Prokaryotic diversity in four microbial mats on the Fildes Peninsula, King George Island, maritime Antarctica

Abstract

Most of Fildes Peninsula is ice-free during summer thereby allowing for formation of networks of creeks with meltwater from Collins Glacier and snowmelt. A variety of benthic microbial mats develop within these creeks. The composition of these microbial communities has not been studied in detail. In this report, clone libraries of bacterial and cyanobacterial 16S rRNA genes were used to describe the microbial community structure of four mats near a shoreline of Drake Passage. Samples were collected from four microbial mats, two at an early developmental stage (December) and two collected latter in late summer (April). Sequence analysis showed that filamentous Cyanobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, and Betaproteobacteria were the most abundant ribotypes. Diversity indices were comparable for the four mats. Bacterial libraries from mat samples collected in December represented primarily Alphaproteobacterial and Betaproteobacterial ribotypes. In contrast, filamentous Cyanobacteria as well as Alphaproteobacteria were most abundant in libraries derived from samples collected in April. Differences in relative abundances may reflect the succession of microbial communities during the austral summer. Composition of cyanobacterial orders in bacterial libraries obtained from mats collected in late summer were different compared with their corresponding cyanobacterial libraries. This may be the result of divergence in primer specificities. Nostocales, Oscillatoriales, and Synechococcales orders were the dominant ribotypes represented in cyanobacterial libraries. Some taxa of cyanobacteria identified using this strategy coincided with previous studies of others in the same region using microscopic techniques. Future work should combine microscopy, culture–dependent and culture–independent strategies to better describe microbial mats in maritime Antarctica.

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Acknowledgements

This work was partially supported by Instituto Antártico Uruguayo, ANII (Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación), AMSUD Pasteur and PEDECIBA-Biología (Programa de Ciencias Básicas).

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Correspondence to Gastón Azziz.

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14 kb)

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Supplementary material 2 (JPEG 252 kb). Fig. S1 Rarefaction curves of bacteria (above) and cyanobacteria (below) by mothur using 97% cutoff. Filled circles represent m7 sample, empty circles represent m8 sample, filled triangles represent m15 sample in the bacteria chart and m16 in the cyanobacteria chart, empty triangles represent m16 sample in the bacteria chart and m15 in the cyanobacteria chart

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Supplementary material 3 (JPEG 83 kb). Fig. S2 Bacteria phylogenetic tree m7. Maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree of the bacterial sequences obtained from m7 sample. References sequences from GenBank are included in the tree. The number in square brackets next to the sequence name indicates the number of copies found in the sample. Affiliation of the references genera to bacterial classes is shown

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Supplementary material 4 (JPEG 346 kb).Fig. S3 Bacteria phylogenetic tree m8. Maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree of the bacterial sequences obtained from m8 sample. References sequences from GenBank are included in the tree. The number in square brackets next to the sequence name indicates the number of copies found in the sample. Affiliation of the references genera to bacterial classes is shown

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Supplementary material 5 (JPEG 366 kb). Fig. S4 Bacteria phylogenetic tree m15. Maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree of the bacterial sequences obtained from m15 sample. References sequences from GenBank are included in the tree. The number in square brackets next to the sequence name indicates the number of copies found in the sample. Affiliation of the references genera to bacterial classes is shown

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Supplementary material 6 (JPEG 221 kb). Fig. S5 Bacteria phylogenetic tree m16. Maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree of the bacterial sequences obtained from m16 sample. References sequences from GenBank are included in the tree. The number in square brackets next to the sequence name indicates the number of copies found in the sample. Affiliation of the references genera to bacterial classes is shown

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Supplementary material 7 (JPEG 272 kb). Fig. S6 Cyanobacteria phylogenetic tree m7. Maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree of the cyanobacterial sequences obtained from m7 sample. References sequences from GenBank are included in the tree. The number in square brackets next to the sequence name indicates the number of copies found in the sample. Affiliation of the references genera to cyanobacterial orders is shown

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Supplementary material 8 (JPEG 149 kb). Fig. S7 Cyanobacteria phylogenetic tree m8. Maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree of the cyanobacterial sequences obtained from m8 sample. References sequences from GenBank are included in the tree. The number in square brackets next to the sequence name indicates the number of copies found in the sample. Affiliation of the references genera to cyanobacterial orders is shown

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Supplementary material 9 (JPEG 152 kb). Fig. S8 Cyanobacteria phylogenetic tree m15. Maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree of the cyanobacterial sequences obtained from m15 sample. References sequences from GenBank are included in the tree. The number in square brackets next to the sequence name indicates the number of copies found in the sample. Affiliation of the references genera to cyanobacterial orders is shown

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Supplementary material 10 (JPEG 161 kb). Fig. S9 Cyanobacteria phylogenetic tree m16. Maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree of the cyanobacterial sequences obtained from m16 sample. References sequences from GenBank are included in the tree. The number in square brackets next to the sequence name indicates the number of copies found in the sample. Affiliation of the references genera to cyanobacterial orders is shown

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Callejas, C., Azziz, G., Souza, E.M. et al. Prokaryotic diversity in four microbial mats on the Fildes Peninsula, King George Island, maritime Antarctica. Polar Biol 41, 935–943 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-018-2256-y

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Keywords

  • Microbial mat
  • Maritime Antarctica
  • 16S rRNA gene clone library
  • Microbial diversity