Biodiversity of the bacterioplankton in the surface waters around Southern Thule in the Southern Ocean

Pearce, David A. ORCID: 2008 Biodiversity of the bacterioplankton in the surface waters around Southern Thule in the Southern Ocean. Antarctic Science, 20 (3). 291-300.

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Seven independent clone libraries were constructed to study the biodiversity of the bacterioplankton in the surface waters around Southern Thule, South Sandwich Islands, in order to identify the species present, to determine the sample effort required to estimate the total diversity, and to determine whether the surface waters around Southern Thule represented a highly specialized local anomaly or a subset of the marine meta-community. In total, 672 clones generated 629 useable sequences. These 629 clones matched 278 different sequences deposited in the 16S rDNA sequence databases. The majority of the clones were related to marine microorganisms, many of which had been previously detected in permanently cold Arctic and Antarctic marine environments. Each clone library generated an average of 35.8 new sequence matches. 346 clones covered two-thirds of the total estimated diversity, while 438 clones covered three-quarters of the total estimated diversity. Above this number, the coverage tended to stabilize and a relatively large number of additional clones were required to improve coverage significantly, increasing at the rate of about one new sequence match per 100 new clones. Comparing the different clone libraries, eight matches occurred in each of the seven libraries, whilst fifty-five occurred in only one, suggesting that there might be a relatively small number of common dominant ubiquitous species, with a much larger underlying diversity or 'seed bank' from which this dominant diversity is drawn. This study suggests that the dominant bacterioplankton in the surface waters around Southern Thule represent a subset of the marine meta-community, whilst sub-dominant diversity appears to be a highly specialized local anomaly.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Global Science in the Antarctic Context (2005-2009) > Long-Term Monitoring and Survey – Biological Sciences Division
ISSN: 0954-1020
Additional Keywords: bacteria; clone library; sample size; 16S rRNA gene; South Sandwich Islands
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Biology and Microbiology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 19 Jan 2011 08:56 +0 (UTC)

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