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Gene Sequencing-Based Analysis of Microbial-Mat Morphotypes, Caicos Platform, British West Indies

Trembath-Reichert, Elizabeth and Ward, Lewis M. and Slotznick, Sarah P. and Bachtel, Steven L. and Kerans, Charles and Grotzinger, John P. and Fischer, Woodward W. (2016) Gene Sequencing-Based Analysis of Microbial-Mat Morphotypes, Caicos Platform, British West Indies. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 86 (6). pp. 629-636. ISSN 1527-1404. doi:10.2110/jsr.2016.40.

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Active carbonate platforms provide modern analogs to study microbial-mat development and taphonomy in the sedimentary record. Microbial-mat descriptions and classifications for tropical tidal-flat environments have focused predominantly on morphological observations. This is exemplified by flat and biscuit-shaped mats, where the mat morphotypes are postulated to reflect different Cyanobacteria communities as the main mat-building taxa. To compare the total microbial communities of these two mat types and test this Cyanobacteria hypothesis, we applied optical microscopy and gene sequencing methods using samples from a tidal algal marsh on Little Ambergris Cay, Turks and Caicos, B.W.I. With gene sequencing we find that total diversity and community composition differs significantly between morphotypes; the biscuit mat is more diverse than the flat mat. Microscopy results support that Cyanobacteria populations colonizing the surface layer of these two mat types are responsible for much of the mat's structural elements; however, genetic data find the Cyanobacteria population is indistinguishable between the two mat types. The recovered Cyanobacteria populations fall predominantly into three taxa: Scytonema, Halomicronema, and Crinalium. We propose that the morphology of these two mat types is not controlled by the Cyanobacteria, but instead reflects a time-integrated microbial response to environmental factors, where the microbial community becomes more diverse with time since environmental disturbance.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemChapter (Appendix B) in Trembath-Reichert PhD thesis
Trembath-Reichert, Elizabeth0000-0002-3979-8676
Ward, Lewis M.0000-0002-9290-2567
Slotznick, Sarah P.0000-0001-8374-3173
Kerans, Charles0000-0002-3544-9006
Grotzinger, John P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Fischer, Woodward W.0000-0002-8836-3054
Additional Information:© 2016 SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology). Received 4 August 2015; accepted 6 March 2016; First Published on June 08, 2016. We thank Jena Johnson, Daven Quinn, Alison Piasecki, Mathieu Lapotre, Jennifer Buz, Hayden Miller, Ted Present, Kirsten Siebach, and Brooke Dallas for assistance in the field, and Chris Zahm for UAV photography. We thank Victoria J. Orphan for sequencing support. We thank Kathleen Wood (DEMA) for assistance with our study. Partial support for the fieldwork was graciously provided by the Agouron Institute.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Agouron InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160708-110324837
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Official Citation:Gene Sequencing-Based Analysis of Microbial-Mat Morphotypes, Caicos Platform, British West Indies Elizabeth Trembath-Reichert, Lewis M. Ward, Sarah P. Slotznick, Steven L. Bachtel, Charles Kerans, John P. Grotzinger, Woodward W. Fischer Journal of Sedimentary Research Jun 2016, 86 (6) 629-636; DOI: 10.2110/jsr.2016.40
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:68922
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Jul 2016 23:36
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 04:06

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