Sep 25, 2017

Depth Distribution and Assembly of Sulfate-Reducing Microbial Communities in Marine Sediments of Aarhus Bay

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Lara M JochumKasper Urup Kjeldsen

Abstract

Most sulfate-reducing microorganisms (SRMs) present in subsurface marine sediments belong to uncultured groups only distantly related to known SRMs, and it remains unclear how changing geochemical zones and sediment depth influence their community structure. We mapped the community composition and abundance of SRMs by amplicon sequencing and quantifying the dsrB gene, which encodes dissimilatory sulfite reductase subunit beta, in sediment samples covering different vertical geochemical zones ranging from the surface sediment to the deep sulfate-depleted subsurface at four locations in Aarhus Bay, Denmark. SRMs were present in all geochemical zones, including sulfate-depleted methanogenic sediment. The biggest shift in SRM community composition and abundance occurred across the transition from bioturbated surface sediments to nonbioturbated sediments below, where redox fluctuations and the input of fresh organic matter due to macrofaunal activity are absent. SRM abundance correlated with sulfate reduction rates determined for the same sediments. Sulfate availability showed a weaker correlation with SRM abundances and no significant correlation with the composition of the SRM community. The overall SRM species diversity decreased...Continue Reading

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References

Mentioned in this Paper

Microorganism
Sulfite reductase
Fluctuation
Sulfates, Inorganic
Sediments, Marine
Zone
Genes
Vertical
Environment
Sulfur

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