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  1. 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.

  2. 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
  3. Abstract. Phaeocystis antarctica is an important phytoplankter of the Ross Sea where it dominates the early season bloom after sea ice retreat and is a major contributor to carbon export. The factors that influence Phaeocystis colony formation and the resultant Ross Sea bloom initiation have been of great scientific interest, yet there is little known about the underlying mechanisms responsible for these phenomena. Here, we present laboratory and field studies on Phaeocystis antarctica grown under multiple iron conditions using a coupled proteomic and transcriptomic approach. P. antarctica had a lower iron limitation threshold than a Ross Sea diatom Chaetoceros sp., and at increased iron nutrition (>120pM Fe') a shift from flagellate cells to a majority of colonial cells in P. antarctica was observed, implying a role for iron as a trigger for colony formation. Proteome analysis revealed an extensive and coordinated shift in proteome structure linked to iron availability and life cycle transitions with 327 and 436 proteins measured as significantly different between low and high iron in strains 1871 and 1374, respectively. The enzymes flavodoxin and plastocyanin that can functionally replace iron metalloenzymes were observed at low iron treatments consistent with cellular iron-sparing strategies, with plastocyanin havingmore »a larger dynamic range. The numerous isoforms of the putative iron-starvation-induced protein (ISIP) group (ISIP2A and ISIP3) had abundance patterns coinciding with that of either low or high iron (and coincident flagellate or the colonial cell types in strain 1871), implying that there may be specific iron acquisition systems for each life cycle type. The proteome analysis also revealed numerous structural proteins associated with each cell type: within flagellate cells actin and tubulin from flagella and haptonema structures as well as a suite of calcium-binding proteins with EF domains were observed. In the colony-dominated samples a variety of structural proteins were observed that are also often found in multicellular organisms including spondins, lectins, fibrillins, and glycoproteins with von Willebrand domains. A large number of proteins of unknown function were identified that became abundant at either high or low iron availability. These results were compared to the first metaproteomic analysis of a Ross Sea Phaeocystis bloom to connect the mechanistic information to the in situ ecology and biogeochemistry. Proteins associated with both flagellate and colonial cells were observed in the bloom sample consistent with the need for both cell types within a growing bloom. Bacterial iron storage and B12 biosynthesis proteins were also observed consistent with chemical synergies within the colony microbiome to cope with the biogeochemical conditions. Together these responses reveal a complex, highly coordinated effort by P. antarctica to regulate its phenotype at the molecular level in response to iron and provide a window into the biology, ecology, and biogeochemistry of this group.

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