MICROBIAL DIVERSITY OF THE EMPEROR SEAMOUNTS

Date
2022
Authors
Lary, Sean Michael
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Donachie, Stuart P.
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Microbiology
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The North Pacific Deep Water (NPDW) current is believed to present a barrier that precludes movement of water, and pelagic and benthic organisms on the Emperor Seamounts between 39° N and 41° N. Different pelagic and benthic communities are thus evident north and south of the NPDW. This study used culture-dependent and culture-independent methods to investigate if any such differences exist in microbial (Archaea, Bacteria and Eucarya) diversity in water and surface sediments, and in mucus produced by Keratoisididae related coral species on seamounts in the same region. Microbial diversity differed significantly by sample type, with coral hosting the lowest diversity in terms of both bacteria (Archaea and Bacteria) and Eucarya, although bacterial diversity alone was greater in deeper corals. Bacteria Amplicon Sequence Variants (ASVs) varied between mucus in different coral genera, but some Bacteria taxa occurred in all mucus samples, including Halomonas, BD1-7 clade, and Sulfitobacter. One Aspergillus-affiliated ASV was also present in all coral mucus samples. The number of ASVs that affiliated with known photoautotrophic chlorophytes and Cyanobacteria was greater in coral mucus than previously reported. Most Dinophyceae-affiliated ASVs were recorded from the sole coral tissue sample, from an uncharacterized coral genus. The 18S rRNA gene in one cultivated nanoflagellate, Cafeterium sp., shared 98.77% nucleotide sequence identity with one abundant bicosoecid-affiliated ASV found in most samples. Multiple Syndiniales group I-affiliated ASVs were also detected at high relative abundances in coral mucus. The findings here suggest zooxanthellae and other photoautotrophs may be part of the deep-sea coral mucus microbiome, even in the absence of photosynthetically available radiation. The abundances of Syndiniales and Bicosoecids in coral mucus suggest grazing and parasitic interactions may exist in the mucus of corals in deep water on the Emperor Seamounts.
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Microbiology
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144 pages
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