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Creators/Authors contains: "Kimirei, Ismael"

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  1. Abstract

    Understanding genetic connectivity plays a crucial role in species conservation decisions, and genetic connectivity is an important component of modern fisheries management. In this study, we investigated the population genetics of four endemic Lates species of Lake Tanganyika (Lates stappersii, L. microlepis, L. mariae, and L. angustifrons) using reduced-representation genomic sequencing methods. We find the four species to be strongly differentiated from one another (mean interspecific FST = 0.665), with no evidence for contemporary admixture. We also find evidence for strong genetic structure within L. mariae, with the majority of individuals from the most southern sampling site forming a genetic group that is distinct from the individuals at other sampling sites. We find evidence for much weaker structure within the other three species (L. stappersii, L. microlepis, and L. angustifrons). Our ability to detect this weak structure despite small and unbalanced sample sizes and imprecise geographic sampling locations suggests the possibility for further structure undetected in our study. We call for further research into the origins of the genetic differentiation in these four species—particularly that of L. mariae—which may be important for conservation and management of this culturally and economically important clade of fishes.

     
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  2. Abstract The significance of large tropical lakes as environmental reservoirs of Vibrio cholerae in cholera endemic countries has yet to be established. By combining large scale plankton sampling, microbial culture and ultrasensitive molecular methods, namely Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR) and targeted genomics, the presence of Vibrio cholerae was investigated in a 96,600 L volume of surface water collected on a 322 nautical mile (596 km) transect in Lake Tanganyika. V. cholerae was detected and identified in a large area of the lake. In contrast, toxigenic strains of V. cholerae O1 or O139 were not detected in plankton samples possibly in relation to environmental conditions of the lake ecosystem, namely very low salinity compared to marine brackish and coastal environments. This represents to our knowledge, the largest environmental study to determine the role of tropical lakes as a reservoir of V. cholerae . 
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  3. Abstract

    Lake Tanganyika (LT) is the largest tropical freshwater lake, and the largest body of anoxic freshwater on Earth’s surface. LT’s mixed oxygenated surface waters float atop a permanently anoxic layer and host rich animal biodiversity. However, little is known about microorganisms inhabiting LT’s 1470 meter deep water column and their contributions to nutrient cycling, which affect ecosystem-level function and productivity. Here, we applied genome-resolved metagenomics and environmental analyses to link specific taxa to key biogeochemical processes across a vertical depth gradient in LT. We reconstructed 523 unique metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from 34 bacterial and archaeal phyla, including many rarely observed in freshwater lakes. We identified sharp contrasts in community composition and metabolic potential with an abundance of typical freshwater taxa in oxygenated mixed upper layers, and Archaea and uncultured Candidate Phyla in deep anoxic waters. Genomic capacity for nitrogen and sulfur cycling was abundant in MAGs recovered from anoxic waters, highlighting microbial contributions to the productive surface layers via recycling of upwelled nutrients, and greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide. Overall, our study provides a blueprint for incorporation of aquatic microbial genomics in the representation of tropical freshwater lakes, especially in the context of ongoing climate change, which is predicted to bring increased stratification and anoxia to freshwater lakes.

     
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