May 24, 2016

Metagenomic covariation along densely sampled environmental gradients in the Red Sea

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Luke R ThompsonUlrich Stingl

Abstract

Oceanic microbial diversity covaries with physicochemical parameters. Temperature, for example, explains approximately half of global variation in surface taxonomic abundance. It is unknown, however, whether covariation patterns hold over narrower parameter gradients and spatial scales, and extending to mesopelagic depths. We collected and sequenced 45 epipelagic and mesopelagic microbial metagenomes on a meridional transect through the eastern Red Sea. We asked which environmental parameters explain the most variation in relative abundances of taxonomic groups, gene ortholog groups, and pathways -- at a spatial scale of <2000 km, along narrow but well-defined latitudinal and depth-dependent gradients. We also asked how microbes are adapted to gradients and extremes in irradiance, temperature, salinity, and nutrients, examining the responses of individual gene ortholog groups to these parameters. Functional and taxonomic metrics were equally well explained (75-79%) by environmental parameters. However, only functional and not taxonomic covariation patterns were conserved when comparing with an intruding water mass with different physicochemical properties. Temperature explained the most variation in each metric, followed by nit...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Biochemical Pathway
Patterns
Spatial Distribution
Metagenome
Environment
Nutrients
Phosphate Measurement
Adaptation
Nitrogen
Nitrates

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