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  1. Abstract Geothermal environments, such as hot springs and hydrothermal vents, are hotspots for carbon cycling and contain many poorly described microbial taxa. Here, we reconstructed 15 archaeal metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from terrestrial hot spring sediments in China and deep-sea hydrothermal vent sediments in Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California. Phylogenetic analyses of these MAGs indicate that they form a distinct group within the TACK superphylum, and thus we propose their classification as a new phylum, ‘Brockarchaeota’, named after Thomas Brock for his seminal research in hot springs. Based on the MAG sequence information, we infer that some Brockarchaeota are uniquely capablemore »of mediating non-methanogenic anaerobic methylotrophy, via the tetrahydrofolate methyl branch of the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway and reductive glycine pathway. The hydrothermal vent genotypes appear to be obligate fermenters of plant-derived polysaccharides that rely mostly on substrate-level phosphorylation, as they seem to lack most respiratory complexes. In contrast, hot spring lineages have alternate pathways to increase their ATP yield, including anaerobic methylotrophy of methanol and trimethylamine, and potentially use geothermally derived mercury, arsenic, or hydrogen. Their broad distribution and their apparent anaerobic metabolic versatility indicate that Brockarchaeota may occupy previously overlooked roles in anaerobic carbon cycling.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  3. Microbes in marine sediments represent a large portion of the biosphere, and resolving their ecology is crucial for understanding global ocean processes. Single-gene diversity surveys have revealed several uncultured lineages that are widespread in ocean sediments and whose ecological roles are unknown, and advancements in the computational analysis of increasingly large genomic data sets have made it possible to reconstruct individual genomes from complex microbial communities. Using these metagenomic approaches to characterize sediments is transforming our view of microbial communities on the ocean floor and the biodiversity of the planet. In recent years, marine sediments have been a prominent sourcemore »of new lineages in the tree of life. The incorporation of these lineages into existing phylogenies has revealed that many belong to distinct phyla, including archaeal phyla that are advancing our understanding of the origins of cellular complexity and eukaryotes. Detailed comparisons of the metabolic potentials of these new lineages have made it clear that uncultured bacteria and archaea are capable of mediating key previously undescribed steps in carbon and nutrient cycling. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Marine Science, Volume 13 is January 3, 2021. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.« less
  4. Forest insects and pathogens have significant impacts on U.S. forests, annually affecting an area nearly three times that of wildfires and timber harvesting combined. However, coupled with these direct effects of forest insects and pathogens are the indirect impacts through influencing forest management practices, such as harvesting. In an earlier study, we surveyed private woodland owners in the northeastern U.S. and 84% of respondents indicated they intended to harvest in at least one of the presented insect invasion scenarios. This harvest response to insects represents a potentially significant shift in the timing, extent, and species selection of harvesting. Here wemore »used the results from the landowner survey, regional forest inventory data, and characteristics of the emerald ash borer (Species: Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, 1888) invasion to examine the potential for a rapidly spreading invasive insect to alter harvest regimes and affect regional forest conditions. Our analysis suggests that 25% of the woodland parcels in the Connecticut River Watershed in New England may intend to harvest in response to emerald ash borer. If the emerald ash borer continues to spread at its current rate within the region, and therefore the associated management response occurs in the next decade, this could result in an increase in harvest frequencies, from 2.6% year−1 (historically) to 3.7% year−1 through to approximately 2030. If harvest intensities remain at levels found in remeasured Forest Inventory and Analysis plots, this insect-initiated harvesting would result in the removal of 12%–13% of the total aboveground biomass. Eighty-one percent of the removed biomass would be from species other than ash, creating a forest disturbance that is over twice the magnitude than that created by emerald ash borer alone, with the most valuable co-occurring species most vulnerable to biomass loss.« less