Annals of Microbiology

, Volume 69, Issue 8, pp 839–848 | Cite as

Archaeal communities in the deep-sea sediments of the South China Sea revealed by Illumina high-throughput sequencing

  • Yuting Li
  • Xinyuan Zhu
  • Weimin ZhangEmail author
  • Daochen ZhuEmail author
  • Xiaojian Zhou
  • Likui ZhangEmail author
Original Article



Archaea have important roles in global biogeochemical circulation. Although archaeal diversity and their ecological significance in deep-sea environments in the South China Sea (SCS) have been investigated, archaeal communities in deep-sea sediments below 2000 m water depth in the SCS are not well documented. The objective of our work was to investigate archaeal community structure in the four sediments (named as SCS2, SCS5, SCS8, and SCS10) collected from the SCS below 2000 m water depth.


Illumina high-throughput sequencing was employed to reveal archaeal community structure. Archaeal communities were evaluated with QIIM software.


Archaeal communities in the four sediments were dominated by Thaumarchaeota (55%), Bathyarchaeota (24%), Woesearchaeota (6%), Nanohaloarchaeota (4%), and Euryarchaeota (3%). Thaumarchaeota were abundant in the four samples. However, in SCS10, this phylum was almost exclusively represented. We revealed for the first time the presence of Nanohaloarchaeota in SCS2, SCS5, and SCS8. Comparative analysis showed that (1) the archaeal communities varied between the samples and (2) the samples varied between the samples. The detected archaea in each sample are known to be potentially participating in the carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur cycles, and methane metabolism.


We present a comparative picture of archaeal communities, augmenting the current knowledge on archaeal diversity in deep-sea sediment environments in the SCS.


Archaeal diversity Deep-sea sediment High-throughput sequencing Ecological function 16S rDNA 



The authors would like to thank Prof. Philippe Oge at Univ Lyon, INSA de Lyon, CNRS UMR 5240 for revising this manuscript, and Manyu Kang at Tongji University for drawing Fig. 1.


This work was supported by the Academic Leader of Middle and Young People of Yangzhou University Grant to L.Z.; by the Practice Innovation Training Program for College Students in Jiangsu to Y. L (No. 201711117059Y); by the National Natural Science Foundation of China Grant (No. 41776156) to X.Z; by the Science and Technology Program of Guangzhou, China (No. 201607020018) and the Team Project of Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (No. 2016A030312014) to W.Z.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals


Informed consent



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Copyright information

© Università degli studi di Milano 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marine Science & Technology Institute, Department of Environmental Science and EngineeringYangzhou UniversityYangzhouChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Applied Microbiology Southern China, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Microbial Culture Collection and Application, Guangdong Open Laboratory\ of Applied MicrobiologyGuangdong Institute of MicrobiologyGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.School of Environmental and Safety EngineeringJiangsu UniversityZhenjiangChina

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