Matching Items (6)

130323-Thumbnail Image.png

Variability of rRNA Operon Copy Number and Growth Rate Dynamics of Bacillus Isolated from an Extremely Oligotrophic Aquatic Ecosystem

Description

The ribosomal RNA (rrn) operon is a key suite of genes related to the production of protein synthesis machinery and thus to bacterial growth physiology. Experimental evidence has suggested an

The ribosomal RNA (rrn) operon is a key suite of genes related to the production of protein synthesis machinery and thus to bacterial growth physiology. Experimental evidence has suggested an intrinsic relationship between the number of copies of this operon and environmental resource availability, especially the availability of phosphorus (P), because bacteria that live in oligotrophic ecosystems usually have few rrn operons and a slow growth rate. The Cuatro Ciénegas Basin (CCB) is a complex aquatic ecosystem that contains an unusually high microbial diversity that is able to persist under highly oligotrophic conditions. These environmental conditions impose a variety of strong selective pressures that shape the genome dynamics of their inhabitants. The genus Bacillus is one of the most abundant cultivable bacterial groups in the CCB and usually possesses a relatively large number of rrn operon copies (6–15 copies). The main goal of this study was to analyze the variation in the number of rrn operon copies of Bacillus in the CCB and to assess their growth-related properties as well as their stoichiometric balance (N and P content). We defined 18 phylogenetic groups within the Bacilli clade and documented a range of from six to 14 copies of the rrn operon. The growth dynamic of these Bacilli was heterogeneous and did not show a direct relation to the number of operon copies. Physiologically, our results were not consistent with the Growth Rate Hypothesis, since the copies of the rrn operon were decoupled from growth rate. However, we speculate that the diversity of the growth properties of these Bacilli as well as the low P content of their cells in an ample range of rrn copy number is an adaptive response to oligotrophy of the CCB and could represent an ecological mechanism that allows these taxa to coexist. These findings increase the knowledge of the variability in the number of copies of the rrn operon in the genus Bacillus and give insights about the physiology of this bacterial group under extreme oligotrophic conditions.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-01-05

130324-Thumbnail Image.png

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

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

130337-Thumbnail Image.png

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.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-04-16

153351-Thumbnail Image.png

Growing rocks: the effects of calcium carbonate deposition on phosphorus availability in streams

Description

Humans have dramatically increased phosphorus (P) availability in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. As P is often a limiting nutrient of primary production, changes in its availability can have dramatic effects

Humans have dramatically increased phosphorus (P) availability in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. As P is often a limiting nutrient of primary production, changes in its availability can have dramatic effects on ecosystem processes. I examined the effects of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) deposition, which can lower P concentrations via coprecipitation of phosphate, on P availability in two systems: streams in the Huachuca Mountains, Arizona, and a stream, Río Mesquites, in Cuatro Ciénegas, México. Calcium carbonate forms as travertine in the former and within the microbialites of the latter. Despite these differences, CaCO3 deposition led to lowered P availability in both systems. By analyzing a three-year dataset of water chemistry from the Huachuca Mountain streams, I determined that P concentrations were negatively related to CaCO3 deposition rates. I also discovered that CaCO3 was positively correlated with nitrogen concentrations, suggesting that the stoichiometric effect of CaCO3 deposition on nutrient availability is due not only to coprecipitation of phosphate, but also to P-related constraints on biotic nitrogen uptake. Building from these observations, bioassays of nutrient limitation of periphyton growth suggest that P limitation is more prevalent in streams with active CaCO3 deposition than those without. Furthermore, when I experimentally reduced rates of CaCO3 deposition within one of the streams by partial light-exclusion, areal P uptake lengths decreased, periphyton P content and growth increased, and periphyton nutrient limitation by P decreased. In Río Mesquites, CaCO3 deposition was also associated with P limitation of microbial growth. There, I investigated the consequences of reductions in CaCO3 deposition with several methods. Calcium removal led to increased concentrations of P in the microbial biomass while light reductions decreased microbial biomass and chemical inhibition had no effect. These results suggest that CaCO3 deposition in microbialites does limit biological uptake of P, that photoautotrophs play an important role in nutrient acquisition, and, combined with other experimental observations, that sulfate reduction may support CaCO3 deposition in the microbialite communities of Río Mesquites. Overall, my results suggest that the effects of CaCO3 deposition on P availability are general and this process should be considered when managing nutrient flows across aquatic ecosystems.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

149312-Thumbnail Image.png

Denitrification and greenhouse gas dynamics in lakes receiving atmospheric nitrogen deposition

Description

The global transport and deposition of anthropogenic nitrogen (N) to downwind ecosystems are significant and continue to increase. Indeed, atmospheric deposition can be a significant source of N to many

The global transport and deposition of anthropogenic nitrogen (N) to downwind ecosystems are significant and continue to increase. Indeed, atmospheric deposition can be a significant source of N to many watersheds, including those in remote, unpopulated areas. Bacterial denitrification in lake sediments may ameliorate the effects of N loading by converting nitrate (NO3-) to N2 gas. Denitrification also produces nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas. The ecological effects of atmospheric N inputs in terrestrial ecosystems and the pelagic zone of lakes have been well documented; however, similar research in lake sediments is lacking. This project investigates the effects N of deposition on denitrification and N2O production in lakes. Atmospheric N inputs might alter the availability of NO3- and other key resources to denitrifiers. Such altered resources could influence denitrification, N2O production, and the abundance of denitrifying bacteria in sediments. The research contrasts these responses in lakes at the ends of gradients of N deposition in Colorado and Norway. Rates of denitrification and N2O production were elevated in the sediments of lakes subject to anthropogenic N inputs. There was no evidence, however, that N deposition has altered sediment resources or the abundance of denitrifiers. Further investigation into the dynamics of nitric oxide, N2O, and N2 during denitrification found no difference between deposition regions. Regardless of atmospheric N inputs, sediments from lakes in both Norway and Colorado possess considerable capacity to remove NO3- by denitrification. Catchment-specific properties may influence the denitrifying community more strongly than the rate of atmospheric N loading. In this regard, sediments appear to be insulated from the effects of N deposition compared to the water column. Lastly, surface water N2O concentrations were greater in high-deposition lakes compared to low-deposition lakes. To understand the potential magnitude of deposition-induced N2O production, the greenhouse gas inventory methodology of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was applied to available datasets. Estimated emissions from lakes are 7-371 Gg N y-1, suggesting that lakes could be an important source of N2O.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2010