Inner workings of thrombolites: spatial gradients of metabolic activity as revealed by metatranscriptome profiling

Mobberley, J. M., Khodadad, C. L. M., Visscher, P. T., Reid, R. P., Hagan, P. and Foster, J. S. (2015) Inner workings of thrombolites: spatial gradients of metabolic activity as revealed by metatranscriptome profiling. Scientific Reports, 5 . doi:10.1038/srep12601


Author Mobberley, J. M.
Khodadad, C. L. M.
Visscher, P. T.
Reid, R. P.
Hagan, P.
Foster, J. S.
Title Inner workings of thrombolites: spatial gradients of metabolic activity as revealed by metatranscriptome profiling
Journal name Scientific Reports   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2045-2322
Publication date 2015-07-27
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/srep12601
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Total pages 15
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Language eng
Abstract Microbialites are sedimentary deposits formed by the metabolic interactions of microbes and their environment. These lithifying microbial communities represent one of the oldest ecosystems on Earth, yet the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of these communities are poorly understood. In this study, we used comparative metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses to characterize the spatial organization of the thrombolites of Highborne Cay, The Bahamas, an actively forming microbialite system. At midday, there were differences in gene expression throughout the spatial profile of the thrombolitic mat with a high abundance of transcripts encoding genes required for photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation and exopolymeric substance production in the upper three mm of the mat. Transcripts associated with denitrification and sulfate reduction were in low abundance throughout the depth profile, suggesting these metabolisms were less active during midday. Comparative metagenomics of the Bahamian thrombolites with other known microbialite ecosystems from across the globe revealed that, despite many shared core pathways, the thrombolites represented genetically distinct communities. This study represents the first time the metatranscriptome of living microbialite has been characterized and offers a new molecular perspective on those microbial metabolisms, and their underlying genetic pathways, that influence the mechanisms of carbonate precipitation in lithifying microbial mat ecosystems.
Keyword Environmental microbiology
Environmental sciences
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID NNX12AD64G
NNX10AO18H
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 13 Nov 2017, 05:21:59 EST