Salinity drives archaeal distribution patterns in high altitude lake sediments on the Tibetan Plateau
Priscu, John C.
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Archaeal communities and the factors regulating their diversity in high altitude lakes are poorly understood. Here, we provide the first high-throughput sequencing study of Archaea from Tibetan Plateau lake sediments. We analyzed twenty lake sediments from the world\'s highest and largest plateau and found diverse archaeal assemblages that clustered into groups dominated by methanogenic Euryarchaeota, Crenarchaeota and Halobacteria/mixed euryarchaeal phylotypes. Statistical analysis inferred that salinity was the major driver of community composition, and that archaeal diversity increased with salinity. Sediments with the highest salinities were mostly dominated by Halobacteria. Crenarchaeota dominated at intermediate salinities, and methanogens were present in all lake sediments, albeit most abundant at low salinities. The distribution patterns of the three functional types of methanogens (hydrogenotrophic, acetotrophic and methylotrophic) were also related to changes in salinity. Our results show that salinity is a key factor controlling archaeal community diversity and composition in lake sediments on a spatial scale that spans nearly 2000 km on the Tibetan Plateau.
Liu, Yongqin , John C. Priscu, Jinbo Xiong, Ralf Conrad, Trista Vick-Majors, Haiyan Chu, and Juzhi Hou. "Salinity drives archaeal distribution patterns in high altitude lake sediments on the Tibetan Plateau ." FEMS Microbiology Ecology 92, no. 3 (March 2016). DOI:https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiw033 .