puc-header

Lifting the Lid: Nitrifying Archaea Sustain Diverse Microbial Communities Below the Ross Ice Shelf

65 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2020 Publication Status: Under Review

See all articles by Clara Martínez-Pérez

Clara Martínez-Pérez

University of Vienna - Department of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology

Chris Greening

Monash University - Department of Microbiology

Zihao Zhao

University of Vienna - Department of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology

Rachael J. Lappan

Monash University - Department of Microbiology

Sean K. Bay

Monash University - Department of Microbiology

Daniele De Corte

apan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology - Research and Development Center for Marine Biosciences

Christina Hulbe

University of Otago - School of Surveying

Christian Ohneiser

University of Otago - Department of Geology

Craig Stevens

National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

Blair Thomson

University of Otago - Department of Marine Sciences

Ramunas Stepanauskas

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

José M. González

University of La Laguna - Department of Microbiology

Ramiro Logares

Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM) - Department of Marine Biology and Oceanography

Gerhard J. Herndl

University of Vienna - Department of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology

Sergio E. Morales

University of Otago - Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Federico Baltar

University of Vienna - Department of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology

More...

Abstract

The oceanic waters beneath Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf are among the largest unexplored habitats on Earth. Previous studies have shown active microorganisms reside in these waters, but their identity and capabilities remain unknown. Here, we combined multi-omics and biogeochemical measurements to determine the composition and metabolic activities of microbial communities in the water column under the Ross Ice Shelf. We reveal that these waters harbour diverse and distinct assemblages of microorganisms. In an ecosystem devoid of photosynthesis, the heterotrophic majority are largely sustained by highly active nitrifying archaea and bacteria (using ammonium from basal ice) and by other chemolitoautotrophs using reduced sulfur compounds. This suggests that chemolitoautotrophy is an important ecosystem driver in the waters below the RIS. Our data provide a valuable insight into the processes that sustain the largest sub-ice marine ecosystem, and will help predictions of the evolution of this system in a rapidly evolving climatic scenario.

Keywords: Ross Ice Shelf, microbes, diversity, function, biogeochemical cycles, under ice ecosystems

Suggested Citation

Martínez-Pérez, Clara and Greening, Chris and Zhao, Zihao and Lappan, Rachael J. and Bay, Sean K. and De Corte, Daniele and Hulbe, Christina and Ohneiser, Christian and Stevens, Craig and Thomson, Blair and Stepanauskas, Ramunas and González, José M. and Logares, Ramiro and Herndl, Gerhard J. and Morales, Sergio E. and Baltar, Federico, Lifting the Lid: Nitrifying Archaea Sustain Diverse Microbial Communities Below the Ross Ice Shelf. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3677479 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3677479
This is a paper under consideration at Cell Press and has not been peer-reviewed.

Clara Martínez-Pérez

University of Vienna - Department of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology ( email )

Austria

Chris Greening

Monash University - Department of Microbiology ( email )

Clayton
Australia

Zihao Zhao

University of Vienna - Department of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology

Austria

Rachael J. Lappan

Monash University - Department of Microbiology ( email )

Clayton
Australia

Sean K. Bay

Monash University - Department of Microbiology ( email )

Clayton
Australia

Daniele De Corte

apan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology - Research and Development Center for Marine Biosciences ( email )

2-15, Natsushima-cho
Kanagawa, 237-0061
Japan

Christina Hulbe

University of Otago - School of Surveying ( email )

P.O. Box 56
Dunedin, Otago 9010
New Zealand

Christian Ohneiser

University of Otago - Department of Geology ( email )

P.O. Box 56
Dunedin, Otago 9010
New Zealand

Craig Stevens

National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

Blair Thomson

University of Otago - Department of Marine Sciences ( email )

P.O. Box 56
Dunedin, Otago 9010
New Zealand

Ramunas Stepanauskas

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences ( email )

José M. González

University of La Laguna - Department of Microbiology

La Laguna, Tenerife, 38071
Spain

Ramiro Logares

Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM) - Department of Marine Biology and Oceanography ( email )

Gran Via de Les Corts Catalanes, 696
Barcelona, 08010
Spain

Gerhard J. Herndl

University of Vienna - Department of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology ( email )

Austria

Sergio E. Morales

University of Otago - Department of Microbiology and Immunology ( email )

P.O. Box 56
Dunedin, Otago 9010
New Zealand

Federico Baltar (Contact Author)

University of Vienna - Department of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology ( email )

Austria

Click here to go to Cell.com

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
129
Downloads
5
PlumX Metrics