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Title: Patterns of Bacterial and Archaeal Gene Expression through the Lower Amazon River

Abstract

Analysis of metatranscriptomic and metagenomic datasets from the lower reaches of the Amazon River between Obidos and the river mouth revealed microbial transcript and gene pools dominated by Actinobacteria, Thaumarchaeota, Bacteroidetes, Acidobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, and Planctomycetes. Three mainstem stations spanning a 625 km reach had similar gene expression patterns (transcripts gene copy-1) across a diverse suite of element cycling genes, but two tributary-influenced stations at the mouth of the Tapajos River and near the Tocantins River at Belem had distinct transcriptome composition and expression ratios, particularly for genes encoding light-related energy capture (higher) and iron acquisition and ammonia oxidation (lower). Environmental parameters that were useful predictors of gene expression ratios included concentrations of lignin phenols, suspended sediments, nitrate, phosphate, and particulate organic carbon and nitrogen. Similar to the gene expression data, these chemical properties reflected highly homogeneous mainstem stations punctuated by distinct tributary- influenced stations at Tapajos and Belem. Although heterotrophic processes were expected to dominate in the lower Amazon, transcripts from photosynthetic bacteria were abundant in tributary-influenced regions, and transcripts from Thaumarcheota taxa genetically capable of chemosynthetic ammonia oxidation accounted for up to 21% of the transcriptome at others. Based on regressions of transcript numbers against gene numbers, expression ratiosmore » of Thaumarchaeota populations were largely unchanged within the mainstem, suggesting a relatively minor role for gene regulation. These quantitative gene and transcript inventories detail a diverse array of energy acquisition strategies and metabolic capabilities for bacteria and archaea populations of the world’s largest river system.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1390438
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-128662
Journal ID: ISSN 2296-7745
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Frontiers in Marine Science; Journal Volume: 4
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; Amazon; aquatic; bacteria; archaea; metabolism; energy acquisition; biology; carbon cycling; continuum; ecosystem; estuarine; genomic; gene expression; RNA; metagenome; metatranscriptome; coastal; interface; microbial; Photosynthesis; Respiration; terrestrial; tidal

Citation Formats

Satinsky, Brandon M., Smith, Christa B., Sharma, Shalabh, Ward, Nicholas D., Krusche, Alex V., Richey, Jeffrey E., Yager, Patricia L., Crump, Byron C., and Moran, Mary Ann. Patterns of Bacterial and Archaeal Gene Expression through the Lower Amazon River. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3389/fmars.2017.00253.
Satinsky, Brandon M., Smith, Christa B., Sharma, Shalabh, Ward, Nicholas D., Krusche, Alex V., Richey, Jeffrey E., Yager, Patricia L., Crump, Byron C., & Moran, Mary Ann. Patterns of Bacterial and Archaeal Gene Expression through the Lower Amazon River. United States. doi:10.3389/fmars.2017.00253.
Satinsky, Brandon M., Smith, Christa B., Sharma, Shalabh, Ward, Nicholas D., Krusche, Alex V., Richey, Jeffrey E., Yager, Patricia L., Crump, Byron C., and Moran, Mary Ann. 2017. "Patterns of Bacterial and Archaeal Gene Expression through the Lower Amazon River". United States. doi:10.3389/fmars.2017.00253.
@article{osti_1390438,
title = {Patterns of Bacterial and Archaeal Gene Expression through the Lower Amazon River},
author = {Satinsky, Brandon M. and Smith, Christa B. and Sharma, Shalabh and Ward, Nicholas D. and Krusche, Alex V. and Richey, Jeffrey E. and Yager, Patricia L. and Crump, Byron C. and Moran, Mary Ann},
abstractNote = {Analysis of metatranscriptomic and metagenomic datasets from the lower reaches of the Amazon River between Obidos and the river mouth revealed microbial transcript and gene pools dominated by Actinobacteria, Thaumarchaeota, Bacteroidetes, Acidobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, and Planctomycetes. Three mainstem stations spanning a 625 km reach had similar gene expression patterns (transcripts gene copy-1) across a diverse suite of element cycling genes, but two tributary-influenced stations at the mouth of the Tapajos River and near the Tocantins River at Belem had distinct transcriptome composition and expression ratios, particularly for genes encoding light-related energy capture (higher) and iron acquisition and ammonia oxidation (lower). Environmental parameters that were useful predictors of gene expression ratios included concentrations of lignin phenols, suspended sediments, nitrate, phosphate, and particulate organic carbon and nitrogen. Similar to the gene expression data, these chemical properties reflected highly homogeneous mainstem stations punctuated by distinct tributary- influenced stations at Tapajos and Belem. Although heterotrophic processes were expected to dominate in the lower Amazon, transcripts from photosynthetic bacteria were abundant in tributary-influenced regions, and transcripts from Thaumarcheota taxa genetically capable of chemosynthetic ammonia oxidation accounted for up to 21% of the transcriptome at others. Based on regressions of transcript numbers against gene numbers, expression ratios of Thaumarchaeota populations were largely unchanged within the mainstem, suggesting a relatively minor role for gene regulation. These quantitative gene and transcript inventories detail a diverse array of energy acquisition strategies and metabolic capabilities for bacteria and archaea populations of the world’s largest river system.},
doi = {10.3389/fmars.2017.00253},
journal = {Frontiers in Marine Science},
number = ,
volume = 4,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 8
}
  • Spatial and temporal patterns in microbial biodiversity across the Amazon river-ocean continuum were investigated along ~675 km of the lower Amazon River mainstem, in the Tapajos River tributary, and in the plume and coastal ocean during low and high river discharge using amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA genes in whole water and size-fractionated samples (0.2-2.0 μm and >2.0 μm). River communities varied among tributaries, but mainstem communities were spatially homogeneous and tracked seasonal changes in river discharge and co-varying factors. Co-occurrence network analysis identified strongly interconnected river assemblages during high (May) and low (December) discharge periods, and weakly interconnected transitionalmore » assemblages in September, suggesting that this system supports two seasonal microbial communities linked to river discharge. In contrast, plume communities showed little seasonal differences and instead varied spatially tracking salinity. However, salinity explained only a small fraction of community variability, and plume communities in blooms of diatom-diazotroph assemblages were strikingly different than those in other high salinity plume samples. This suggests that while salinity physically structures plumes through buoyancy and mixing, the composition of plume-specific communities is controlled by other factors including nutrients, phytoplankton community composition, and dissolved organic matter chemistry. Co-occurrence networks identified interconnected assemblages associated with the highly productive low salinity nearshore region, diatom-diazotroph blooms, and the plume edge region, and weakly interconnected assemblages in high salinity regions. This suggests that the plume supports a transitional community influenced by immigration of ocean bacteria from the plume edge, and by species sorting as these communities adapt to local environmental conditions. Few studies have explored patterns of microbial diversity in tropical rivers and coastal oceans. Comparison of Amazon continuum microbial communities to those from temperate and arctic systems suggest that river discharge and salinity are master variables structuring a range of environmental conditions that control bacterial communities across the river-ocean continuum.« less
  • The Amazon River outgasses nearly an equivalent amount of CO 2 as the rainforest sequesters on an annual basis due to microbial decomposition of terrigenous and aquatic organic matter. Most research performed in the Amazon has been focused on unraveling the mechanisms driving CO 2 production since the recognition of a persistent state of CO 2 supersaturation. However, although the river system is clearly net heterotrophic, the interplay between primary production and respiration is an essential aspect to understanding the overall metabolism of the ecosystem and potential transfer of energy up trophic levels. For example, an efficient ecosystem is capablemore » of both decomposing high amounts of organic matter at lower trophic levels, driving CO 2 emissions, and accumulating energy/biomass in higher trophic levels, stimulating fisheries production. Early studies found minimal evidence for primary production in the Amazon River mainstem and it has since been assumed that photosynthesis is strongly limited by low light penetration attributed to the high sediment load. Here, we test this assumption by measuring the stable isotopic composition of O 218O-O 2) and O 2 saturation levels in the lower Amazon River from Óbidos to the river mouth and its major tributaries, the Xingu and Tapajós rivers, during high and low water periods. An oxygen mass balance model was developed to estimate the input of photosynthetic oxygen in the discrete reach from Óbidos to Almeirim, midway to the river mouth. Based on the oxygen mass balance we estimate that primary production occurred at a rate of 0.39 ± 0.24 g O m 3 d -1 at high water and 1.02 ± 0.55 g O m 3 d -1 at low water. This translates to 41 ± 24% of the rate of O 2 drawdown via respiration during high water and 67 ± 33% during low water. These primary production rates are 2-7 times higher than past estimates for the Amazon River mainstem. In conclusion, it is possible that at high water much of this productivity signal is the result of legacy advection from floodplains, whereas limited floodplain connectivity during low water implies that most of this signal is the result of in situ primary production in the Amazon River mainstem.« less
  • ABSTRACT The Amazon River watershed and its associated plume comprise a vast continental and oceanic area. The microbial activities along this continuum contribute substantially to global carbon and nutrient cycling, and yet there is a dearth of information on the diversity, abundance, and possible roles of viruses in this globally important river. The aim of this study was to elucidate the diversity and structure of virus assemblages of the Amazon River-ocean continuum. Environmental viral DNA sequences were obtained for 12 locations along the river’s lower reach (n= 5) and plume (n= 7). Sequence assembly yielded 29,358 scaffolds, encoding 82,546 viralmore » proteins, with 15 new complete viral genomes. Despite the spatial connectivity mediated by the river, virome analyses and physical-chemical water parameters clearly distinguished river and plume ecosystems. Bacteriophages were ubiquitous in the continuum and were more abundant in the transition region. Eukaryotic viruses occurred mostly in the river, while the plume had more viruses of autotrophic organisms (Prochlorococcus,Synechococcus) and heterotrophic bacteria (Pelagibacter). The viral familiesMicroviridaeandMyoviridaewere the most abundant and occurred throughout the continuum. The major functions of the genes in the continuum involved viral structures and life cycles, and viruses from plume locations and Tapajós River showed the highest levels of functional diversity. The distribution patterns of the viral assemblages were defined not only by the occurrence of possible hosts but also by water physical and chemical parameters, especially salinity. The findings presented here help to improve understanding of the possible roles of viruses in the organic matter cycle along the river-ocean continuum. IMPORTANCEThe Amazon River forms a vast plume in the Atlantic Ocean that can extend for more than 1,000 km. Microbial communities promote a globally relevant carbon sink system in the plume. Despite the importance of viruses for the global carbon cycle, the diversity and the possible roles of viruses in the Amazon are poorly understood. The present work assesses, for the first time, the abundance and diversity of viruses simultaneously in the river and ocean in order to elucidate their possible roles. DNA sequence assembly yielded 29,358 scaffolds, encoding 82,546 viral proteins, with 15 new complete viral genomes from the 12 river and ocean locations. Viral diversity was clearly distinguished by river and ocean. Bacteriophages were the most abundant and occurred throughout the continuum. Viruses that infect eukaryotes were more abundant in the river, whereas phages appeared to have strong control over the host prokaryotic populations in the plume.« less
  • OTC is a mitochondrial enzyme catalyzing the formation of citrulline from carbamyl phosphate and ornithine. X-linked deficiency of OTC is the most prevalent genetic defect of ureagenesis. Mutations and polymorphisms in the OTC gene identified in deficient patients have indicated the occurrence of many family-specific, unique alleles. Due to the low frequency of recurrent mutations, distinguishing between deleterious mutations and polymorphisms is difficult. Using a human OTC gene containing plasmid driven by a tac promoter, we have devised a simple and efficient method for expressing mutations in the mature human OTC enzyme. To demonstrate this method, PCR engineered site-directed mutagenesismore » was employed to generated cDNA fragments which contained either the R151Q or R277W known mutations found in patients with neonatal and late-onset OTC deficiency, respectively. The normal allele for each mutation was also generated by an identical PCR procedure. Digestion with Bgl II- and Sty I-generated mutant and normal replacement cassettes containing the respective mutant and wild type sequences. Upon transformation of JM109 E.coli cells, OTC enzymatic activity was measured at log and stationary phases of growth using a radiochromatographic method. The R141Q mutation abolished enzymatic activity (<0.02% of normal), whereas the R277W mutation expressed partial activity (2.3% of normal). In addition, a PCR-generated mutation, A280V, resulted in 73% loss of catalytic activity. This OTC expression system is clinically applicable for distinguishing between mutations and polymorphisms, and it can be used to investigate the effects of mutations on various domains of the OTC gene.« less
  • No abstract prepared.