Matching Items (3)

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Enrichment experiment changes microbial interactions in an ultra-oligotrophic environment

Description

The increase of nutrients in water bodies, in particular nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) due to the recent expansion of agricultural and other human activities is accelerating environmental degradation of

The increase of nutrients in water bodies, in particular nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) due to the recent expansion of agricultural and other human activities is accelerating environmental degradation of these water bodies, elevating the risk of eutrophication and reducing biodiversity. To evaluate the ecological effects of the influx of nutrients in an oligotrophic and stoichiometrically imbalanced environment, we performed a replicated in situ mesocosm experiment. We analyzed the effects of a N- and P-enrichment on the bacterial interspecific interactions in an experiment conducted in the Cuatro Cienegas Basin (CCB) in Mexico. This is a desert ecosystem comprised of several aquatic systems with a large number of microbial endemic species. The abundance of key nutrients in this basin exhibits strong stoichiometric imbalance (high N:P ratios), suggesting that species diversity is maintained mostly by competition for resources. We focused on the biofilm formation and antibiotic resistance of 960 strains of cultivated bacteria in two habitats, water and sediment, before and after 3 weeks of fertilization. The water habitat was dominated by Pseudomonas, while Halomonas dominated the sediment. Strong antibiotic resistance was found among the isolates at time zero in the nutrient-poor bacterial communities, but resistance declined in the bacteria isolated in the nutrient-rich environments, suggesting that in the nutrient-poor original environment, negative inter-specific interactions were important, while in the nutrient-rich environments, competitive interactions are not so important. In water, a significant increase in the percentage of biofilm-forming strains was observed for all treatments involving nutrient addition.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-04-01

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Exceptional reduction of the plastid genome of saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea): Loss of the ndh gene suite and inverted repeat

Description

Premise of the study: Land-plant plastid genomes have only rarely undergone significant changes in gene content and order. Thus, discovery of additional examples adds power to tests for causes of

Premise of the study: Land-plant plastid genomes have only rarely undergone significant changes in gene content and order. Thus, discovery of additional examples adds power to tests for causes of such genome-scale structural changes.
Methods: Using next-generation sequence data, we assembled the plastid genome of saguaro cactus and probed the nuclear genome for transferred plastid genes and functionally related nuclear genes. We combined these results with available data across Cactaceae and seed plants more broadly to infer the history of gene loss and to assess the strength of phylogenetic association between gene loss and loss of the inverted repeat (IR).
Key results: The saguaro plastid genome is the smallest known for an obligately photosynthetic angiosperm (∼113 kb), having lost the IR and plastid ndh genes. This loss supports a statistically strong association across seed plants between the loss of ndh genes and the loss of the IR. Many nonplastid copies of plastid ndh genes were found in the nuclear genome, but none had intact reading frames; nor did three related nuclear-encoded subunits. However, nuclear pgr5, which functions in a partially redundant pathway, was intact.
Conclusions: The existence of an alternative pathway redundant with the function of the plastid NADH dehydrogenase-like complex (NDH) complex may permit loss of the plastid ndh gene suite in photoautotrophs like saguaro. Loss of these genes may be a recurring mechanism for overall plastid genome size reduction, especially in combination with loss of the IR.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-07-01

Nutrient Stoichiometry Shapes Microbial Community Structure in an Evaporitic Shallow Pond

Description

Nutrient availability and ratios can play an important role in shaping microbial communities of freshwater ecosystems. The Cuatro Ciénegas Basin (CCB) in Mexico is a desert oasis where, perhaps paradoxically,

Nutrient availability and ratios can play an important role in shaping microbial communities of freshwater ecosystems. The Cuatro Ciénegas Basin (CCB) in Mexico is a desert oasis where, perhaps paradoxically, high microbial diversity coincides with extreme oligotrophy. To better understand the effects of nutrients on microbial communities in CCB, a mesocosm experiment was implemented in a stoichiometrically imbalanced pond, Lagunita, which has an average TN:TP ratio of 122 (atomic). The experiment had four treatments, each with five spatial replicates – unamended controls and three fertilization treatments with different nitrogen:phosphorus (N:P) regimes (P only, N:P = 16 and N:P = 75 by atoms). In the water column, quantitative PCR of the 16S rRNA gene indicated that P enrichment alone favored proliferation of bacterial taxa with high rRNA gene copy number, consistent with a previously hypothesized but untested connection between rRNA gene copy number and P requirement. Bacterial and microbial eukaryotic community structure was investigated by pyrosequencing of 16S and 18S rRNA genes from the planktonic and surficial sediment samples. Nutrient enrichment shifted the composition of the planktonic community in a treatment-specific manner and promoted the growth of previously rare bacterial taxa at the expense of the more abundant, potentially endemic, taxa. The eukaryotic community was highly enriched with phototrophic populations in the fertilized treatment. The sediment microbial community exhibited high beta diversity among replicates within treatments, which obscured any changes due to fertilization. Overall, these results showed that nutrient stoichiometry can be an important factor in shaping microbial community structure.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05-30