DOI: 10.1101/483735Nov 30, 2018Paper

Extent of the annual Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone influences microbial community structure

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Lauren Gillies CampbellOlivia U Mason


Rich geochemical datasets generated over the past 30 years have provided fine-scale resolution on the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGOM) coastal hypoxic (≤ 2 mg of O2 L-1) zone. In contrast, little is known about microbial community structure and activity in the hypoxic zone despite the implication that microbial respiration is responsible for forming low dissolved oxygen (DO) conditions. Here, we hypothesized that the extent of the hypoxic zone is a driver in determining microbial community structure, and in particular, the abundance of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA). Samples collected across the shelf for two consecutive hypoxic seasons in July 2013 and 2014 were analyzed using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, oligotyping, microbial co-occurrence analysis and quantification of thaumarchaeal 16S rRNA and archaeal ammonia-monooxygenase (amoA) genes. In 2014 Thaumarchaeota were enriched and inversely correlated with DO while Cyanobacteria, Acidimicrobiia and Proteobacteria where more abundant in oxic samples compared to hypoxic. Oligotyping analysis of Nitrosopumilus 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that one oligotype was significantly inversely correlated with dissolved oxygen (DO) in both years and that low DO concentrations, and the hi...Continue Reading

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