Contrasting patterns of niche partitioning between two anaerobic terminal oxidizers of organic matter
Oakley, Brian B., Carbonero, Franck, Dowd, Scot E, Hawkins, Robert J and Purdy, Kevin J.. (2012) Contrasting patterns of niche partitioning between two anaerobic terminal oxidizers of organic matter. ISME Journal, Vol.6 (No.5). pp. 905-914. ISSN 1751-7362Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ismej.2011.165
Understanding the ecological principles underlying the structure and function of microbial communities remains an important goal for microbial ecology. We examined two biogeochemically important taxa, the sulfate-reducing bacterial genus, Desulfobulbus, and the methanogenic archaeal genus, Methanosaeta, to compare and contrast niche partitioning by these two taxa that are ecologically linked as anaerobic terminal oxidizers of organic material. An observational approach utilizing functional gene pyrosequencing was combined with a community-based reciprocal incubation experiment and characterization of a novel Desulfobulbus isolate. To analyze the pyrosequencing data, we constructed a data analysis pipeline, which we validated with several control data sets. For both taxa, particular genotypes were clearly associated with certain portions of an estuarine gradient, consistent with habitat or niche partitioning. Methanosaeta genotypes were generally divided between those found almost exclusively in the marine habitat (~30% of operational taxonomic units (OTUs)), and those which were ubiquitously distributed across all or most of the estuary (~70% of OTUs). In contrast to this relatively monotonic distribution, for Desulfobulbus, there were many more genotypes, and their distributions represented a wide range of inferred niche widths from specialist genotypes found only at a single site, to ubiquitous or generalist genotypes found in all 10 sites examined along the full estuarine gradient. Incubation experiments clearly showed that, for both taxa, communities from opposite ends of the estuary did not come to resemble one another, regardless of the chemical environment. Growth of a Desulfobulbus isolated into pure culture indicated that the potential niche of this organism is significantly larger than the realized niche. We concluded that niche partitioning can be an important force structuring microbial populations, with biotic and abiotic components having very different effects depending on the physiology and ecology of each taxon.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||Q Science > Q Science (General)|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Science > Life Sciences (2010- )|
|Journal or Publication Title:||ISME Journal|
|Publisher:||Nature Publishing Group|
|Page Range:||pp. 905-914|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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