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Other research product . 2020

The contribution of microbial communities in polymetallic nodules to the diversity of the deep-sea microbiome of the Peru Basin (4130–4198 m depth)

Molari, Massimiliano; Janssen, Felix; Vonnahme, Tobias R.; Wenzhöfer, Frank; Boetius, Antje;
Open Access
Published: 25 Jun 2020
Industrial-scale mining of deep-sea polymetallic nodules will remove nodules in large areas of the sea floor. The regrowth of the nodules by metal precipitation is estimated to take millions of years. Thus, for future mining impact studies, it is crucial to understand the role of nodules in shaping microbial diversity and function in deep-sea environments. Here we investigated microbial-community composition based on 16S rRNA gene sequences retrieved from sediments and nodules of the Peru Basin (4130–4198 m water depth). The nodule field of the Peru Basin showed a typical deep-sea microbiome, with dominance of the classes Gammaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, and Acidimicrobiia. Nodules and sediments host distinct bacterial and archaeal communities, with nodules showing lower diversity and a higher proportion of sequences related to potential metal-cycling Bacteria (i.e. Magnetospiraceae, Hyphomicrobiaceae), bacterial and archaeal nitrifiers (i.e. AqS1, unclassified Nitrosomonadaceae, Nitrosopumilus, Nitrospina, Nitrospira), and bacterial sequences found in the oceanic crust, nodules, hydrothermal deposits, and sessile fauna. Sediment and nodule communities overall shared a low proportion of operational taxonomic units (OTUs; 21 % for Bacteria and 19 % for Archaea). Our results show that nodules represent a specific ecological niche (i.e. hard substrate, high metal concentrations, and sessile fauna), with a potentially relevant role in organic-carbon degradation. Differences in nodule community composition (e.g. Mn-cycling bacteria, nitrifiers) between the Clarion–Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCZ) and the Peru Basin suggest that changes in environmental setting (e.g. sedimentation rates) also play a significant role in structuring the nodule microbiome.
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Funded by
Managing Impacts of Deep-seA reSource exploitation
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 603418
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP1 | ENV
ABYSS - Assessment of bacterial life and matter cycling in deep-sea surface sediments
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 294757
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP2 | ERC
Related to Research communities
European Marine Science
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