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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-01-16
    Description: Sponges host a remarkable diversity of microbial symbionts, however, the benefit their microbes provide is rarely understood. Here, we describe two new sponge species from deep-sea asphalt seeps and show that they live in a nutritional symbiosis with methane-oxidizing (MOX) bacteria. Metagenomics and imaging analyses revealed unusually high amounts of MOX symbionts in hosts from a group previously assumed to have low microbial abundances. These symbionts belonged to the Marine Methylotrophic Group 2 clade. They are host-specific and likely vertically transmitted, based on their presence in sponge embryos and streamlined genomes, which lacked genes typical of related free-living MOX. Moreover, genes known to play a role in host–symbiont interactions, such as those that encode eukaryote-like proteins, were abundant and expressed. Methane assimilation by the symbionts was one of the most highly expressed metabolic pathways in the sponges. Molecular and stable carbon isotope patterns of lipids confirmed that methane-derived carbon was incorporated into the hosts. Our results revealed that two species of sponges, although distantly related, independently established highly specific, nutritional symbioses with two closely related methanotrophs. This convergence in symbiont acquisition underscores the strong selective advantage for these sponges in harboring MOX bacteria in the food-limited deep sea.
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  • 2
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    Nature Publishing Group
    In:  Scientific Reports, 9 (1). Art.Nr. 3.
    Publication Date: 2019-01-22
    Description: While originally acquired from the environment, a fraction of the microbiota is transferred from parents to offspring. The immune system shapes the microbial colonization, while commensal microbes may boost host immune defences. Parental transfer of microbes in viviparous animals remains ambiguous, as the two transfer routes (transovarial vs. pregnancy) are intermingled within the maternal body. Pipefishes and seahorses (syngnathids) are ideally suited to disentangle transovarial microbial transfer from a contribution during pregnancy due to their maternal egg production and their unique male pregnancy. We assessed the persistency and the changes in the microbial communities of the maternal and paternal reproductive tracts over proceeding male pregnancy by sequencing microbial 16S rRNA genes of swabs from maternal gonads and brood pouches of non-pregnant and pregnant fathers. Applying parental immunological activation with heat-killed bacteria, we evaluated the impact of parental immunological status on microbial development. Our data indicate that maternal gonads and paternal brood pouches harbor distinct microbial communities, which could affect embryonal development in a sex-specific manner. Upon activation of the immune system, a shift of the microbial community was observed. The activation of the immune system induced the expansion of microbiota richness during late pregnancy, which corresponds to the time point of larval mouth opening, when initial microbial colonization must take place
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-01-29
    Description: The fibrous calcite layer of modern brachiopod shells is a hybrid composite material and forms a substantial part of the hard tissue. We investigated how cells of the outer mantle epithelium (OME) secrete calcite material and generate the characteristic fibre morphology and composite microstructure of the shell. We employed AFM, FE-SEM, and TEM imaging of embedded/etched, chemically fixed/decalcified and high-pressure frozen/freeze substituted samples. Calcite fibres are secreted by outer mantle epithelium (OME) cells. Biometric analysis of TEM micrographs indicates that about 50% of these cells are attached via hemidesmosomes to an extracellular organic membrane present at the proximal, convex surface of the fibres. At these sites, mineral secretion is not active. Instead, ion transport from OME cells to developing fibres occurs at regions of closest contact between cells and fibres, however only at sites where the extracellular membrane at the proximal fibre surface is not developed yet. Fibre formation requires the cooperation of several adjacent OME cells. It is a spatially and temporally changing process comprising of detachment of OME cells from the extracellular organic membrane, mineral secretion at detachment sites, termination of secretion with formation of the extracellular organic membrane, and attachment of cells via hemidesmosomes to this membrane.
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-02-05
    Description: the brown alga Fucus vesiculosus is a keystone marine species, which is subject to heavy surface colonisation. this study was designed to analyse the surface epibiome of F. vesiculosus in conjunction with the composition and spatial distribution of its surface metabolome. the amplicon sequencing, seM and CARD-FIsH imaging studies showed Alphaproteobacteria to predominate the epibiotic bacteria. Fungi of the class Eurotiomycetes were visualised for the first time on an algal surface. An untargeted metabolomics approach using molecular networks, in silico prediction and manual dereplication showed the differential metabolome of the surface and the whole tissue extracts. In total, 50 compounds were putatively dereplicated by UPLC-MS/MS, 37 of which were previously reported from both seaweeds and microorganisms. Untargeted spatial metabolomics by DESI-Imaging MS identified the specific localisation and distribution of various primary and secondary metabolites on surface imprints and in algal cross sections. The UPLC-MS, DESI-IMS and NMR analyses failed to confirm the presence of any surface-associated metabolite, except for mannitol, which were previously reported from F. vesiculosus. This is the first study analysing the seaweed surface microbiome in conjunction with untargeted surface metabolomics and spatial metabolomics approaches.
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-02-25
    Description: Marine sponges are early-branching, filter-feeding metazoans that usually host complex microbiomes comprised of several, currently uncultivatable symbiotic lineages. Here, we use a low-carbon based strategy to cultivate low-abundance bacteria from Spongia officinalis. This approach favoured the growth of Alphaproteobacteria strains in the genera Anderseniella, Erythrobacter, Labrenzia, Loktanella, Ruegeria, Sphingorhabdus, Tateyamaria and Pseudovibrio, besides two likely new genera in the Rhodobacteraceae family. Mapping of complete genomes against the metagenomes of S. officinalis, seawater, and sediments confirmed the rare status of all the above-mentioned lineages in the marine realm. Remarkably, this community of low-abundance Alphaproteobacteria possesses several genomic attributes common to dominant, presently uncultivatable sponge symbionts, potentially contributing to host fitness through detoxification mechanisms (e.g. heavy metal and metabolic waste removal, degradation of aromatic compounds), provision of essential vitamins (e.g. B6 and B12 biosynthesis), nutritional exchange (especially regarding the processing of organic sulphur and nitrogen) and chemical defence (e.g. polyketide and terpenoid biosynthesis). None of the studied taxa displayed signs of genome reduction, indicative of obligate mutualism. Instead, versatile nutrient metabolisms along with motility, chemotaxis, and tight-adherence capacities - also known to confer environmental hardiness – were inferred, underlying dual host-associated and free-living life strategies adopted by these diverse sponge-associated Alphaproteobacteria.
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-02-27
    Description: Predictive species distribution models are mostly based on statistical dependence between environmental and distributional data and therefore may fail to account for physiological limits and biological interactions that are fundamental when modelling species distributions under future climate conditions. Here, we developed a state-of-the-art method integrating biological theory with survey and experimental data in a way that allows us to explicitly model both physical tolerance limits of species and inherent natural variability in regional conditions and thereby improve the reliability of species distribution predictions under future climate conditions. By using a macroalga-herbivore association (Fucus vesiculosus - Idotea balthica) as a case study, we illustrated how salinity reduction and temperature increase under future climate conditions may significantly reduce the occurrence and biomass of these important coastal species. Moreover, we showed that the reduction of herbivore occurrence is linked to reduction of their host macroalgae. Spatial predictive modelling and experimental biology have been traditionally seen as separate fields but stronger interlinkages between these disciplines can improve species distribution projections under climate change. Experiments enable qualitative prior knowledge to be defined and identify cause-effect relationships, and thereby better foresee alterations in ecosystem structure and functioning under future climate conditions that are not necessarily seen in projections based on non-causal statistical relationships alone.
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-03-08
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-03-08
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  • 9
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    Nature Publishing Group
    In:  Scientific Reports, 9 (1). Art.Nr. 3323 (2019).
    Publication Date: 2019-03-08
    Description: Plants rely on both mechanical and chemical defence mechanisms to protect their surfaces against microorganisms. The recently completed genome of the eelgrass Zostera marina, a marine angiosperm with fundamental importance for coastal ecosystems, showed that its re-adaptation from land to the sea has led to the loss of essential genes (for chemical communication and defence) and structural features (stomata and thick cuticle) that are typical of terrestrial plants. This study was designed to understand the molecular nature of surface protection and fouling-control strategy of eelgrass against marine epiphytic yeasts. Different surface extraction methods and comparative metabolomics by tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) were used for targeted and untargeted identification of the metabolite profiles of the leaf surface and the whole tissue extracts. Desorption electrospray ionization-imaging mass spectrometry (DESI-IMS) coupled with traditional bioassays revealed, for the first time, the unique spatial distribution of the eelgrass surface-associated phenolics and fatty acids, as well as their differential bioactivity against the growth and settlement of epiphytic yeasts. This study provides insights into the complex chemical defence system of the eelgrass leaf surface. It suggests that surface-associated metabolites modulate biotic interactions and provide chemical defence and structural protection to eelgrass in its marine environment.
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-03-04
    Description: The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of dietary plant proteins on the gut microbiome of first feeding brown trout (Salmo trutta) reproduced from wild stocks and to evaluate whether the initial microbiome of brown trout fry can be permanently manipulated by the first feeding diet. Therefore, brown trout fry was fed diets based on either 0%, 50% or 90% plant-derived proteins from first feeding onwards and via 16S rRNA gene sequencing a strong dietary influence on the bacterial gut community on phylum and order level was detected. Proteobacteria and Fusobacteria were significantly enhanced when fishmeal was integrated into the experimental diet, whereas plant-derived proteins significantly promoted Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. In order to evaluate whether the first feeding diet had a permanent effect on the initially established microbial gut community of juvenile brown trout, a cross-over diet-change was applied 61 days post first feeding. 48 days after the diet-change, the gut microbiome of all dietary groups was significantly different from the one initially established after first feeding. Moreover, the first feeding diet had no statistically significant influence on the gut microbiome after the diet-change, demonstrating no permanent effect on the gut microbiome formation.
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  • 11
    Publication Date: 2019-03-14
    Description: The individual impact of North Atlantic and Pacific Ocean Western Boundary Currents (OWBCs) on the tropospheric circulation has recently been studied in depth. However, their simultaneous role in shaping the hemisphere-scale wintertime troposphere/stratosphere-coupled circulation and its variability have not been considered. Through semi-idealized Atmospheric General-Circulation-Model experiments, we show that the North Atlantic and Pacific OWBCs jointly maintain and shape the wintertime hemispheric circulation and its leading mode of variability Northern Annular Mode (NAM). The OWBCs energize baroclinic waves that reinforce quasi-annular hemispheric structure in the tropospheric eddy-driven jetstreams and NAM variability. Without the OWBCs, the wintertime NAM variability is much weaker and its impact on the continental and maritime surface climate is largely insignificant. Atmospheric energy redistribution caused by the OWBCs acts to damp the near-surface atmospheric baroclinicity and compensates the associated oceanic meridional energy transport. Furthermore, the OWBCs substantially weaken the wintertime stratospheric polar vortex by enhancing the upward planetary wave propagation, and thereby affecting both stratospheric and tropospheric NAM-annularity. Whereas the overall impact of the extra-tropical OWBCs on the stratosphere results mainly from the Pacific, the impact on the troposphere results from both the Pacific and Atlantic OWBCs.
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  • 12
    Publication Date: 2019-04-03
    Description: Permafrost warming has the potential to amplify global climate change, because when frozen sediments thaw it unlocks soil organic carbon. Yet to date, no globally consistent assessment of permafrost temperature change has been compiled. Here we use a global data set of permafrost temperature time series from the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost to evaluate temperature change across permafrost regions for the period since the International Polar Year (2007–2009). During the reference decade between 2007 and 2016, ground temperature near the depth of zero annual amplitude in the continuous permafrost zone increased by 0.39 ± 0.15 °C. Over the same period, discontinuous permafrost warmed by 0.20 ± 0.10 °C. Permafrost in mountains warmed by 0.19 ± 0.05 °C and in Antarctica by 0.37 ± 0.10 °C. Globally, permafrost temperature increased by 0.29 ± 0.12 °C. The observed trend follows the Arctic amplification of air temperature increase in the Northern Hemisphere. In the discontinuous zone, however, ground warming occurred due to increased snow thickness while air temperature remained statistically unchanged.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 13
    Publication Date: 2019-04-16
    Description: Near-term climate predictions — which operate on annual to decadal timescales — offer benefits for climate adaptation and resilience, and are thus important for society. Although skilful near-term predictions are now possible, particularly when coupled models are initialized from the current climate state (most importantly from the ocean), several scientific challenges remain, including gaps in understanding and modelling the underlying physical mechanisms. This Perspective discusses how these challenges can be overcome, outlining concrete steps towards the provision of operational near-term climate predictions. Progress in this endeavour will bridge the gap between current seasonal forecasts and century-scale climate change projections, allowing a seamless climate service delivery chain to be established.
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  • 14
    Publication Date: 2019-04-15
    Description: Stable water isotopes are employed as hydrological tracers to quantify the diverse implications of atmospheric moisture for climate. They are widely used as proxies for studying past climate changes, e.g., in isotope records from ice cores and speleothems. Here, we present a new isotopic dataset of both near-surface vapour and ocean surface water from the North Pole to Antarctica, continuously measured from a research vessel throughout the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans during a period of two years. Our observations contribute to a better understanding and modelling of water isotopic composition. The observations reveal that the vapour deuterium excess within the atmospheric boundary layer is not modulated by wind speed, contrary to the commonly used theory, but controlled by relative humidity and sea surface temperature only. In sea ice covered regions, the sublimation of deposited snow on sea ice is a key process controlling the local water vapour isotopic composition.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
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  • 15
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Methane seepage from the upper continental slopes of Western Svalbard has previously been attributed to gas hydrate dissociation induced by anthropogenic warming of ambient bottom waters. Here we show that sediment cores drilled off Prins Karls Foreland contain freshwater from dissociating hydrates. However, our modeling indicates that the observed pore water freshening began around 8 ka BP when the rate of isostatic uplift outpaced eustatic sea-level rise. The resultant local shallowing and lowering of hydrostatic pressure forced gas hydrate dissociation and dissolved chloride depletions consistent with our geochemical analysis. Hence, we propose that hydrate dissociation was triggered by postglacial isostatic rebound rather than anthropogenic warming. Furthermore, we show that methane fluxes from dissociating hydrates were considerably smaller than present methane seepage rates implying that gas hydrates were not a major source of methane to the oceans, but rather acted as a dynamic seal, regulating methane release from deep geological reservoirs.
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  • 16
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    Nature Publishing Group
    In:  Nature Climate Change, 8 (4). pp. 300-304.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: A shutdown of ocean convection in the subpolar North Atlantic, triggered by enhanced melting over Greenland, is regarded as a potential transition point into a fundamentally different climate regime1,2,3. Noting that a key uncertainty for future convection resides in the relative importance of melting in summer and atmospheric forcing in winter, we investigate the extent to which summer conditions constrain convection with a comprehensive dataset, including hydrographic records that are over a decade in length from the convection regions. We find that warm and fresh summers, characterized by increased sea surface temperatures, freshwater concentrations and melting, are accompanied by reduced heat and buoyancy losses in winter, which entail a longer persistence of the freshwater near the surface and contribute to delaying convection. By shortening the time span for the convective freshwater export, the identified seasonal dynamics introduce a potentially critical threshold that is crossed when substantial amounts of freshwater from one summer are carried over into the next and accumulate. Warm and fresh summers in the Irminger Sea are followed by particularly short convection periods. We estimate that in the winter 2010–2011, after the warmest and freshest Irminger Sea summer on our record, ~40% of the surface freshwater was retained.
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  • 17
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The Kryos Basin is a deep-sea hypersaline anoxic basin (DHAB) located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (34.98°N 22.04°E). It is filled with brine of re-dissolved Messinian evaporites and is nearly saturated with MgCl2-equivalents, which makes this habitat extremely challenging for life. The strong density difference between the anoxic brine and the overlying oxic Mediterranean seawater impedes mixing, giving rise to a narrow chemocline. Here, we investigate the microbial community structure and activities across the seawater–brine interface using a combined biogeochemical, next-generation sequencing, and lipid biomarker approach. Within the interface, we detected fatty acids that were distinctly 13C-enriched when compared to other fatty acids. These likely originated from sulfide-oxidizing bacteria that fix carbon via the reverse tricarboxylic acid cycle. In the lower part of the interface, we also measured elevated rates of methane oxidation, probably mediated by aerobic methanotrophs under micro-oxic conditions. Sulfate reduction rates increased across the interface and were highest within the brine, providing first evidence that sulfate reducers (likely Desulfovermiculus and Desulfobacula) thrive in the Kryos Basin at a water activity of only ~0.4 Aw. Our results demonstrate that a highly specialized microbial community in the Kryos Basin has adapted to the poly-extreme conditions of a DHAB with nearly saturated MgCl2 brine, extending the known environmental range where microbial life can persist.
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  • 18
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    Nature Publishing Group
    In:  Scientific Reports, 8 (13015).
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: What process triggered the Mediterranean Sea restriction remains debated since the discovery of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC). Recent hypotheses infer that the MSC initiated after the closure of the Atlantic-Mediterranean Betic and Rifean corridors, being modulated through restriction at the Gibraltar Strait. These hypotheses however, do not integrate contemporaneous speciation patterns of the faunal exchange between Iberia and Africa and geological features like the evaporite distribution. Exchange of terrestrial biota occurred before, during and after the MSC, and speciation models support an exchange path across the East Alborán basin (EAB) located a few hundreds of km east of the Gibraltar Strait. Yet, a structure explaining jointly geological and biological observations has remained undiscovered. We present new seismic data showing the velocity structure of a well-differentiated 14-17-km thick volcanic arc in the EAB. Isostatic considerations support that the arc-crust buoyancy created an archipelago and filter bridge across the EAB. Sub-aerial erosional unconformities and onlap relationships support that the arc was active between ~10-6 Ma. Progressive arc build-up leading to an archipelago and its later subsidence can explain the extended exchange of terrestrial biota between Iberia and Africa (~7-3 Ma), and agrees with patterns of biota speciation and terrestrial fossil distribution before the MSC (10-6.2 Ma). In this scenario, the West Alboran Basin (WAB) could then be the long-postulated open-marine refuge for the Mediterranean taxa that repopulated the Mediterranean after the MSC, connected to the deep restricted Mediterranean basin through a sill at the Alboran volcanic arc archipelago.
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  • 19
    Publication Date: 2018-03-27
    Description: © The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Nature Communications 9 (2018): 1124, doi:10.1038/s41467-018-03134-x.
    Description: The ocean’s role in global climate change largely depends on its heat transport. Therefore, understanding the oceanic meridional heat transport (MHT) variability is a fundamental issue. Prevailing observational and modeling evidence suggests that MHT variability is primarily determined by the large-scale ocean circulation. Here, using new in situ observations in the eastern subpolar North Atlantic Ocean and an eddy-resolving numerical model, we show that energetic mesoscale eddies with horizontal scales of about 10–100 km profoundly modulate MHT variability on time scales from intra-seasonal to interannual. Our results reveal that the velocity changes due to mesoscale processes produce substantial variability for the MHT regionally (within sub-basins) and the subpolar North Atlantic as a whole. The findings have important implications for understanding the mechanisms for poleward heat transport variability in the subpolar North Atlantic Ocean, a key region for heat and carbon sequestration, ice–ocean interaction, and biological productivity.
    Description: J.Z. was financially supported by the Postdoctoral Scholar Program at WHOI, with funding provided by the Ocean and Climate Change Institute. This work was also supported by the US National Science Foundation (OCE-1258823 and OCE-1634886), as well as by China’s national key research and development projects (2016YFA0601803), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41521091 and U1606402), the Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (2015ASKJ01), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (201424001 and 201362048).
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 20
    Publication Date: 2018-03-12
    Description: © The Author(s), 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Scientific Reports 7 (2017): 115, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-00091-1.
    Description: Mutations in Fused in Sarcoma/Translocated in Liposarcoma (FUS) cause familial forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive axonal degeneration mainly affecting motor neurons. Evidence from transgenic mouse models suggests mutant forms of FUS exert an unknown gain-of-toxic function in motor neurons, but mechanisms underlying this effect remain unknown. Towards this end, we studied the effect of wild type FUS (FUS WT) and three ALS-linked variants (G230C, R521G and R495X) on fast axonal transport (FAT), a cellular process critical for appropriate maintenance of axonal connectivity. All ALS-FUS variants impaired anterograde and retrograde FAT in squid axoplasm, whereas FUS WT had no effect. Misfolding of mutant FUS is implicated in this process, as the molecular chaperone Hsp110 mitigated these toxic effects. Interestingly, mutant FUS-induced impairment of FAT in squid axoplasm and of axonal outgrowth in mammalian primary motor neurons involved aberrant activation of the p38 MAPK pathway, as also reported for ALS-linked forms of Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1). Accordingly, increased levels of active p38 MAPK were detected in post-mortem human ALS-FUS brain tissues. These data provide evidence for a novel gain-of-toxic function for ALS-linked FUS involving p38 MAPK activation.
    Description: We are grateful for funding from NIH/NINDS (R01 NS078145, R01 NS090352, and R21 NS091860 to D.A.B., R01 NS066942A and R21 NS096642 to G.M., R01NS023868 and R01NS041170 to S.T.B.), the ALS Therapy Alliance/CVS Pharmacy (to D.A.B. and G.M.) and the ALS Association (to C.F. and J.M.).
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 21
    Publication Date: 2018-02-05
    Description: © The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Nature Communications 9 (2018): 121, doi:10.1038/s41467-017-02504-1.
    Description: Sediments in deep ocean trenches may contain crucial information on past earthquake history and constitute important sites of carbon burial. Here we present 14C data on bulk organic carbon (OC) and its thermal decomposition fractions produced by ramped pyrolysis/oxidation for a core retrieved from the >7.5 km-deep Japan Trench. High-resolution 14C measurements, coupled with distinctive thermogram characteristics of OC, reveal hemipelagic sedimentation interrupted by episodic deposition of pre-aged OC in the trench. Low δ13C values and diverse 14C ages of thermal fractions imply that the latter material originates from the adjacent margin, and the co-occurrence of pre-aged OC with intervals corresponding to known earthquake events implies tectonically triggered, gravity-flow-driven supply. We show that 14C ages of thermal fractions can yield valuable chronological constraints on sedimentary sequences. Our findings shed new light on links between tectonically driven sedimentological processes and marine carbon cycling, with implications for carbon dynamics in hadal environments.
    Description: This study is supported by Doc.Mobility Fellowship (P1EZP2_159064) (R.B.) from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). This work is also supported by SNF “CAPS-LOCK” project 200021_140850 (T.I.E.), by SNSF grant (133481) (M.S.), and Austrian Science Foundation (P 29678-N28) (M.S.).
    Keywords: Carbon cycle ; Sedimentology
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  • 22
    Publication Date: 2018-02-05
    Description: © The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Scientific Reports 8 (2018): 742, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-18757-1.
    Description: In mammals, spinal cord injury (SCI) leads to dramatic losses in neurons and synaptic connections, and consequently function. Unlike mammals, lampreys are vertebrates that undergo spontaneous regeneration and achieve functional recovery after SCI. Therefore our goal was to determine the complete transcriptional responses that occur after SCI in lampreys and to identify deeply conserved pathways that promote regeneration. We performed RNA-Seq on lamprey spinal cord and brain throughout the course of functional recovery. We describe complex transcriptional responses in the injured spinal cord, and somewhat surprisingly, also in the brain. Transcriptional responses to SCI in lampreys included transcription factor networks that promote peripheral nerve regeneration in mammals such as Atf3 and Jun. Furthermore, a number of highly conserved axon guidance, extracellular matrix, and proliferation genes were also differentially expressed after SCI in lampreys. Strikingly, ~3% of differentially expressed transcripts belonged to the Wnt pathways. These included members of the Wnt and Frizzled gene families, and genes involved in downstream signaling. Pharmacological inhibition of Wnt signaling inhibited functional recovery, confirming a critical role for this pathway. These data indicate that molecular signals present in mammals are also involved in regeneration in lampreys, supporting translational relevance of the model.
    Description: We gratefully acknowledge support from the National Institutes of Health (R03NS078519 to OB; R01GM104123 to JJS; R01NS078165 to JRM), The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and The Marine Biological Laboratory, including the Charles Evans Foundation Research Award, the Albert and Ellen Grass Foundation Faculty Research Award, and The Eugene and Millicent Bell Fellowship Fund in Tissue Engineering.
    Keywords: Computational biology and bioinformatics ; Gene expression ; Spinal cord injury
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  • 23
    Publication Date: 2018-02-05
    Description: © The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Nature Communications 9 (2018): 266, doi:10.1038/s41467-017-02571-4.
    Description: Because microbial plankton in the ocean comprise diverse bacteria, algae, and protists that are subject to environmental forcing on multiple spatial and temporal scales, a fundamental open question is to what extent these organisms form ecologically cohesive communities. Here we show that although all taxa undergo large, near daily fluctuations in abundance, microbial plankton are organized into clearly defined communities whose turnover is rapid and sharp. We analyze a time series of 93 consecutive days of coastal plankton using a technique that allows inference of communities as modular units of interacting taxa by determining positive and negative correlations at different temporal frequencies. This approach shows both coordinated population expansions that demarcate community boundaries and high frequency of positive and negative associations among populations within communities. Our analysis thus highlights that the environmental variability of the coastal ocean is mirrored in sharp transitions of defined but ephemeral communities of organisms.
    Description: This work was supported by grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation (OCE-1441943) to M.F.P. and the U.S. Department of Energy (DE-SC0008743) to M.F.P. and E.J.A. A.M.M.-P. was partially supported by the Ramon Areces foundation through a postdoctoral fellowship. D.J.M. was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (OCE-1314642) and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (1P01ES021923-01) through the Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health.
    Keywords: Marine biology ; Microbial ecology
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  • 24
    Publication Date: 2018-02-05
    Description: © The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Nature Communications 9 (2018): 305, doi:10.1038/s41467-017-02701-y.
    Description: Correction to: Nature Communications https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-01229-5, Article published online 07 November 2017
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  • 25
    Publication Date: 2018-04-09
    Description: © The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Nature Communications 9 (2018): 1287, doi:10.1038/s41467-018-03468-6.
    Description: Warm subtropical-origin Atlantic water flows northward across the Greenland-Scotland Ridge into the Nordic Seas, where it relinquishes heat to the atmosphere and gradually transforms into dense Atlantic-origin water. Returning southward along east Greenland, this water mass is situated beneath a layer of cold, fresh surface water and sea ice. Here we show, using measurements from autonomous ocean gliders, that the Atlantic-origin water was re-ventilated while transiting the western Iceland Sea during winter. This re-ventilation is a recent phenomenon made possible by the retreat of the ice edge toward Greenland. The fresh surface layer that characterises this region in summer is diverted onto the Greenland shelf by enhanced onshore Ekman transport induced by stronger northerly winds in fall and winter. Severe heat loss from the ocean offshore of the ice edge subsequently triggers convection, which further transforms the Atlantic-origin water. This re-ventilation is a counterintuitive occurrence in a warming climate, and highlights the difficulties inherent in predicting the behaviour of the complex coupled climate system.
    Description: Support for this work was provided by the Norwegian Research Council under Grant agreement no. 231647 (L.H. and K.V.), the Bergen Research Foundation under Grant BFS2016REK01 (K.V.), and the Centre for Climate Dynamics at the Bjerknes Centre through the FRESHWATER project (K.V.). Additional funding was provided by the Swiss National Science Foundation grants P2EZP2162267 and P300P2174307 (L.P.), the National Science Foundation grant OCE-1558742 (M.A.S.), the Norway Fulbright Foundation (K.V.), the Canada Fulbright Foundation (G.W.K.M.), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (G.W.K.M.).
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 26
    Publication Date: 2018-04-11
    Description: © The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Scientific Reports 8 (2018): 4917, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-23167-y.
    Description: Intertidal inhabitants are exposed to the 24-hour solar day, and the 12.4 hour rising and falling of the tides. One or both of these cycles govern intertidal organisms’ behaviour and physiology, yet little is known about the molecular clockworks of tidal rhythmicity. Here, we show that the limpet Cellana rota exhibits robust tidally rhythmic behaviour and gene expression. We assembled a de-novo transcriptome, identifying novel tidal, along with known circadian clock genes. Surprisingly, most of the putative circadian clock genes, lack a typical rhythmicity. We identified numerous tidally rhythmic genes and pathways commonly associated with the circadian clock. We show that not only is the behaviour of an intertidal organism in tune with the tides, but so too are many of its genes and pathways. These findings highlight the plasticity of biological timekeeping in nature, strengthening the growing notion that the role of ‘canonical’ circadian clock genes may be more fluid than previously thought, as exhibited in an organism which has evolved in an environment where tidal oscillations are the dominant driving force.
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 27
    Publication Date: 2018-03-16
    Description: © The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Scientific Reports 8 (2018): 4494, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-22758-z.
    Description: Six velocity sections straddling Cape Hatteras show a deep counterflow rounding the Cape wedged beneath the poleward flowing Gulf Stream and the continental slope. This counterflow is likely the upper part of the equatorward-flowing Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC). Hydrographic data suggest that the equatorward flow sampled by the shipboard 38 kHz ADCP comprises the Upper Labrador Sea Water (ULSW) layer and top of the Classical Labrador Sea Water (CLSW) layer. Continuous DWBC flow around the Cape implied by the closely-spaced velocity sections here is also corroborated by the trajectory of an Argo float. These findings contrast with previous studies based on floats and tracers in which the lightest DWBC constituents did not follow the boundary to cross under the Gulf Stream at Cape Hatteras but were diverted into the interior as the DWBC encountered the Gulf Stream in the crossover region. Additionally, our six quasi-synoptic velocity sections confirm that the Gulf Stream intensified markedly at that time as it approached the separation point and flowed into deeper waters. Downstream increases were observed not only in the poleward transport across the sections but also in the current’s maximum speed.
    Description: This research was supported by NSF through OCE-1558521 and OCE-1332667 and by a grant from North Carolina to the Renewable Ocean Energy Program.
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  • 28
    Publication Date: 2018-03-16
    Description: © The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Scientific Reports 8 (2018): 4547, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-22732-9.
    Description: The assembly of membranous extensions such as microvilli and cilia in polarized cells is a tightly regulated, yet poorly understood, process. Peptidylglycine α-amidating monooxygenase (PAM), a membrane enzyme essential for the synthesis of amidated bioactive peptides, was recently identified in motile and non-motile (primary) cilia and has an essential role in ciliogenesis in Chlamydomonas, Schmidtea and mouse. In mammalian cells, changes in PAM levels alter secretion and organization of the actin cytoskeleton. Here we show that lack of Pam in zebrafish recapitulates the lethal edematous phenotype observed in Pam−/− mice and reveals additional defects. The pam−/− zebrafish embryos display an initial striking loss of microvilli and subsequently impaired ciliogenesis in the pronephros. In multiciliated mouse tracheal epithelial cells, vesicular PAM staining colocalizes with apical actin, below the microvilli. In PAM-deficient Chlamydomonas, the actin cytoskeleton is dramatically reorganized, and expression of an actin paralogue is upregulated. Biochemical assays reveal that the cytosolic PAM C-terminal domain interacts directly with filamentous actin but does not alter the rate of actin polymerization or disassembly. Our results point to a critical role for PAM in organizing the actin cytoskeleton during development, which could in turn impact both microvillus formation and ciliogenesis.
    Description: This study was supported by grants DK032949 (to BAE and REM), DK044464 (to JDG) and GM051293 (to SMK) from the National Institutes of Health.
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 29
    Publication Date: 2018-01-09
    Description: © The Author(s), 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in The ISME Journal 12 (2018): 237–252, doi:10.1038/ismej.2017.165.
    Description: Temperate coastal marine environments are replete with complex biotic and abiotic interactions that are amplified during spring and summer phytoplankton blooms. During these events, heterotrophic bacterioplankton respond to successional releases of dissolved organic matter as algal cells are lysed. Annual seasonal shifts in the community composition of free-living bacterioplankton follow broadly predictable patterns, but whether similar communities respond each year to bloom disturbance events remains unknown owing to a lack of data sets, employing high-frequency sampling over multiple years. We capture the fine-scale microdiversity of these events with weekly sampling using a high-resolution method to discriminate 16S ribosomal RNA gene amplicons that are >99% identical. Furthermore, we used 2 complete years of data to facilitate identification of recurrent sub-networks of co-varying microbes. We demonstrate that despite inter-annual variation in phytoplankton blooms and despite the dynamism of a coastal–oceanic transition zone, patterns of microdiversity are recurrent during both bloom and non-bloom conditions. Sub-networks of co-occurring microbes identified reveal that correlation structures between community members appear quite stable in a seasonally driven response to oligotrophic and eutrophic conditions.
    Description: PLB is supported by the European Research Council Advanced Investigator grant ABYSS 294757 to Antje Boetius. AF-G is supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (Blue Growth: Unlocking the potential of Seas and Oceans) under grant agreement no. (634486) (project acronym INMARE). This study was funded by the Max Planck Society. Further support by the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (CSP COGITO) and DFG (FOR2406) is acknowledged by HT (TE 813/2-1) and RA (Am 73/9-1).
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  • 30
    Publication Date: 2018-02-05
    Description: © The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Nature Communications 9 (2018): 209, doi:10.1038/s41467-017-02105-y.
    Description: Correction to: Nature Communications 8:172 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-00197-0; Article published online: 2 August 2017
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 31
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: © The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Scientific Reports 8 (2018): 3926, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-22313-w.
    Description: Despite concerted international effort to track and interpret shifts in the abundance and distribution of Adélie penguins, large populations continue to be identified. Here we report on a major hotspot of Adélie penguin abundance identified in the Danger Islands off the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula (AP). We present the first complete census of Pygoscelis spp. penguins in the Danger Islands, estimated from a multi-modal survey consisting of direct ground counts and computer-automated counts of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery. Our survey reveals that the Danger Islands host 751,527 pairs of Adélie penguins, more than the rest of AP region combined, and include the third and fourth largest Adélie penguin colonies in the world. Our results validate the use of Landsat medium-resolution satellite imagery for the detection of new or unknown penguin colonies and highlight the utility of combining satellite imagery with ground and UAV surveys. The Danger Islands appear to have avoided recent declines documented on the Western AP and, because they are large and likely to remain an important hotspot for avian abundance under projected climate change, deserve special consideration in the negotiation and design of Marine Protected Areas in the region.
    Description: We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Dalio Foundation, Inc. through the Dalio Explore Fund, which provided all the financing for the Danger Island Expedition. We would like to thank additional support for analysis from the National Science Foundation (NSF PLR&GSS 1255058 - H.J.L. and P.M.; NSF PLR 1443585 – M.J.P.) and the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NNX14AC32G; H.J.L. and M.S.). Geospatial support for the analysis of high resolution satellite imagery provided by the Polar Geospatial Center under NSF PLR awards 1043681 & 1559691.
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 32
    Publication Date: 2018-01-11
    Description: © The Author(s), 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in The ISME Journal 12 (2018): 1-16, doi:10.1038/ismej.2017.187.
    Description: The rock-hosted subseafloor crustal aquifer harbors a reservoir of microbial life that may influence global marine biogeochemical cycles. Here we utilized metagenomic libraries of crustal fluid samples from North Pond, located on the flanks of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a site with cold, oxic subseafloor fluid circulation within the upper basement to query microbial diversity. Twenty-one samples were collected during a 2-year period to examine potential microbial metabolism and community dynamics. We observed minor changes in the geochemical signatures over the 2 years, yet the microbial community present in the crustal fluids underwent large shifts in the dominant taxonomic groups. An analysis of 195 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) were generated from the data set and revealed a connection between litho- and autotrophic processes, linking carbon fixation to the oxidation of sulfide, sulfur, thiosulfate, hydrogen, and ferrous iron in members of the Proteobacteria, specifically the Alpha-, Gamma- and Zetaproteobacteria, the Epsilonbacteraeota and the Planctomycetes. Despite oxic conditions, analysis of the MAGs indicated that members of the microbial community were poised to exploit hypoxic or anoxic conditions through the use of microaerobic cytochromes, such as cbb3- and bd-type cytochromes, and alternative electron acceptors, like nitrate and sulfate. Temporal and spatial trends from the MAGs revealed a high degree of functional redundancy that did not correlate with the shifting microbial community membership, suggesting functional stability in mediating subseafloor biogeochemical cycles. Collectively, the repeated sampling at multiple sites, together with the successful binning of hundreds of genomes, provides an unprecedented data set for investigation of microbial communities in the cold, oxic crustal aquifer.
    Description: This work was supported by NSF OCE1062006 to JAH and NSF OCE1061827 to BTG. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation sponsored most of the observatory components at North Pond through grant GBMF1609. The Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) (OCE-0939564), a National Science Foundation-funded Science and Technology Centers of Excellence also supported the participation of CGW, JAH and BJT.
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  • 33
    Publication Date: 2018-02-15
    Description: © The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Nature Communications 9 (2018): 660, doi:10.1038/s41467-018-02984-9.
    Description: Efforts to estimate the physical and economic impacts of future climate change face substantial challenges. To enrich the currently popular approaches to impact analysis—which involve evaluation of a damage function or multi-model comparisons based on a limited number of standardized scenarios—we propose integrating a geospatially resolved physical representation of impacts into a coupled human-Earth system modeling framework. Large internationally coordinated exercises cannot easily respond to new policy targets and the implementation of standard scenarios across models, institutions and research communities can yield inconsistent estimates. Here, we argue for a shift toward the use of a self-consistent integrated modeling framework to assess climate impacts, and discuss ways the integrated assessment modeling community can move in this direction. We then demonstrate the capabilities of such a modeling framework by conducting a multi-sectoral assessment of climate impacts under a range of consistent and integrated economic and climate scenarios that are responsive to new policies and business expectations.
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  • 34
    Publication Date: 2018-09-20
    Description: Understanding how the Antarctic ice sheet will respond to global warming relies on knowledge of how it has behaved in the past. The use of numerical models, the only means to quantitatively predict the future, is hindered by limitations to topographic data both now and in the past, and in knowledge of how subsurface oceanic, glaciological and hydrological processes interact. Incorporating the variety and interplay of such processes, operating at multiple spatio-temporal scales, is critical to modeling the Antarctic’s system evolution and requires direct observations in challenging locations. As these processes do not observe disciplinary boundaries neither should our future research.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
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  • 35
    Publication Date: 2018-10-12
    Description: © The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Scientific Reports 8 (2018): 14955, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-33021-w.
    Description: Glomeruli are the functional units of olfactory information processing but little remains known about their individual unit function. This is due to their widespread activation by odor stimuli. We expressed channelrhodopsin-2 in a single olfactory sensory neuron type, and used laser stimulation and simultaneous in vivo calcium imaging to study the responses of a single glomerulus to optogenetic stimulation. Calcium signals in the neuropil of this glomerulus were representative of the sensory input and nearly identical if evoked by intensity-matched odor and laser stimuli. However, significantly fewer glomerular layer interneurons and olfactory bulb output neurons (mitral cells) responded to optogenetic versus odor stimuli, resulting in a small and spatially compact optogenetic glomerular unit response. Temporal features of laser stimuli were represented with high fidelity in the neuropil of the glomerulus and the mitral cells, but not in interneurons. Increases in laser stimulus intensity were encoded by larger signal amplitudes in all compartments of the glomerulus, and by the recruitment of additional interneurons and mitral cells. No spatial expansion of the glomerular unit response was observed in response to stronger input stimuli. Our data are among the first descriptions of input-output transformations in a selectively activated olfactory glomerulus.
    Description: Funded by the World Class Institute/National Research Foundation of Korea (KRF: WCI 2009-003) and NIH: DC005259 and NS099691 grants.
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  • 36
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Iron (Fe) is an essential micronutrient for marine microbial organisms, and low supply controls productivity in large parts of the world’s ocean. The high latitude North Atlantic is seasonally Fe limited, but Fe distributions and source strengths are poorly constrained. Surface ocean dissolved Fe (DFe) concentrations were low in the study region (〈0.1 nM) in summer 2010, with significant perturbations during spring 2010 in the Iceland Basin as a result of an eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano (up to 2.5 nM DFe near Iceland) with biogeochemical consequences. Deep water concentrations in the vicinity of the Reykjanes Ridge system were influenced by pronounced sediment resuspension, with indications for additional inputs by hydrothermal vents, with subsequent lateral transport of Fe and manganese plumes of up to 250–300 km. Particulate Fe formed the dominant pool, as evidenced by 4–17 fold higher total dissolvable Fe compared with DFe concentrations, and a dynamic exchange between the fractions appeared to buffer deep water DFe. Here we show that Fe supply associated with deep winter mixing (up to 103 nmol m−2 d−1) was at least ca. 4–10 times higher than atmospheric deposition, diffusive fluxes at the base of the summer mixed layer, and horizontal surface ocean fluxes.
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  • 37
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The simulation of Sahel rainfall and its onset during the West African Monsoon (WAM) remains a challenge for current state-of-the-art climate models due to their persistent biases, especially in the tropical Atlantic region. Here we show that improved representation of Atlantic Cold Tongue (ACT) development is essential for a more realistic seasonal evolution of the WAM, which is due to a further inland migration of the precipitation maximum. The observed marked relationship between ACT development and Sahel rainfall onset only can be reproduced by a climate model, the Kiel Climate Model (KCM), when sufficiently high resolution in its atmospheric component is employed, enabling enhanced equatorial Atlantic interannual sea surface temperature variability in the ACT region relative to versions with coarser atmospheric resolution. The ACT/Sahel rainfall relationship in the model critically depends on the correct seasonal phase-locking of the interannual variability rather than on its magnitude. We compare the KCM results with those obtained from climate models participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5).
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  • 38
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Methane sources and sinks in the Arctic are poorly quantified. In particular, methane emissions from the Arctic Ocean and the potential sink capacity are still under debate. In this context sea ice impact on and the intense cycling of methane between sea ice and Polar surface water (PSW) becomes pivotal. We report on methane super- and under-saturation in PSW in the Eurasian Basin (EB), strongly linked to sea ice-ocean interactions. In the southern EB under-saturation in PSW is caused by both inflow of warm Atlantic water and short-time contact with sea ice. By comparison in the northern EB long-time sea ice-PSW contact triggered by freezing and melting events induces a methane excess. We reveal the Ttranspolar Drift Stream as crucial for methane transport and show that inter-annual shifts in sea ice drift patterns generate inter-annually patchy methane excess in PSW. Using backward trajectories combined with δ18O signatures of sea ice cores we determine the sea ice source regions to be in the Laptev Sea Polynyas and the off shelf regime in 2011 and 2015, respectively. We denote the Transpolar Drift regime as decisive for the fate of methane released on the Siberian shelves.
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  • 39
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: It is a longstanding observation that the frequency of volcanism periodically changes at times of global climate change. The existence of causal links between volcanism and Earth's climate remains highly controversial, partly because most related studies only cover one glacial cycle. Longer records are available from marine sediment profiles in which the distribution of tephras records frequency changes of explosive arc volcanism with high resolution and time precision. Here we show that tephras of IODP Hole U1437B (northwest Pacific) record a cyclicity of explosive volcanism within the last 1.1 Myr. A spectral analysis of the dataset yields a statistically significant spectral peak at the similar to 100 kyr period, which dominates the global climate cycles since the Middle Pleistocene. A time-domain analysis of the entire eruption and delta O-18 record of benthic foraminifera as climate/sea level proxy shows that volcanism peaks after the glacial maximum and similar to 13 +/- 2 kyr before the delta O-18 minimum right at the glacial/interglacial transition. The correlation is especially good for the last 0.7 Myr. For the period 0.7-1.1 Ma, during the Middle Pleistocene Transition (MPT), the correlation is weaker, since the 100 kyr periodicity in the delta O-18 record diminishes, while the tephra record maintains its strong 100 kyr periodicity.
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  • 40
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Parental experience with parasites and pathogens can lead to increased offspring resistance to infection, through a process known as transgenerational immune priming (TGIP). Broadly defined, TGIP occurs across a wide range of taxa, and can be viewed as a type of phenotypic plasticity, with hosts responding to the pressures of relevant local infection risk by altering their offspring’s immune defenses. There are ever increasing examples of both invertebrate and vertebrate TGIP, which go beyond classical examples of maternal antibody transfer. Here we critically summarize the current evidence for TGIP in both invertebrates and vertebrates. Mechanisms underlying TGIP remain elusive in many systems, but while it is unlikely that they are conserved across the range of organisms with TGIP, recent insight into epigenetic modulation may challenge this view. We place TGIP into a framework of evolutionary ecology, discussing costs and relevant environmental variation. We highlight how the ecology of species or populations should affect if, where, when, and how TGIP is realized. We propose that the field can progress by incorporating evolutionary ecology focused designs to the study of the so far well chronicled, but mostly descriptive TGIP, and how rapidly developing -omic methods can be employed to further understand TGIP across taxa.
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  • 41
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The blue mussel Mytilus is a popular food source with high economical value. Species of the M. edulis complex (M. edulis, M. galloprovincialis and M. trossulus) hybridise whenever their geographic ranges overlap posing difficulties to species discrimination, which is important for blue mussel aquaculture. The aim of this study was to determine the genetic structure of farmed blue mussels in Kiel Fjord. Microbial and metabolic profile patterns were studied to investigate a possible dependency on the genotype of the bivalves. Genotyping confirmed the complex genetic structure of the Baltic Sea hybrid zone and revealed an unexpected dominance of M. trossulus alleles being in contrast to the predominance of M. edulis alleles described for wild Baltic blue mussels. Culture-dependent and -independent microbial community analyses indicated the presence of a diverse Mytilus-associated microbiota, while an LC-MS/MS-based metabolome study identified 76 major compounds dominated by pigments, alkaloids and polyketides in the whole tissue extracts. Analysis of mussel microbiota and metabolome did not indicate genotypic dependence, but demonstrated high intraspecific variability of farmed mussel individuals. We hypothesise that individual differences in microbial and metabolite patterns may be caused by high individual plasticity and might be enhanced by e.g. nutritional condition, age and gender.
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  • 42
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The island of Bali in Indonesia is home to two active stratovolcanoes, Agung and Batur, but relatively little is known of their underlying magma plumbing systems. Here we define magma storage depths and isotopic evolution of the 1963 and 1974 eruptions using mineral-melt equilibrium thermobarometry and oxygen and helium isotopes in mineral separates. Olivine crystallised from a primitive magma and has average δ18O values of 4.8‰. Clinopyroxene records magma storage at the crust-mantle boundary, and displays mantle-like isotope values for Helium (8.62 RA) and δ18O (5.0–5.8‰). Plagioclase reveals crystallisation in upper crustal storage reservoirs and shows δ18O values of 5.5–6.4‰. Our new thermobarometry and isotope data thus corroborate earlier seismic and InSAR studies that inferred upper crustal magma storage in the region. This type of multi-level plumbing architecture could drive replenishing magma to rapid volatile saturation, thus increasing the likelihood of explosive eruptions and the consequent hazard potential for the population of Bali.
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  • 43
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Identification of benthic megafauna is commonly based on analysis of physical samples or imagery acquired by cameras mounted on underwater platforms. Physical collection of samples is difficult, particularly from the deep sea, and identification of taxonomic morphotypes from imagery depends on resolution and investigator experience. Here, we show how an Underwater Hyperspectral Imager (UHI) can be used as an alternative in situ taxonomic tool for benthic megafauna. A UHI provides a much higher spectral resolution than standard RGB imagery, allowing marine organisms to be identified based on specific optical fingerprints. A set of reference spectra from identified organisms is established and supervised classification performed to identify benthic megafauna semi-autonomously. The UHI data provide an increased detection rate for small megafauna difficult to resolve in standard RGB imagery. In addition, seafloor anomalies with distinct spectral signatures are also detectable. In the region investigated, sediment anomalies (spectral reflectance minimum at ~675 nm) unclear in RGB imagery were indicative of chlorophyll a on the seafloor. Underwater hyperspectral imaging therefore has a great potential in seafloor habitat mapping and monitoring, with areas of application ranging from shallow coastal areas to the deep sea.
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  • 44
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus are the dominant primary producers in marine ecosystems and perform a significant fraction of ocean carbon fixation. These cyanobacteria interact with a diverse microbial community that coexists with them. Comparative genomics of cultivated isolates has helped address questions regarding patterns of evolution and diversity among microbes, but the fraction that can be cultivated is miniscule compared to the diversity in the wild. To further probe the diversity of these groups and extend the utility of reference sequence databases, we report a data set of single cell genomes for 489 Prochlorococcus, 50 Synechococcus, 9 extracellular virus particles, and 190 additional microorganisms from a diverse range of bacterial, archaeal, and viral groups. Many of these uncultivated single cell genomes are derived from samples obtained on GEOTRACES cruises and at well-studied oceanographic stations, each with extensive suites of physical, chemical, and biological measurements. The genomic data reported here greatly increases the number of available Prochlorococcus genomes and will facilitate studies on evolutionary biology, microbial ecology, and biological oceanography.
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  • 45
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Dissolved iron (DFe) concentrations in oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) of Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems are enhanced as a result of high supply rates from anoxic sediments. However, pronounced variations in DFe concentrations in anoxic coastal waters of the Peruvian OMZ indicate that there are factors in addition to dissolved oxygen concentrations (O2) that control Fe cycling. Our study demonstrates that sediment-derived reduced Fe (Fe(II)) forms the main DFe fraction in the anoxic/euxinic water column off Peru, which is responsible for DFe accumulations of up to 200 nmol L-1. Lowest DFe values were observed in anoxic shelf waters in the presence of nitrate and nitrite. This reflects oxidation of sediment-sourced Fe(II) associated with nitrate/nitrite reduction and subsequent removal as particulate Fe(III) oxyhydroxides. Unexpectedly, the highest DFe levels were observed in waters with elevated concentrations of hydrogen sulfide (up to 4 µmol L-1) and correspondingly depleted nitrate/nitrite concentrations (〈0.18 µmol L-1). Under these conditions, Fe removal was reduced through stabilization of Fe(II) as aqueous iron sulfide (FeSaqu) which comprises complexes (e.g., FeSH+) and clusters (e.g., Fe2S2|4H2O). Sulfidic events on the Peruvian shelf consequently enhance Fe availability, and may increase in frequency in future due to projected expansion and intensification of OMZs.
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  • 46
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The innate immune system helps animals to navigate the microbial world. The response to microbes relies on the specific recognition of microbial-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) by immune receptors. Sponges (phylum Porifera), as early-diverging animals, provide insights into conserved mechanisms for animal-microbe crosstalk. However, experimental data is limited. We adopted an experimental approach followed by RNA-Seq and differential gene expression analysis in order to characterise the sponge immune response. Two Mediterranean species, Aplysina aerophoba and Dysidea avara, were exposed to a “cocktail” of MAMPs (lipopolysaccharide and peptidoglycan) or to sterile artificial seawater (control) and sampled 1 h, 3 h, and 5 h post-treatment for RNA-Seq. The response involved, first and foremost, a higher number of differentially-expressed genes in A. aerophoba than D. avara. Secondly, while both species constitutively express a diverse repertoire of immune receptors, they differed in their expression profiles upon MAMP challenge. The response in D. avara was mediated by increased expression of two NLR genes, whereas the response in A. aerophoba involved SRCR and GPCR genes. From the set of annotated genes we infer that both species activated apoptosis in response to MAMPs while in A. aerophoba phagocytosis was additionally stimulated. Our study assessed for the first time the transcriptomic responses of sponges to MAMPs and revealed conserved and species-specific features of poriferan immunity as well as genes potentially relevant to animal-microbe interactions.
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  • 47
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: To assess the risk that mining of seafloor massive sulfides (SMS) from extinct hydrothermal vent environments has for changing the ecosystem irreversibly, we sampled SMS analogous habitats from the Kairei and the Pelagia vent fields along the Indian Ridge. In total 19.8 million 16S rRNA tags from 14 different sites were analyzed and the microbial communities were compared with each other and with publicly available data sets from other marine environments. The chimneys appear to provide habitats for microorganisms that are not found or only detectable in very low numbers in other marine habitats. The chimneys also host rare organisms and may function as a vital part of the ocean's seed bank. Many of the reads from active and inactive chimney samples were clustered into OTUs, with low or no resemblance to known species. Since we are unaware of the chemical reactions catalyzed by these unknown organisms, the impact of this diversity loss and bio-geo-coupling is hard to predict. Given that chimney structures can be considered SMS analogues, removal of sulfide deposits from the seafloor in the Kairei and Pelagia fields will most likely alter microbial compositions and affect element cycling in the benthic regions and probably beyond.
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  • 48
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Brachiopod shells are the most widely used geological archive for the reconstruction of the temperature and the oxygen isotope composition of Phanerozoic seawater. However, it is not conclusive whether brachiopods precipitate their shells in thermodynamic equilibrium. In this study, we investigated the potential impact of kinetic controls on the isotope composition of modern brachiopods by measuring the oxygen and clumped isotope compositions of their shells. Our results show that clumped and oxygen isotope compositions depart from thermodynamic equilibrium due to growth rate-induced kinetic effects. These departures are in line with incomplete hydration and hydroxylation of dissolved CO2. These findings imply that the determination of taxon-specific growth rates alongside clumped and bulk oxygen isotope analyses is essential to ensure accurate estimates of past ocean temperatures and seawater oxygen isotope compositions from brachiopods.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 49
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Understanding micro-seismicity is a critical question for earthquake hazard assessment. Since the devastating earthquakes of Izmit and Duzce in 1999, the seismicity along the submerged section of North Anatolian Fault within the Sea of Marmara (comprising the “Istanbul seismic gap”) has been extensively studied in order to infer its mechanical behaviour (creeping vs locked). So far, the seismicity has been interpreted only in terms of being tectonic-driven, although the Main Marmara Fault (MMF) is known to strike across multiple hydrocarbon gas sources. Here, we show that a large number of the aftershocks that followed the M 5.1 earthquake of July, 25th 2011 in the western Sea of Marmara, occurred within a zone of gas overpressuring in the 1.5–5 km depth range, from where pressurized gas is expected to migrate along the MMF, up to the surface sediment layers. Hence, gas-related processes should also be considered for a complete interpretation of the micro-seismicity (~M 〈 3) within the Istanbul offshore domain.
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  • 50
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    Nature Publishing Group
    In:  Scientific Reports, 8 (9985).
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The division of the earth’s surface into continents and oceans is a consequence of plate tectonics but a geological paradox exists at continent-ocean boundaries. Continental plate is thicker and lighter than oceanic plate, floating higher on the mantle asthenosphere, but it can rift apart by thinning and heating to form new oceans. In theory, continental plate subsides in proportion to the amount it is thinned and subsequently by the rate it cools down. However, seismic and borehole data from continental margins like the Atlantic show that the upper surface of many plates remains close to sea-level during rifting, inconsistent with its thickness, and subsides after breakup more rapidly than cooling predicts. Here we use numerical models to investigate the origin and nature of this puzzling behaviour with data from the Kwanza Basin, offshore Angola. We explore an idea where the continental plate is made increasingly buoyant during rifting by melt produced and trapped in the asthenosphere. Using finite element simulation, we demonstrate that partially molten asthenosphere combined with other mantle processes can counteract the subsidence effect of thinning plate, keeping it elevated by 2-3 km until breakup. Rapid subsidence occurs after breakup when melt is lost to the embryonic ocean ridge.
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  • 51
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Limited insight into eel larvae feeding and diet prevents a holistic overview of the life-cycle of catadromous eels and an understanding of the ecological position of their early stages in marine waters. The present study evaluated the diet of larval European eel, Anguilla anguilla - a critically endangered species. Next-generation 18S rRNA gene sequencing data of Sargasso Sea eel larvae gut contents and marine snow aggregates was compared with a reference plankton database to assess the trophic relations of eel larvae. Gut contents of A. anguilla larvae were not well explained by the eukaryotic composition of marine snow aggregates; gut contents being dominated by gene sequences of Hydrozoa taxa (phylum Cnidaria), while snow aggregates were dominated by Crustacea taxa. Pronounced differences between gut contents and marine snow aggregates were also seen in the prokaryotic 16S rRNA gene composition. The findings, in concert with significant abundances of Hydrozoa in the study area, suggest that Hydrozoa plankton are important in the diet of A. anguilla larvae, and that consideration of these organisms would further our understanding of A. anguilla feeding strategies in the oligotrophic Sargasso Sea, which may be important for potential future rearing of A. anguilla larvae in captivity.
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  • 52
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Changes in climate variability are as important for society to address as are changes in mean climate1. Contrasting temperature variability during the Last Glacial Maximum and the Holocene can provide insights into the relationship between the mean state of the climate and its variability2,3. However, although glacial–interglacial changes in variability have been quantified for Greenland2, a global view remains elusive. Here we use a network of marine and terrestrial temperature proxies to show that temperature variability decreased globally by a factor of four as the climate warmed by 3–8 degrees Celsius from the Last Glacial Maximum (around 21,000 years ago) to the Holocene epoch (the past 11,500 years). This decrease had a clear zonal pattern, with little change in the tropics (by a factor of only 1.6–2.8) and greater change in the mid-latitudes of both hemispheres (by a factor of 3.3–14). By contrast, Greenland ice-core records show a reduction in temperature variability by a factor of 73, suggesting influences beyond local temperature or a decoupling of atmospheric and global surface temperature variability for Greenland. The overall pattern of reduced variability can be explained by changes in the meridional temperature gradient, a mechanism that points to further decreases in temperature variability in a warmer future.
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  • 53
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Large intraplate earthquakes in oceanic lithosphere are rare and usually related to regions of diffuse deformation within the oceanic plate. The 23 January 2018 MW 7.9 strike-slip Gulf of Alaska earthquake ruptured an oceanic fracture zone system offshore Kodiak Island. Bathymetric compilations show a muted topographic expression of the fracture zone due to the thick sediment that covers oceanic basement but the fracture zone system can be identified by offset N-S magnetic anomalies and E-W linear zones in the vertical gravity gradient. Back-projection from global seismic stations reveals that the initial rupture at first propagated from the epicenter to the north, likely rupturing along a weak zone parallel to the ocean crustal fabric. The rupture then changed direction to eastward directed with most energy emitted on Aka fracture zone resulting in an unusual multi-fault earthquake. Similarly, the aftershocks show complex behavior and are related to two different tectonic structures: (1) events along N-S trending oceanic fabric, which ruptured mainly strike-slip and additionally, in normal and oblique slip mechanisms and (2) strike-slip events along E-W oriented fracture zones. To explain the complex faulting behavior we adopt the classical stress and strain partitioning concept and propose a generalized model for large intra-oceanic strike-slip earthquakes of trench-oblique oriented fracture zones/ocean plate fabric near subduction zones. Taking the Kodiak asperity position of 1964 maximum afterslip and outer-rise Coulomb stress distribution into account, we propose that the unusual 2018 Gulf of Alaska moment release was stress transferred to the incoming oceanic plate from co- and post-processes of the nearby great 1964 MW 9.2 megathrust earthquake.
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  • 54
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The end-Triassic is characterized by one of the largest mass extinctions in the Phanerozoic, coinciding with major carbon cycle perturbations and global warming. It has been suggested that the environmental crisis is linked to widespread sill intrusions during magmatism associated with the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP). Sub-volcanic sills are abundant in two of the largest onshore sedimentary basins in Brazil, the Amazonas and Solimões basins, where they comprise up to 20% of the stratigraphy. These basins contain extensive deposits of carbonate and evaporite, in addition to organic-rich shales and major hydrocarbon reservoirs. Here we show that large scale volatile generation followed sill emplacement in these lithologies. Thermal modeling demonstrates that contact metamorphism in the two basins could have generated 88,000 Gt CO2. In order to constrain the timing of gas generation, zircon from two sills has been dated by the U-Pb CA-ID-TIMS method, resulting in 206Pb/238U dates of 201.477 ± 0.062 Ma and 201.470 ± 0.089 Ma. Our findings demonstrate synchronicity between the intrusive phase and the end-Triassic mass extinction, and provide a quantified degassing scenario for one of the most dramatic time periods in the history of Earth.
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  • 55
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The Messinian salinity crisis (MSC) - the most abrupt, global-scale environmental change since the end of the Cretaceous – is widely associated with partial desiccation of the Mediterranean Sea. A major open question is the way normal marine conditions were abruptly restored at the end of the MSC. Here we use geological and geophysical data to identify an extensive, buried and chaotic sedimentary body deposited in the western Ionian Basin after the massive Messinian salts and before the Plio-Quaternary open-marine sedimentary sequence. We show that this body is consistent with the passage of a megaflood from the western to the eastern Mediterranean Sea via a south-eastern Sicilian gateway. Our findings provide evidence for a large amplitude drawdown in the Ionian Basin during the MSC, support the scenario of a Mediterranean-wide catastrophic flood at the end of the MSC, and suggest that the identified sedimentary body is the largest known megaflood deposit on Earth.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 56
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Shape variability represents an important direct response of organisms to selective environments. Here, we use a combination of geometric morphometrics and generalised additive mixed models (GAMMs) to identify spatial patterns of natural shell shape variation in the North Atlantic and Arctic blue mussels, Mytilus edulis and M. trossulus, with environmental gradients of temperature, salinity and food availability across 3980 km of coastlines. New statistical methods and multiple study systems at various geographical scales allowed the uncoupling of the developmental and genetic contributions to shell shape and made it possible to identify general relationships between blue mussel shape variation and environment that are independent of age and species influences. We find salinity had the strongest effect on the latitudinal patterns of Mytilus shape, producing shells that were more elongated, narrower and with more parallel dorsoventral margins at lower salinities. Temperature and food supply, however, were the main drivers of mussel shape heterogeneity. Our findings revealed similar shell shape responses in Mytilus to less favourable environmental conditions across the different geographical scales analysed. Our results show how shell shape plasticity represents a powerful indicator to understand the alterations of blue mussel communities in rapidly changing environments.
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  • 57
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    Nature Publishing Group
    In:  Scientific Data, 5 (180181).
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Optical imaging is a common technique in ocean research. Diving robots, towed cameras, drop-cameras and TV-guided sampling gear: all produce image data of the underwater environment. Technological advances like 4K cameras, autonomous robots, high-capacity batteries and LED lighting now allow systematic optical monitoring at large spatial scale and shorter time but with increased data volume and velocity. Volume and velocity are further increased by growing fleets and emerging swarms of autonomous vehicles creating big data sets in parallel. This generates a need for automated data processing to harvest maximum information. Systematic data analysis benefits from calibrated, geo-referenced data with clear metadata description, particularly for machine vision and machine learning. Hence, the expensive data acquisition must be documented, data should be curated as soon as possible, backed up and made publicly available. Here, we present a workflow towards sustainable marine image analysis. We describe guidelines for data acquisition, curation and management and apply it to the use case of a multi-terabyte deep-sea data set acquired by an autonomous underwater vehicle.
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  • 58
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Recent advances in understanding the ecology of marine systems have been greatly facilitated by the growing availability of metagenomic data, which provide information on the identity, diversity and functional potential of the microbial community in a particular place and time. Here we present a dataset comprising over 5 terabases of metagenomic data from 610 samples spanning diverse regions of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. One set of metagenomes, collected on GEOTRACES cruises, captures large geographic transects at multiple depths per station. The second set represents two years of time-series data, collected at roughly monthly intervals from 3 depths at two long-term ocean sampling sites, Station ALOHA and BATS. These metagenomes contain genomic information from a diverse range of bacteria, archaea, eukaryotes and viruses. The data's utility is strengthened by the availability of extensive physical, chemical, and biological measurements associated with each sample. We expect that these metagenomes will facilitate a wide range of comparative studies that seek to illuminate new aspects of marine microbial ecosystems.
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  • 59
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: About 5 trillion plastic particles are present in our oceans, from the macro to the micro size. Like any other aquatic particulate, plastics and microplastics can create a micro-environment, within which microbial and chemical conditions differ significantly from the surrounding water. Despite the high and increasing abundance of microplastics in the ocean, their influence on the transformation and composition of marine organic matter is largely unknown. Chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) is the photo-reactive fraction of the marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) pool. Changes in CDOM quality and quantity have impacts on marine microbial dynamics and the underwater light environment. One major source of CDOM is produced by marine bacteria through their alteration of pre-existing DOM substrates. In a series of microcosm experiments in controlled marine conditions, we explored the impact of microplastics on the quality and quantity of microbial CDOM. In the presence of microplastics we observed an increased production of CDOM with changes in its molecular weight, which resulted from either an increased microbial CDOM production or an enhanced transformation of DOM from lower to higher molecular weight CDOM. Our results point to the possibility that marine microplastics act as localized hot spots for microbial activity, with the potential to influence marine carbon dynamics
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  • 60
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The Baltic Sea is one of the world’s largest brackish water bodies and is characterised by pronounced physicochemical gradients where microbes are the main biogeochemical catalysts. Meta-omic methods provide rich information on the composition of, and activities within, microbial ecosystems, but are computationally heavy to perform. We here present the Baltic Sea Reference Metagenome (BARM), complete with annotated genes to facilitate further studies with much less computational effort. The assembly is constructed using 2.6 billion metagenomic reads from 81 water samples, spanning both spatial and temporal dimensions, and contains 6.8 million genes that have been annotated for function and taxonomy. The assembly is useful as a reference, facilitating taxonomic and functional annotation of additional samples by simply mapping their reads against the assembly. This capability is demonstrated by the successful mapping and annotation of 24 external samples. In addition, we present a public web interface, BalticMicrobeDB, for interactive exploratory analysis of the dataset.
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  • 61
    Publication Date: 2019-02-06
    Description: Ocean acidification (OA), the dissolution of excess anthropogenic carbon dioxide in ocean waters, is a potential stressor to many marine fish species. Whether species have the potential to acclimate and adapt to changes in the seawater carbonate chemistry is still largely unanswered. Simulation experiments across several generations are challenging for large commercially exploited species because of their long generation times. For Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), we present first data on the effects of parental acclimation to elevated aquatic CO2 on larval survival, a fundamental parameter determining population recruitment. The parental generation in this study was exposed to either ambient or elevated aquatic CO2 levels simulating end-of-century OA levels (~1100 µatm CO2) for six weeks prior to spawning. Upon fully reciprocal exposure of the F1 generation, we quantified larval survival, combined with two larval feeding regimes in order to investigate the potential effect of energy limitation. We found a significant reduction in larval survival at elevated CO2 that was partly compensated by parental acclimation to the same CO2 exposure. Such compensation was only observed in the treatment with high food availability. This complex 3-way interaction indicates that surplus metabolic resources need to be available to allow a transgenerational alleviation response to ocean acidification.
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  • 62
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    Nature Publishing Group
    In:  The ISME Journal, 12 (5). pp. 1225-1236.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-12
    Description: Hydrogen is one of the most common elements on Earth. The enzymes converting molecular hydrogen into protons and electrons are the hydrogenases. Hydrogenases are ubiquitously distributed in all three domains of life where they play a central role in cell metabolism. So far, the recovery of hydrogenases has been restricted to culture-dependent and sequence-based approaches. We have recently developed the only activity-based screen for seeking H-2-uptake enzymes from metagenomes without having to rely on enrichment and isolation of hydrogen-oxidizing microorganisms or prior metagenomic sequencing. When screening 14,400 fosmid clones from three hydrothermal vent metagenomes using this solely activity-based approach, four clones with H-2-uptake activity were identified with specific activities of up to 258 +/- 19 nmol H-2/min/mg protein of partially purified membrane fractions. The respective metagenomic fragments exhibited mostly very low or no similarities to sequences in the public databases. A search with hidden Markov models for different hydrogenase groups showed no hits for three of the four metagenomic inserts, indicating that they do not encode for classical hydrogenases. Our activity-based screen serves as a powerful tool for the discovery of (novel) hydrogenases which would not have been identified by the currently available techniques. This screen can be ideally combined with culture- and sequence-based approaches to investigate the tremendous hydrogen-converting potential in the environment.
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  • 63
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    Nature Publishing Group
    Publication Date: 2019-02-13
    Description: Natural dissolved organic matter (DOM) comprises a broad range of dissolved organic molecules in aquatic systems and is among the most complex molecular mixtures known. Here we show, by comparing detailed structural fingerprints of individual molecular formulae in DOM from a set of four marine and one freshwater environments, that a major component of DOM is molecularly indistinguishable in these diverse samples. Molecular conformity was not only apparent by the co-occurrence of thousands of identical molecular formulae, but also by identical structural features of those isomers that collectively represent a molecular formula. The presence of a large pool of compounds with identical structural features in DOM is likely the result of a cascade of degradation processes or common synthetic pathways that ultimately lead to the formation of a universal background, regardless of origin and history of the organic material. This novel insight impacts our understanding of long-term turnover of DOM as the underlying mechanisms are possibly universal.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
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  • 64
    Publication Date: 2019-02-27
    Description: Ocean acidification, the change in seawater carbonate chemistry due to the uptake of anthropogenic CO2, affects the physiology of marine organisms in multiple ways1. Diverse competitive and trophic interactions transform the metabolic responses to changes in community composition, seasonal succession and potentially geographical distribution of species. The health of ocean ecosystems depends on whether basic biotic functions are maintained, ecosystem engineers and keystone species are retained, and the spread of nuisance species is avoided2. Here, we show in a field experiment that the toxic microalga Vicicitus globosus has a selective advantage under ocean acidification, increasing its abundance in natural plankton communities at CO2 levels higher than 600 µatm and developing blooms above 800 µatm CO2. The mass development of V. globosus has had a dramatic impact on the plankton community, preventing the development of the micro- and mesozooplankton communities, thereby disrupting trophic transfer of primary produced organic matter. This has prolonged the residence of particulate matter in the water column and caused a strong decline in export flux. Considering its wide geographical distribution and confirmed role in fish kills3, the proliferation of V. globosus under the IPCC4 CO2 emission representative concentration pathway (RCP4.5 to RCP8.5) scenarios may pose an emergent threat to coastal communities, aquaculture and fisheries.
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  • 65
    Publication Date: 2019-03-05
    Description: Marine algae perform approximately half of global carbon fixation, but their growth is often limited by the availability of phosphate or other nutrients 1,2 . As oceans warm, the area of phosphate-limited surface waters is predicted to increase, resulting in ocean desertification 3,4 . Understanding the responses of key eukaryotic phytoplankton to nutrient limitation is therefore critical 5,6 . We used advanced photo-bioreactors to investigate how the widespread marine green alga Micromonas commoda grows under transitions from replete nutrients to chronic phosphate limitation and subsequent relief, analysing photosystem changes and broad cellular responses using proteomics, transcriptomics and biophysical measurements. We find that physiological and protein expression responses previously attributed to stress are critical to supporting stable exponential growth when phosphate is limiting. Unexpectedly, the abundance of most proteins involved in light harvesting does not change, but an ancient light-harvesting-related protein, LHCSR, is induced and dissipates damaging excess absorbed light as heat throughout phosphate limitation. Concurrently, a suite of uncharacterized proteins with narrow phylogenetic distributions increase multifold. Notably, of the proteins that exhibit significant changes, 70 are not differentially expressed at the mRNA transcript level, highlighting the importance of post-transcriptional processes in microbial eukaryotes. Nevertheless, transcript-protein pairs with concordant changes were identified that will enable more robust interpretation of eukaryotic phytoplankton responses in the field from metatranscriptomic studies. Our results show that P-limited Micromonas responds quickly to a fresh pulse of phosphate by rapidly increasing replication, and that the protein network associated with this ability is composed of both conserved and phylogenetically recent proteome systems that promote dynamic phosphate homeostasis. That an ancient mechanism for mitigating light stress is central to sustaining growth during extended phosphate limitation highlights the possibility of interactive effects arising from combined stressors under ocean change, which could reduce the efficacy of algal strategies for optimizing marine photosynthesis. © 2018 The Author(s).
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