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Anaerobic bacterial degradation of protein and lipid macromolecules in subarctic marine sediment

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  • Claus Pelikan, University of Vienna, Austrian Polar Research Institute
  • ,
  • Kenneth Wasmund, University of Vienna, Austrian Polar Research Institute
  • ,
  • Clemens Glombitza, ETH Zürich
  • ,
  • Bela Hausmann, University of Vienna, Medical University of Vienna
  • ,
  • Craig W. Herbold, University of Vienna
  • ,
  • Mathias Flieder, University of Vienna
  • ,
  • Alexander Loy, University of Vienna, Austrian Polar Research Institute, Medical University of Vienna

Microorganisms in marine sediments play major roles in marine biogeochemical cycles by mineralizing substantial quantities of organic matter from decaying cells. Proteins and lipids are abundant components of necromass, yet the taxonomic identities of microorganisms that actively degrade them remain poorly resolved. Here, we revealed identities, trophic interactions, and genomic features of bacteria that degraded 13C-labeled proteins and lipids in cold anoxic microcosms containing sulfidic subarctic marine sediment. Supplemented proteins and lipids were rapidly fermented to various volatile fatty acids within 5 days. DNA-stable isotope probing (SIP) suggested Psychrilyobacter atlanticus was an important primary degrader of proteins, and Psychromonas members were important primary degraders of both proteins and lipids. Closely related Psychromonas populations, as represented by distinct 16S rRNA gene variants, differentially utilized either proteins or lipids. DNA-SIP also showed 13C-labeling of various Deltaproteobacteria within 10 days, indicating trophic transfer of carbon to putative sulfate-reducers. Metagenome-assembled genomes revealed the primary hydrolyzers encoded secreted peptidases or lipases, and enzymes for catabolism of protein or lipid degradation products. Psychromonas species are prevalent in diverse marine sediments, suggesting they are important players in organic carbon processing in situ. Together, this study provides new insights into the identities, functions, and genomes of bacteria that actively degrade abundant necromass macromolecules in the seafloor.

TidsskriftISME Journal
Sider (fra-til)833-847
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank the crew of the R/V Sanna 2013 summer sampling campaign, which was funded by the Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University, and Kasper Kjeldsen, Hans Røy, and Marit-Solveig Seidenkranz for providing the sediment samples. We thank captain (Stig Henningsen) and first mate of MS Farm for their assistance during sampling of Svalbard sediments in 2017, as well as the Kings Bay Marine Laboratory and the AWIPEV Arctic Research Base in Ny-Ålesund for assistance and laboratory space. Furthermore, the authors want to thank Carmen Czepe from the Vienna Biocenter Core Facilities Next Generation Sequencing facility for sequencing of metagenomic libraries on the Illumina Hiseq2500 instrument. This work was financially supported by the Austrian Science Fund (P29426-B29 to KW; P25111-B22 to AL).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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