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  1. Abstract

    Many marine microbes require vitamin B12(cobalamin) but are unable to synthesize it, necessitating reliance on other B12-producing microbes. Thus, phytoplankton and bacterioplankton community dynamics can partially depend on the production and release of a limiting resource by members of the same community. We tested the impact of temperature and B12availability on the growth of two bacterial taxa commonly associated with phytoplankton:Ruegeria pomeroyi, which produces B12and fulfills the B12requirements of some phytoplankton, andAlteromonas macleodii, which does not produce B12but also does not strictly require it for growth. For B12-producingR. pomeroyi, we further tested how temperature influences B12production and release. Access to B12significantly increased growth rates of both species at the highest temperatures tested (38 °C forR. pomeroyi, 40 °C forA. macleodii) andA. macleodiibiomass was significantly reduced when grown at high temperatures without B12, indicating that B12is protective at high temperatures. Moreover,R. pomeroyiproduced more B12at warmer temperatures but did not release detectable amounts of B12at any temperature tested. Results imply that increasing temperatures and more frequent marine heatwaves with climate change will influence microbial B12dynamics and could interrupt symbiotic resource sharing.

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  2. Abstract Background

    Diverse communities of microbial eukaryotes in the global ocean provide a variety of essential ecosystem services, from primary production and carbon flow through trophic transfer to cooperation via symbioses. Increasingly, these communities are being understood through the lens of omics tools, which enable high-throughput processing of diverse communities. Metatranscriptomics offers an understanding of near real-time gene expression in microbial eukaryotic communities, providing a window into community metabolic activity.


    Here we present a workflow for eukaryotic metatranscriptome assembly, and validate the ability of the pipeline to recapitulate real and manufactured eukaryotic community-level expression data. We also include an open-source tool for simulating environmental metatranscriptomes for testing and validation purposes. We reanalyze previously published metatranscriptomic datasets using our metatranscriptome analysis approach.


    We determined that a multi-assembler approach improves eukaryotic metatranscriptome assembly based on recapitulated taxonomic and functional annotations from an in-silico mock community. The systematic validation of metatranscriptome assembly and annotation methods provided here is a necessary step to assess the fidelity of our community composition measurements and functional content assignments from eukaryotic metatranscriptomes.

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  3. Microeukaryotes (protists) serve fundamental roles in the marine environment as contributors to biogeochemical nutrient cycling and ecosystem function. Their activities can be inferred through metatranscriptomic investigations, which provide a detailed view into cellular processes, chemical-biological interactions in the environment, and ecological relationships among taxonomic groups. Established workflows have been individually put forth describing biomass collection at sea, laboratory RNA extraction protocols, and bioinformatic processing and computational approaches. Here, we present a compilation of current practices and lessons learned in carrying out metatranscriptomics of marine pelagic protistan communities, highlighting effective strategies and tools used by practitioners over the past decade. We anticipate that these guidelines will serve as a roadmap for new marine scientists beginning in the realms of molecular biology and/or bioinformatics, and will equip readers with foundational principles needed to delve into protistan metatranscriptomics. 
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  4. In this article, we present Bio-GO-SHIP, a new ocean observing program that will incorporate sustained and consistent global biological ocean observations into the Global Ocean Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program (GO-SHIP). The goal of Bio-GO-SHIP is to produce systematic and consistent biological observations during global ocean repeat hydrographic surveys, with a particular focus on the planktonic ecosystem. Ocean plankton are an essential component of the earth climate system, form the base of the oceanic food web and thereby play an important role in influencing food security and contributing to the Blue Economy. Despite its importance, ocean biology is largely under-sampled in time and space compared to physical and chemical properties. This lack of information hampers our ability to understand the role of plankton in regulating biogeochemical processes and fueling higher trophic levels, now and in future ocean conditions. Traditionally, many of the methods used to quantify biological and ecosystem essential ocean variables (EOVs), measures that provide valuable information on the ecosystem, have been expensive and labor- and time-intensive, limiting their large-scale deployment. In the last two decades, new technologies have been developed and matured, making it possible to greatly expand our biological ocean observing capacity. These technologies, including cell imaging, bio-optical sensors and 'omic tools, can be combined to provide overlapping measurements of key biological and ecosystem EOVs. New developments in data management and open sharing can facilitate meaningful synthesis and integration with concurrent physical and chemical data. Here we outline how Bio-GO-SHIP leverages these technological advances to greatly expand our knowledge and understanding of the constituents and function of the global ocean plankton ecosystem. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Auxotrophy, or an organism's requirement for an exogenous source of an organic molecule, is widespread throughout species and ecosystems. Auxotrophy can result in obligate interactions between organisms, influencing ecosystem structure and community composition. We explore how auxotrophy-induced interactions between aquatic microorganisms affect microbial community structure and stability. While some studies have documented auxotrophy in aquatic microorganisms, these studies are not widespread, and we therefore do not know the full extent of auxotrophic interactions in aquatic environments. Current theoretical and experimental work suggests that auxotrophy links microbial community members through a complex web of metabolic dependencies. We discuss the proposed ways in which auxotrophy may enhance or undermine the stability of aquatic microbial communities, highlighting areas where our limited understanding of these interactions prevents us from being able to predict the ecological implications of auxotrophy. Finally, we examine an example of auxotrophy in harmful algal blooms to place this often theoretical discussion in a field context where auxotrophy may have implications for the development and robustness of algal bloom communities. We seek to draw attention to the relationship between auxotrophy and community stability in an effort to encourage further field and theoretical work that explores the underlying principles of microbial interactions. 
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  6. null (Ed.)
  7. Summary

    The widespread coccolithophoreEmiliania huxleyiis an abundant oceanic phytoplankton, impacting the global cycling of carbon through both photosynthesis and calcification. Here, we examined the transcriptional responses of populations ofE. huxleyiin the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre to shifts in the nutrient environment. Using a metatranscriptomic approach, nutrient‐amended microcosm studies were used to track the global metabolism ofE. huxleyi. The addition of nitrate led to significant changes in transcript abundance for gene pathways involved in nitrogen and phosphorus metabolism, with a decrease in the abundance of genes involved in the acquisition of nitrogen (e.g. N‐transporters) and an increase in the abundance of genes associated with phosphate acquisition (e.g. phosphatases). Simultaneously, after the addition of nitrate, genes associated with calcification and genes unique to the diploid life stages ofE. huxleyisignificantly increased. These results suggest that nitrogen is a major driver of the physiological ecology ofE. huxleyiin this system and further suggest that the addition of nitrate drives shifts in the dominant life‐stage of the population. Together, these results underscore the importance of phenotypic plasticity to the success ofE. huxleyi, a characteristic that likely underpins its ability to thrive across a variety of marine environments.

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