,900,000 protein-coding gene orthologs had no hits in the Ocean Microbial Reference Gene Catalog. Analysis of 214 metagenome assembled genomes (MAGs) recovered from the polar seawater microbiomes, revealed strains that are prevalent in the polar regions while nearly undetectable in temperate seawater. Metabolic pathway reconstruction for these microbes suggested versatility for saccharide and lipids biosynthesis, nitrate and sulfate reduction, and CO2 fixation. Comparison between the Arctic and Antarctic microbiomes revealed that antibiotic resistance genes were enriched in the Arctic while functions like DNA recombination were enriched in the Antarctic.


Our data highlight the occurrence of dominant and locally enriched microbes in the Arctic and Antarctic seawater with unique functional traits for environmental adaption, and provide a foundation for analyzing the global ocean microbiome in a more complete perspective.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Arctic, Antarctic, microbiota, metagenomics, global ocean microbiome, Arctic and Antarctic zones, environmental adaptation
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Microbiology
Research Field:Microbial ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:McMinn, A (Professor Andrew McMinn)
ID Code:138971
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:31
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2020-05-15
Last Modified:2020-12-08
Downloads:29 View Download Statistics

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