Snow microbiome functional analyses reveal novel aspects of microbial metabolism of complex organic compounds

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  • mbo3.1100

    Final published version, 854 KB, PDF document

  • Chengsheng Zhu
  • Maximilian Miller
  • Nicholas Lusskin
  • Benoît Bergk Pinto
  • Maccario, Lorrie
  • Max Häggblom
  • Timothy Vogel
  • Catherine Larose
  • Yana Bromberg

Microbes active in extreme cold are not as well explored as those of other extreme environments. Studies have revealed a substantial microbial diversity and identified cold-specific microbiome molecular functions. We analyzed the metagenomes and metatranscriptomes of 20 snow samples collected in early and late spring in Svalbard, Norway using mi-faser, our read-based computational microbiome function annotation tool. Our results reveal a more diverse microbiome functional capacity and activity in the early- vs. late-spring samples. We also find that functional dissimilarity between the same-sample metagenomes and metatranscriptomes is significantly higher in early than late spring samples. These findings suggest that early spring samples may contain a larger fraction of DNA of dormant (or dead) organisms, while late spring samples reflect a new, metabolically active community. We further show that the abundance of sequencing reads mapping to the fatty acid synthesis-related microbial pathways in late spring metagenomes and metatranscriptomes is significantly correlated with the organic acid levels measured in these samples. Similarly, the organic acid levels correlate with the pathway read abundances of geraniol degradation and inversely correlate with those of styrene degradation, suggesting a possible nutrient change. Our study thus highlights the activity of microbial degradation pathways of complex organic compounds previously unreported at low temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1100
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • metagenome, metatranscriptome, mi-faser, snow microbiome

ID: 270335196