Community Structure and Function of Planktonic Crenarchaeota: Changes with Depth in the South China Sea
Zhang, Chuanlun L.
- 海洋环境－已发表论文 
Marine Crenarchaeota represent a widespread and abundant microbial group in marine ecosystems. Here, we investigated the abundance, diversity, and distribution of planktonic Crenarchaeota in the epi-, meso-, and bathypelagic zones at three stations in the South China Sea (SCS) by analysis of crenarchaeal 16S rRNA gene, ammonia monooxygenase gene amoA involved in ammonia oxidation, and biotin carboxylase gene accA putatively involved in archaeal CO(2) fixation. Quantitative PCR analyses indicated that crenarchaeal amoA and accA gene abundances varied similarly with archaeal and crenarchaeal 16S rRNA gene abundances at all stations, except that crenarchaeal accA genes were almost absent in the epipelagic zone. Ratios of the crenarchaeal amoA gene to 16S rRNA gene abundances decreased similar to 2.6 times from the epi- to bathypelagic zones, whereas the ratios of crenarchaeal accA gene to marine group I crenarchaeal 16S rRNA gene or to crenarchaeal amoA gene abundances increased with depth, suggesting that the metabolism of Crenarchaeota may change from the epi- to meso- or bathypelagic zones. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis profiling of the 16S rRNA genes revealed depth partitioning in archaeal community structures. Clone libraries of crenarchaeal amoA and accA genes showed two clusters: the "shallow" cluster was exclusively derived from epipelagic water and the "deep" cluster was from meso- and/or bathypelagic waters, suggesting that niche partitioning may take place between the shallow and deep marine Crenarchaeota. Overall, our results show strong depth partitioning of crenarchaeal populations in the SCS and suggest a shift in their community structure and ecological function with increasing depth.