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Diversity of phototrophic genes suggests multiple bacteria may be able to exploit sunlight in exposed soils from the Sør Rondane Mountains, East Antarctica

Guillaume Tahon (UGent) , Bjorn Tytgat (UGent) and Anne Willems (UGent)
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Abstract
Microbial life in exposed terrestrial surface layers in continental Antarctica is faced with extreme environmental conditions, including scarcity of organic matter. Bacteria in these exposed settings can therefore be expected to use alternative energy sources such as solar energy, abundant during the austral summer. Using Illumina MiSeq sequencing, we assessed the diversity and abundance of four conserved protein encoding genes involved in different key steps of light-harvesting pathways dependent on (bacterio)chlorophyll (pufM, bchL/ch/L, and bchX genes) and rhodopsins (actinorhodopsin genes), in exposed soils from the Sor Rondane Mountains, East Antarctica. Analysis of pufM genes, encoding a subunit of the type 2 photochemical reaction center found in anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria, revealed a broad diversity, dominated by Roseobacter- and Loktanella-like sequences. The bchL and chIL involved in (bacterio)chlorophyll synthesis, on the other hand, showed a high relative abundance of either cyanobacterial or green algal trebouxiophyceael chIL reads, depending on the sample, while most bchX sequences belonged mostly to previously unidentified phylotypes. Rhodopsin-containing phototrophic bacteria could not be detected in the samples. Our results, while suggesting that Cyanobacteria and green algae are the main phototrophic groups, show that light-harvesting bacteria are nevertheless very diverse in microbial communities in Antarctic soils.
Keywords
Princess Elisabeth Station, Sør Rondane Mountains, anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria, actinorhodopsin, light-harvesting, AAP, PHOTOSYNTHETIC REACTION CENTERS, AEROBIC ANOXYGENIC PHOTOTROPHS, COMPARATIVE-ANALYSIS SYSTEM, MARINE ROSEOBACTER LINEAGE, MEDITERRANEAN SEA, CHLOROPHYLL BIOSYNTHESIS, ACTINORHODOPSIN GENES, INTERACTIVE TREE, PURPLE BACTERIA, MICROBIAL MATS

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Chicago
Tahon, Guillaume, Bjorn Tytgat, and Anne Willems. 2016. “Diversity of Phototrophic Genes Suggests Multiple Bacteria May Be Able to Exploit Sunlight in Exposed Soils from the Sør Rondane Mountains, East Antarctica.” Frontiers in Microbiology 7.
APA
Tahon, G., Tytgat, B., & Willems, A. (2016). Diversity of phototrophic genes suggests multiple bacteria may be able to exploit sunlight in exposed soils from the Sør Rondane Mountains, East Antarctica. FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY, 7.
Vancouver
1.
Tahon G, Tytgat B, Willems A. Diversity of phototrophic genes suggests multiple bacteria may be able to exploit sunlight in exposed soils from the Sør Rondane Mountains, East Antarctica. FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY. 2016;7.
MLA
Tahon, Guillaume, Bjorn Tytgat, and Anne Willems. “Diversity of Phototrophic Genes Suggests Multiple Bacteria May Be Able to Exploit Sunlight in Exposed Soils from the Sør Rondane Mountains, East Antarctica.” FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY 7 (2016): n. pag. Print.
@article{8503214,
  abstract     = {Microbial life in exposed terrestrial surface layers in continental Antarctica is faced with extreme environmental conditions, including scarcity of organic matter. Bacteria in these exposed settings can therefore be expected to use alternative energy sources such as solar energy, abundant during the austral summer. Using Illumina MiSeq sequencing, we assessed the diversity and abundance of four conserved protein encoding genes involved in different key steps of light-harvesting pathways dependent on (bacterio)chlorophyll (pufM, bchL/ch/L, and bchX genes) and rhodopsins (actinorhodopsin genes), in exposed soils from the Sor Rondane Mountains, East Antarctica. Analysis of pufM genes, encoding a subunit of the type 2 photochemical reaction center found in anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria, revealed a broad diversity, dominated by Roseobacter- and Loktanella-like sequences. The bchL and chIL involved in (bacterio)chlorophyll synthesis, on the other hand, showed a high relative abundance of either cyanobacterial or green algal trebouxiophyceael chIL reads, depending on the sample, while most bchX sequences belonged mostly to previously unidentified phylotypes. Rhodopsin-containing phototrophic bacteria could not be detected in the samples. Our results, while suggesting that Cyanobacteria and green algae are the main phototrophic groups, show that light-harvesting bacteria are nevertheless very diverse in microbial communities in Antarctic soils.},
  articleno    = {2026},
  author       = {Tahon, Guillaume and Tytgat, Bjorn and Willems, Anne},
  issn         = {1664-302X},
  journal      = {FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY},
  keyword      = {Princess Elisabeth Station,S{\o}r Rondane Mountains,anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria,actinorhodopsin,light-harvesting,AAP,PHOTOSYNTHETIC REACTION CENTERS,AEROBIC ANOXYGENIC PHOTOTROPHS,COMPARATIVE-ANALYSIS SYSTEM,MARINE ROSEOBACTER LINEAGE,MEDITERRANEAN SEA,CHLOROPHYLL BIOSYNTHESIS,ACTINORHODOPSIN GENES,INTERACTIVE TREE,PURPLE BACTERIA,MICROBIAL MATS},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {17},
  title        = {Diversity of phototrophic genes suggests multiple bacteria may be able to exploit sunlight in exposed soils from the S{\o}r Rondane Mountains, East Antarctica},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2016.02026},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2016},
}

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