alexa Diversity and abundance of diazotrophic microorganisms in the South China Sea during intermonsoon.
Chemistry

Chemistry

Journal of Physical Chemistry & Biophysics

Author(s): Moisander PH, Beinart RA, Voss M, Zehr JP

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Abstract The spatial heterogeneity of diversity and abundance of diazotrophs were investigated off the Vietnamese coast in the South China Sea (SCS). The study area extended from the Mekong River plume to the shelf region and beyond to stations extending to 1700 m depth. The SCS diazotroph community, based on nifH gene diversity, had components closely related to sequences from open ocean, estuarine, saltmarsh and microbial mat communities. Rarefaction analysis suggested that by using a 97\% similarity operational taxonomic unit definition, the majority of nifH sequence diversity in the samples was covered by the 384 nifH clones obtained. The majority of the nifH sequences recovered fell into two clusters: one comprised of Trichodesmium sequences and the other an alpha-proteobacterial group. Unicellular cyanobacterial groups A and B, and symbiotic filamentous cyanobacterial diazotrophs were detected sporadically. Trichodesmium was by far the most abundant diazotroph, with up to 6 x 10(5) nifH gene copies per liter. Quantitative PCR probe-primer sets were designed and used to quantify two proteobacterial groups, revealing abundances up to 10(3)-10(4) nifH gene copies per liter, with the highest abundances in the photic zone. Major components of the clone library were also revealed by a nifH microarray and multidimensional scaling (MDS) analysis. MDS showed that samples from the >10 microm size fraction from 0- to 5-m depths clustered separately from the rest of the samples, primarily due to the abundance of Trichodesmium sequences. The SCS diazotroph community has a relatively low diversity and is a mixture of both estuarine and oceanic fingerprints. This article was published in ISME J and referenced in Journal of Physical Chemistry & Biophysics

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