Apr 28, 2020

Anaerobic microbial degradation of protein and lipid macromolecules in subarctic marine sediment

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
C. PelikanAlexander Loy

Abstract

Microorganisms in marine sediments play major roles in marine biogeochemical cycles by mineralizing substantial quantities of organic matter from decaying cells. Proteins and lipids are abundant components of necromass, yet microorganisms that degrade them remain understudied. Here, we revealed identities, trophic interactions and genomic features of microorganisms that degraded 13C-labelled proteins and lipids in cold anoxic microcosms with sulfidic subarctic marine sediment. Supplemented proteins and lipids were rapidly fermented to various volatile fatty acids within five days. DNA-stable isotope probing (SIP) suggested Psychrilyobacter atlanticus was an important primary degrader of proteins, and Psychromonas members were important primary degraders of both proteins and lipids. Closely related Psychromonas populations, as represented by distinct 16S rRNA gene variants, deferentially utilized either proteins or lipids. DNA-SIP also showed 13C-labeling of various Deltaproteobacteria within ten days, indicating trophic transfer of carbon to putative sulfate-reducers. Metagenome-assembled genomes revealed the primary hydrolyzers encoded secreted peptidases or lipases, and enzymes for catabolism of protein or lipid degradation p...Continue Reading

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