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Biogeographic partitioning of Southern Ocean microorganisms revealed by metagenomics


Wilkins, D and Lauro, FM and Williams, TJ and Demaere, MZ and Brown, MV and Hoffman, JM and Andrews-Pfannkoch, C and Mcquaid, JB and Riddle, MJ and Rintoul, SR and Cavicchioli, R, Biogeographic partitioning of Southern Ocean microorganisms revealed by metagenomics, Environmental Microbiology, 15, (5) pp. 1318-1333. ISSN 1462-2920 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing

DOI: doi:10.1111/1462-2920.12035


We performed a metagenomic survey (6.6 Gbp of 454 sequence data) of Southern Ocean (SO) microorganisms during the austral summer of 20072008, examining the genomic signatures of communities across a latitudinal transect from Hobart (44S) to the Mertz Glacier, Antarctica (67S). Operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of the SAR11 and SAR116 clades and the cyanobacterial genera Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus were strongly overrepresented north of the Polar Front (PF). Conversely, OTUs of the Gammaproteobacterial Sulfur Oxidizer-EOSA-1 (GSO-EOSA-1) complex, the phyla Bacteroidetes and Verrucomicrobia and order Rhodobacterales were characteristic of waters south of the PF. Functions enriched south of the PF included a range of transporters, sulfur reduction and histidine degradation to glutamate, while branched-chain amino acid transport, nucleic acid biosynthesis and methionine salvage were overrepresented north of the PF. The taxonomic and functional characteristics suggested a shift of primary production from cyanobacteria in the north to eukaryotic phytoplankton in the south, and reflected the different trophic statuses of the two regions. The study provides a new level of understanding about SO microbial communities, describing the contrasting taxonomic and functional characteristics of microbial assemblages either side of the PF.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Southern Ocean, microorganisms, Biogeographic partitioning, metagenomic survey
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Rintoul, SR (Dr Steve Rintoul)
ID Code:87629
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:55
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2013-11-28
Last Modified:2015-02-02

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