Relationship between dissolved organic matter quality and microbial community


Vast expanses of Earth’s surface are covered by ice, with microorganisms in these systems affecting local and global biogeochemical cycles. We examined microbial assemblages from habitats fed by glacial meltwater within the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica and on the west Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), evaluating potential physicochemical factors explaining trends in community structure. Microbial assemblages present in the different Antarctic dry valley habitats were dominated by Sphingobacteria andFlavobacteria, while Gammaproteobacteria and Sphingobacteria prevailed in west GrIS supraglacial environments. Microbial assemblages clustered by location (Canada Glacier, Cotton Glacier and west GrIS) and were separated by habitat type (i.e. ice, cryoconite holes, supraglacial lakes, sediment and stream water). Community dissimilarities were strongly correlated with dissolved organic matter (DOM) quality. Microbial meltwater assemblages were most closely associated with different protein-like components of the DOM pool. Microbes in environments with mineral particles (i.e. stream sediments and cryoconite holes) were linked to DOM containing more humic-like fluorescence. Our results demonstrate the establishment of distinct microbial communities within ephemeral glacial meltwater habitats, with DOM-microbe interactions playing an integral role in shaping communities on local and polar spatial scales.




Smith HJ, M Dieser, DM McKnight, MD SanClements, CM Foreman, “Relationship between dissolved organic matter quality and microbial community composition across polar glacial environments,” FEMS Microbiology Ecology, July 2018; 94(7):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2018.01.003
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