Joval N. Martinez
- Japanese Society of Microbial Ecology / Japanese Society of Soil Microbiology / Taiwan Society of Microbial Ecology / Japanese Society of Plant Microbe Interactions / Japanese Society for Extremophiles
- Microbes and Environments (ISSN:13426311)
- vol.34, no.4, pp.374-387, 2019 (Released:2019-12-27)
Phototrophic microbial mats are assemblages of vertically layered microbial populations dominated by photosynthetic microorganisms. In order to elucidate the vertical distribution and diversity of phototrophic microorganisms in a hot spring-associated microbial mat in Nakabusa (Japan), we analyzed the 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequences of the microbial mat separated into five depth horizons, and correlated them with microsensor measurements of O2 and spectral scalar irradiance. A stable core community and high diversity of phototrophic organisms dominated by the filamentous anoxygenic phototrophs, Roseiflexus castenholzii and Chloroflexus aggregans were identified together with the spectral signatures of bacteriochlorophylls (BChls) a and c absorption in all mat layers. In the upper mat layers, a high abundance of cyanobacteria (Thermosynechococcus sp.) correlated with strong spectral signatures of chlorophyll a and phycobiliprotein absorption near the surface in a zone of high O2 concentrations during the day. Deeper mat layers were dominated by uncultured chemotrophic Chlorobi such as the novel putatively sulfate-reducing “Ca. Thermonerobacter sp.”, which showed increasing abundance with depth correlating with low O2 in these layers enabling anaerobic metabolism. Oxygen tolerance and requirements for the novel phototroph “Ca. Chloroanaerofilum sp.” and the uncultured chemotrophic Armatimonadetes member type OS-L detected in Nakabusa hot springs, Japan appeared to differ from previously suggested lifestyles for close relatives identified in hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, USA. The present study identified various microenvironmental gradients and niche differentiation enabling the co-existence of diverse chlorophototrophs in metabolically diverse communities in hot springs.