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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  2. Abstract

    The ecological and oceanographic processes that drive the response of pelagic ocean microbiomes to environmental changes remain poorly understood, particularly in coastal upwelling ecosystems. Here we show that seasonal and interannual variability in coastal upwelling predicts pelagic ocean microbiome diversity and community structure in the Southern California Current region. Ribosomal RNA gene sequencing, targeting prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes, from samples collected seasonally during 2014-2020 indicate that nitracline depth is the most robust predictor of spatial microbial community structure and biodiversity in this region. Striking ecological changes occurred due to the transition from a warm anomaly during 2014-2016, characterized by intense stratification, to cooler conditions in 2017-2018, representative of more typical upwelling conditions, with photosynthetic eukaryotes, especially diatoms, changing most strongly. The regional slope of nitracline depth exerts strong control on the relative proportion of highly diverse offshore communities and low biodiversity, but highly productive nearshore communities.

  3. Wetherbee, R. (Ed.)
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  4. Abstract

    Scarce dissolved surface ocean concentrations of the essential algal micronutrient zinc suggest that Zn may influence the growth of phytoplankton such as diatoms, which are major contributors to marine primary productivity. However, the specific mechanisms by which diatoms acclimate to Zn deficiency are poorly understood. Using global proteomic analysis, we identified two proteins (ZCRP-A/B, Zn/Co Responsive Protein A/B) among four diatom species that became abundant under Zn/Co limitation. Characterization using reverse genetic techniques and homology data suggests putative Zn/Co chaperone and membrane-bound transport complex component roles for ZCRP-A (a COG0523 domain protein) and ZCRP-B, respectively. Metaproteomic detection of ZCRPs along a Pacific Ocean transect revealed increased abundances at the surface (<200 m) where dZn and dCo were scarcest, implying Zn nutritional stress in marine algae is more prevalent than previously recognized. These results demonstrate multiple adaptive responses to Zn scarcity in marine diatoms that are deployed in low Zn regions of the Pacific Ocean.

  5. Abstract

    Production and use of proteins is under strong selection in microbes, but it is unclear how proteome-level traits relate to ecological strategies. We identified and quantified proteomic traits of eukaryotic microbes and bacteria through an Antarctic phytoplankton bloom using in situ metaproteomics. Different taxa, rather than different environmental conditions, formed distinct clusters based on their ribosomal and photosynthetic proteomic proportions, and we propose that these characteristics relate to ecological differences. We defined and used a proteomic proxy for regulatory cost, which showed that SAR11 had the lowest regulatory cost of any taxa we observed at our summertime Southern Ocean study site. Haptophytes had lower regulatory cost than diatoms, which may underpin haptophyte-to-diatom bloom progression in the Ross Sea. We were able to make these proteomic trait inferences by assessing various sources of bias in metaproteomics, providing practical recommendations for researchers in the field. We have quantified several proteomic traits (ribosomal and photosynthetic proteomic proportions, regulatory cost) in eukaryotic and bacterial taxa, which can then be incorporated into trait-based models of microbial communities that reflect resource allocation strategies.

  6. Micronutrients control phytoplankton growth in the ocean, influencing carbon export and fisheries. It is currently unclear how micronutrient scarcity affects cellular processes and how interdependence across micronutrients arises. We show that proximate causes of micronutrient growth limitation and interdependence are governed by cumulative cellular costs of acquiring and using micronutrients. Using a mechanistic proteomic allocation model of a polar diatom focused on iron and manganese, we demonstrate how cellular processes fundamentally underpin micronutrient limitation, and how they interact and compensate for each other to shape cellular elemental stoichiometry and resource interdependence. We coupled our model with metaproteomic and environmental data, yielding an approach for estimating biogeochemical metrics, including taxon-specific growth rates. Our results show that cumulative cellular costs govern how environmental conditions modify phytoplankton growth.
  7. Bernstein, Hans C. (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Interactions between vibrio bacteria and the planktonic community impact marine ecology and human health. Many coastal Vibrio spp. can infect humans, representing a growing threat linked to increasing seawater temperatures. Interactions with eukaryotic organisms may provide attachment substrate and critical nutrients that facilitate the persistence, diversification, and spread of pathogenic Vibrio spp. However, vibrio interactions with planktonic organisms in an environmental context are poorly understood. We quantified the pathogenic Vibrio species V. cholerae , V. parahaemolyticus , and V. vulnificus monthly for 1 year at five sites and observed high abundances, particularly during summer months, with species-specific temperature and salinity distributions. Using metabarcoding, we established a detailed profile of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic coastal microbial communities. We found that pathogenic Vibrio species were frequently associated with distinct eukaryotic amplicon sequence variants (ASVs), including diatoms and copepods. Shared environmental conditions, such as high temperatures and low salinities, were associated with both high concentrations of pathogenic vibrios and potential environmental reservoirs, which may influence vibrio infection risks linked to climate change and should be incorporated into predictive ecological models and experimental laboratory systems. IMPORTANCE Many species of coastal vibrio bacteria can infect humans, representing a growing health threat linked to increasingmore »seawater temperatures. However, their interactions with surrounding microbes in the environment, especially eukaryotic organisms that may provide nutrients and attachment substrate, are poorly understood. We quantified three pathogenic Vibrio species monthly for a duration of 1 year, finding that all three species were abundant and exhibited species-specific temperature and salinity distributions. Using metabarcoding, we investigated associations between these pathogenic species and prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes, revealing genus and amplicon sequence variant (ASV)-specific relationships with potential functional implications. For example, pathogenic species were frequently associated with chitin-producing eukaryotes, such as diatoms in the genus Thalassiosira and copepods. These associations between high concentrations of pathogenic vibrios and potential environmental reservoirs should be considered when predicting infection risk and developing ecologically relevant model systems.« less