Matching Items (4)

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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.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-04-01

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.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05-30

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Response of a Stoichiometrically Imbalanced Ecosystem to Manipulation of Nutrient Supplies and Ratios

Description

Cuatro Ciénegas Basin (CCB) is a desert ecosystem that hosts a large diversity of water bodies. Many surface waters in this basin have imbalanced nitrogen (N) to phosphorus (P) stoichiometry

Cuatro Ciénegas Basin (CCB) is a desert ecosystem that hosts a large diversity of water bodies. Many surface waters in this basin have imbalanced nitrogen (N) to phosphorus (P) stoichiometry (total N:P > 100 by atoms), where P is likely to be a limiting nutrient. To investigate the effects of nutrient stoichiometry on planktonic and sediment ecosystem components and processes, we conducted a replicated in situ mesocosm experiment in Lagunita, a shallow pond located in the southwest region of the basin. Inorganic N and P were periodically added to mesocosms under three different N:P regimes (P only, N:P = 16 and N:P = 75) while the control mesocosms were left unamended. After three weeks of fertilization, more than two thirds of the applied P was immobilized into seston or sediment. The rapid uptake of P significantly decreased biomass C:P and N:P ratios, supporting the hypothesis that Lagunita is P-limited. Meanwhile, simultaneous N and P enrichment significantly enhanced planktonic growth, increasing total planktonic biomass by more than 2-fold compared to the unenriched control. With up to 76% of added N sequestered into the seston, it is suspected that the Lagunita microbial community also experienced strong N-limitation. However, when N and P were applied at N:P = 75, the microbes remained in a P-limitation state as in the untreated control. Two weeks after the last fertilizer application, seston C:P and N:P ratios returned to initial levels but chlorophyll a and seston C concentrations remained elevated. Additionally, no P release from the sediment was observed in the fertilized mesocosms. Overall, this study provides evidence that Lagunita is highly sensitive to nutrient perturbation because the biota is primarily P-limited and experiences a secondary N-limitation despite its high TN:TP ratio. This study serves as a strong basis to justify the need for protection of CCB ecosystems and other low-nutrient microbe-dominated systems from anthropogenic inputs of both N and P.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-04-16

Prokaryotic Cells Separated From Sediments are Suitable for Elemental Composition Analysis

Description

Cell-sediment separation methods can potentially enable determination of the elemental composition of microbial communities by removing the sediment elemental contribution from bulk samples. We demonstrate that a separation method can

Cell-sediment separation methods can potentially enable determination of the elemental composition of microbial communities by removing the sediment elemental contribution from bulk samples. We demonstrate that a separation method can be applied to determine the composition of prokaryotic cells. The method uses chemical and physical means to extract cells from benthic sediments and mats. Recovery yields were between 5% and 40%, as determined from cell counts. The method conserves cellular element contents to within 30% or better, as assessed by comparing C, N, P, Mg, Al, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, and Mo contents in Escherichia coli. Contamination by C, N, and P from chemicals used during the procedure was negligible. Na and K were not conserved, being likely exchanged through the cell membrane as cations during separation. V, Cr, and Co abundances could not be determined due to large (>100%) measurement uncertainties. We applied this method to measure elemental contents in extremophilic communities of Yellowstone National Park hot springs. The method was generally successful at separating cells from sediment, but does not discriminate between cells and detrital biological or noncellular material of similar density. This resulted in Al, Ti, Mn, and Fe contamination, which can be tracked using proxies such as metal:Al ratios. With these caveats, we present the first measurements, to our knowledge, of the elemental abundances of a chemosynthetic community. The communities have C:N ratios typical of aquatic microorganisms, are low in P, and their metal abundances vary between hot springs by orders of magnitude.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-07-01