Dec 1, 2015

Phylogenetic and functional substrate specificity for endolithic microbial communities in hyper-arid environments

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Alexander Crits-ChristophJocelyne DiRuggiero


Under extreme water deficit, endolithic (inside rock) microbial ecosystems are considered environmental refuges for life in cold and hot deserts, yet their diversity and functional adaptations remain vastly unexplored. The metagenomic analyses of the communities from two rock substrates, calcite and ignimbrite, revealed that they were dominated by Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi. The relative distribution of major phyla was significantly different between the two substrates and biodiversity estimates, from 16S rRNA gene sequences and from the metagenome data, all pointed to a higher taxonomic diversity in the calcite community. While both endolithic communities showed adaptations to extreme aridity and to the rock habitat, their functional capabilities revealed significant differences. ABC transporters and pathways for osmoregulation were more diverse in the calcite chasmoendolithic community. In contrast, the ignimbrite cryptoendolithic community was enriched in pathways for secondary metabolites, such as non-ribosomal peptides (NRPS) and polyketides (PKS). Assemblies of the metagenome data produced population genomes for the major phyla found in both communities and revealed a greater diversity of Cyanobacteria...Continue Reading

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Biochemical Pathway
Pallister-Killian Syndrome
Phylogenetic Analysis

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