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This content will become publicly available on June 17, 2019

Title: Multi 'omics comparison reveals metabolome biochemistry, not microbiome composition or gene expression, corresponds to elevated biogeochemical function in the hyporheic zone

Biogeochemical hotspots are pervasive at terrestrial-aquatic interfaces, particularly within groundwater-surface water mixing zones (hyporheic zones), and they are critical to understanding spatiotemporal variation in biogeochemical cycling. For this study, we use multi 'omic comparisons of hotspots to low-activity sediments to gain mechanistic insight into hyporheic zone organic matter processing. We hypothesized that microbiome structure and function, as described by metagenomics and metaproteomics, would distinguish hotspots from low-activity sediments by shifting metabolism towards carbohydrate-utilizing pathways and elucidate discrete mechanisms governing organic matter processing in each location. We also expected these differences to be reflected in the metabolome, whereby hotspot carbon (C) pools and metabolite transformations therein would be enriched in sugar-associated compounds. In contrast to expectations, we found pronounced phenotypic plasticity in the hyporheic zone microbiome that was denoted by similar microbiome structure, functional potential, and expression across sediments with dissimilar metabolic rates. Instead, diverse nitrogenous metabolites and biochemical transformations characterized hotspots. Metabolomes also corresponded more strongly to aerobic metabolism than bulk C or N content only (explaining 67% vs. 42% and 37% of variation respectively), and bulk C and N did not improve statistical models based on metabolome composition alone. These results point to organic nitrogen as a significant regulatorymore » factor influencing hyporheic zone organic matter processing. Based on our findings, we propose incorporating knowledge of metabolic pathways associated with different chemical fractions of C pools into ecosystem models will enhance prediction accuracy.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  2. Univ. of Idaho, Moscow, ID (United States)
  3. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Environmental Molecular Sciences Lab. (EMSL)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Science of the Total Environment
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 642; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0048-9697
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; FT-ICR-MS; Respiration; Coupled C-N cycling; Carbon cycle; Riparian; Hydrobiogeochemistry
OSTI Identifier: