Evidence for a persistent microbial seed bank throughout the global ocean

Gibbons, Sean M.; Caporaso, J Gregory; Pirrung, Meg; Field, Dawn; Knight, Rob; Gilbert, Jack A.. 2013 Evidence for a persistent microbial seed bank throughout the global ocean. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110 (12). 4651-4655.

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Do bacterial taxa demonstrate clear endemism, like macroorganisms, or can one site’s bacterial community recapture the total phylogenetic diversity of the world’s oceans? Here we compare a deep bacterial community characterization from one site in the English Channel (L4-DeepSeq) with 356 datasets from the International Census of Marine Microbes (ICoMM) taken from around the globe (ranging from marine pelagic and sediment samples to sponge-associated environments). At the L4-DeepSeq site, increasing sequencing depth uncovers greater phylogenetic overlap with the global ICoMM data.This site contained 31.7–66.2% of operational taxonomic units identified in a given ICoMM biome. Extrapolation of this overlap suggests that 1.93 × 1011 sequences from the L4 site would capture all ICoMM bacterial phylogenetic diversity. Current technology trends suggest this limit may be attainable within 3 y. These results strongly suggest the marine biosphere maintains a previously undetected, persistent microbial seed bank.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Hails
ISSN: 0027-8424
Date made live: 14 Mar 2019 16:49 +0 (UTC)

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