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Methane Seep Carbonates Host Distinct, Diverse, and Dynamic Microbial Assemblages

Case, David H. and Pasulka, Alexis L. and Marlow, Jeffrey J. and Grupe, Benjamin M. and Levin, Lisa A. and Orphan, Victoria J. (2015) Methane Seep Carbonates Host Distinct, Diverse, and Dynamic Microbial Assemblages. mBio, 6 (6). Art. No. e01348-15. ISSN 2150-7511. PMCID PMC4701829. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160104-131039931

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Abstract

Marine methane seeps are globally distributed geologic features in which reduced fluids, including methane, are advected upward from the subsurface. As a result of alkalinity generation during sulfate-coupled methane oxidation, authigenic carbonates form slabs, nodules, and extensive pavements. These carbonates shape the landscape within methane seeps, persist long after methane flux is diminished, and in some cases are incorporated into the geologic record. In this study, microbial assemblages from 134 native and experimental samples across 5,500 km, representing a range of habitat substrates (carbonate nodules and slabs, sediment, bottom water, and wood) and seepage conditions (active and low activity), were analyzed to address two fundamental questions of seep microbial ecology: (i) whether carbonates host distinct microbial assemblages and (ii) how sensitive microbial assemblages are to habitat substrate type and temporal shifts in methane seepage flux. Through massively parallel 16S rRNA gene sequencing and statistical analysis, native carbonates are shown to be reservoirs of distinct and highly diverse seep microbial assemblages. Unique coupled transplantation and colonization experiments on the seafloor demonstrated that carbonate-associated microbial assemblages are resilient to seep quiescence and reactive to seep activation over 13 months. Various rates of response to simulated seep quiescence and activation are observed among similar phylogenies (e.g., Chloroflexi operational taxonomic units) and similar metabolisms (e.g., putative S oxidizers), demonstrating the wide range of microbial sensitivity to changes in seepage flux. These results imply that carbonates do not passively record a time-integrated history of seep microorganisms but rather host distinct, diverse, and dynamic microbial assemblages.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.01348-15DOIArticle
http://mbio.asm.org/content/6/6/e01348-15PublisherArticle
http://mbio.asm.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1128/mBio.01348-15/-/DCSupplementalPublisherSupplemental Material
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4701829/PubMed CentralArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Grupe, Benjamin M.0000-0002-5421-7278
Levin, Lisa A.0000-0002-2858-8622
Orphan, Victoria J.0000-0002-5374-6178
Additional Information:© 2015 Case et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license, which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Received 12 August 2015; Accepted 9 November 2015; Published 22 December 2015. We thank Connor Skennerton and Elizabeth Trembath-Reichert for helpful discussions on data processing. We acknowledge Stephanie Connon, Patricia Tavormina, Josh Steele, Heather Grotzinger, and shipboard teams from the Orphan, Levin, Rathburn, and Rouse labs for assistance with sample collection and processing. We are indebted to the captain, crew, and pilots of the DSV Alvin and ROV Jason II from cruises AT15-11, AT15-44, AT15-68, who made this work possible. We thank the two anonymous reviewers, whose comments strengthened the study. This research was supported by a grant to V.O. from the NASA Astrobiology Institute (award NNA13AA92A). This work was also support by a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant (OCE-0825791) and a Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Marine Microbiology Initiative grant (3780) to V.O. D.C. was supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Levin lab research was supported by NSF grants OCE-0826254 and OCE-0939557.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASANNA13AA92A
NSFOCE-0825791
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation3780
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
NSFOCE-0826254
NSFOCE-0939557
Issue or Number:6
PubMed Central ID:PMC4701829
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160104-131039931
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160104-131039931
Official Citation:Case DH, Pasulka AL, Marlow JJ, Grupe BM, Levin LA, Orphan VJ. 2015. Methane seep carbonates host distinct, diverse, and dynamic microbial assemblages. mBio 6(6): e01348-15. doi:10.1128/mBio.01348-15
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:63334
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:04 Jan 2016 21:53
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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