Changes in northern Gulf of Mexico sediment bacterial and archaeal communities exposed to hypoxia

R DevereuxAnthony V Palumbo


Biogeochemical changes in marine sediments during coastal water hypoxia are well described, but less is known about underlying changes in microbial communities. Bacterial and archaeal communities in Louisiana continental shelf (LCS) hypoxic zone sediments were characterized by pyrosequencing 16S rRNA V4-region gene fragments obtained by PCR amplification of community genomic DNA with bacterial- or archaeal-specific primers. Duplicate LCS sediment cores collected during hypoxia had higher concentrations of Fe(II), and dissolved inorganic carbon, phosphate, and ammonium than cores collected when overlying water oxygen concentrations were normal. Pyrosequencing yielded 158,686 bacterial and 225,591 archaeal sequences from 20 sediment samples, representing five 2-cm depth intervals in the duplicate cores. Bacterial communities grouped by sampling date and sediment depth in a neighbor-joining analysis using Chao-Jaccard shared species values. Redundancy analysis indicated that variance in bacterial communities was mainly associated with differences in sediment chemistry between oxic and hypoxic water column conditions. Gammaproteobacteria (26.5%) were most prominent among bacterial sequences, followed by Firmicutes (9.6%), and Alpha...Continue Reading


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