Isolated communities of Epsilonproteobacteria in hydrothermal vent fluids of the Mariana Arc seamounts. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Low-temperature hydrothermal vent fluids represent access points to diverse microbial communities living in oceanic crust. This study examined the distribution, relative abundance, and diversity of Epsilonproteobacteria in 14 low-temperature vent fluids from five volcanically active seamounts of the Mariana Arc using a 454 tag sequencing approach. Most vent fluids were enriched in cell concentrations compared with background seawater, and quantitative PCR results indicated that all fluids were dominated by bacteria. Operational taxonomic unit-based statistical tools applied to 454 data show that all vents from the northern end of the Mariana Arc grouped together, to the exclusion of southern arc seamounts, which were as distinct from one another as they were from northern seamounts. Statistical analysis also showed a significant relationship between seamount and individual vent groupings, suggesting that community membership may be linked to geographical isolation and not geochemical parameters. However, while there may be large-scale geographic differences, distance is not the distinguishing factor in the microbial community composition. At the local scale, most vents host a distinct population of Epsilonproteobacteria, regardless of seamount location. This suggests that there may be barriers to exchange and dispersal for these vent endemic microorganisms at hydrothermal seamounts of the Mariana Arc.

publication date

  • September 2010