Taxonomic and functional characterization of a microbial community from a volcanic englacial ecosystem in Deception Island, Antarctica

Martínez Alonso, E., Pena Pérez, S., Serrano, S., García López, E., Alcazar, A., Cid, C. 2019. Taxonomic and functional characterization of a microbial community from a volcanic englacial ecosystem in Deception Island, Antarctica. Scientific Reports 9 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-47994-9

Glaciers are populated by a large number of microorganisms including bacteria, archaea and microeukaryotes. Several factors such as solar radiation, nutrient availability and water content greatly determine the diversity and abundance of these microbial populations, the type of metabolism and the biogeochemical cycles. Three ecosystems can be differentiated in glaciers: supraglacial, subglacial and englacial ecosystems. Firstly, the supraglacial ecosystem, sunlit and oxygenated, is predominantly populated by photoautotrophic microorganisms. Secondly, the subglacial ecosystem contains a majority of chemoautotrophs that are fed on the mineral salts of the rocks and basal soil. Lastly, the englacial ecosystem is the least studied and the one that contains the smallest number of microorganisms. However, these unknown englacial microorganisms establish a food web and appear to have an active metabolism. In order to study their metabolic potentials, samples of englacial ice were taken from an Antarctic glacier. Microorganisms were analyzed by a polyphasic approach that combines a set of-omic techniques: 165 rRNA sequencing, culturomics and metaproteomics. This combination provides key information about diversity and functions of microbial populations, especially in rare habitats. Several whole essential proteins and enzymes related to metabolism and energy production, recombination and translation were found that demonstrate the existence of cellular activity at subzero temperatures. In this way it is shown that the englacial microorganisms are not quiescent, but that they maintain an active metabolism and play an important role in the glacial microbial community.

Otras publicaciones

Este sitio web utiliza cookies para garantizar que obtenga la mejor experiencia en nuestro sitio web.