skip to main content

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 12, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  4. Abstract

    The rediscovery of diatom blooms embedded within and beneath the Lake Erie ice cover (2007–2012) ignited interest in psychrophilic adaptations and winter limnology. Subsequent studies determined the vital role ice plays in winter diatom ecophysiology as diatoms partition to the underside of ice, thereby fixing their location within the photic zone. Yet, climate change has led to widespread ice decline across the Great Lakes, with Lake Erie presenting a nearly “ice-free” state in several recent winters. It has been hypothesized that the resultant turbid, isothermal water column induces light limitation amongst winter diatoms and thus serves as a competitive disadvantage. To investigate this hypothesis, we conducted a physiochemical and metatranscriptomic survey that spanned spatial, temporal, and climatic gradients of the winter Lake Erie water column (2019–2020). Our results suggest that ice-free conditions decreased planktonic diatom bloom magnitude and altered diatom community composition. Diatoms increased their expression of various photosynthetic genes and iron transporters, which suggests that the diatoms are attempting to increase their quantity of photosystems and light-harvesting components (a well-defined indicator of light limitation). We identified two gene families which serve to increase diatom fitness in the turbid ice-free water column: proton-pumping rhodopsins (a potential second means of light-driven energy acquisition) and fasciclins (a means to “raft” together to increase buoyancy and co-locate to the surface to optimize light acquisition). With large-scale climatic changes already underway, our observations provide insight into how diatoms respond to the dynamic ice conditions of today and shed light on how they will fare in a climatically altered tomorrow.

    more » « less
  5. Casadevall, Arturo (Ed.)
    Much of the diversity of microbes from natural habitats, such as soil and freshwater, comprise species and lineages that have never been isolated into pure culture. In part, this stems from a bias of culturing in favor of saprotrophic microbes over the myriad symbiotic ones that include parasitic and mutualistic relationships with other taxa. In the present study, we aimed to shed light on the ecological function and morphology of the many undescribed lineages of aquatic fungi by individually isolating and sequencing molecular barcodes from 127 cells of host-associated fungi using single-cell sequencing. By adding these sequences and their photographs into the fungal tree, we were able to understand the morphology of reproductive and vegetative structures of these novel fungi and to provide a hypothesized ecological function for them. These individual host-fungal cells revealed themselves to be complex environments despite their small size; numerous samples were hyper-parasitized with other zoosporic fungal lineages such as Rozellomycota. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  6. Abstract

    Billions of years ago, the Earth's waters were dominated by cyanobacteria. These microbes amassed to such formidable numbers, they ushered in a new era—starting with the Great Oxidation Event—fuelled by oxygenic photosynthesis. Throughout the following eon, cyanobacteria ceded portions of their global aerobic power to new photoautotrophs with the rise of eukaryotes (i.e. algae and higher plants), which co‐existed with cyanobacteria in aquatic ecosystems. Yet while cyanobacteria's ecological success story is one of the most notorious within our planet's biogeochemical history, scientists to this day still seek to unlock the secrets of their triumph. Now, the Anthropocene has ushered in a new era fuelled by excessive nutrient inputs and greenhouse gas emissions, which are again reshaping the Earth's biomes. In response, we are experiencing an increase in global cyanobacterial bloom distribution, duration, and frequency, leading to unbalanced, and in many instances degraded, ecosystems. A critical component of the cyanobacterial resurgence is the freshwater‐marine continuum: which serves to transport blooms, and the toxins they produce, on the premise that “water flows downhill”. Here, we identify drivers contributing to the cyanobacterial comeback and discuss future implications in the context of environmental and human health along the aquatic continuum. This Minireview addresses the overlooked problem of the freshwater to marine continuum and the effects of nutrients and toxic cyanobacterial blooms moving along these waters. Marine and freshwater research have historically been conducted in isolation and independently of one another. Yet, this approach fails to account for the interchangeable transit of nutrients and biology through and between these freshwater and marine systems, a phenomenon that is becoming a major problem around the globe. This Minireview highlights what we know and the challenges that lie ahead.

    more » « less
  7. Huisman et al . claim that our model is poorly supported or contradicted by other studies and the predictions are “seriously flawed.” We show their criticism is based on an incomplete selection of evidence, misinterpretation of data, or does not actually refute the model. Like all ecosystem models, our model has simplifications and uncertainties, but it is better than existing approaches hat ignore biology and do not predict toxin concentration. 
    more » « less