Evidence for a persistent microbial seed bank throughout the global ocean. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • 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 × 10(11) 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.

publication date

  • March 19, 2013