Antarctic microbial communities are functionally redundant, adapted and resistant to short term temperature perturbations

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dc.contributor.author De Scally, S.Z. (Storme)
dc.contributor.author Makhalanyane, Thulani P.
dc.contributor.author Frossard, Aline
dc.contributor.author Hogg, I.D.
dc.contributor.author Cowan, Don A.
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-21T06:25:46Z
dc.date.issued 2016-12
dc.description.abstract Climate change has the potential to induce dramatic shifts in the biodiversity and functionality of soil microorganisms in polar hyperarid ecosystems. In these depauperate soil ecosystems, microbial communities are vital as they represent the dominant input sources of essential nutrients. However, the effects of changing climate on extreme edaphic environments, such as the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, remain poorly understood. To better understand these effects, we constructed soil microcosms and simulated temperature shifts over a 40-day period. Soil physicochemical analysis revealed low levels of key nutrients, with mean organic carbon and nitrogen contents of <0.1% and 11.55 ppm, respectively. We also applied 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to determine taxonomic composition and enzyme assays to measure in situ activity. Our data showed a prevalence of ubiquitous soil taxa (Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi and Deinococcus-Thermus), with a smaller proportion of autotrophic phyla (i.e. Cyanobacteria). None of the major phyla showed relative abundance changes in response to temperature. We found very low extracellular enzyme activity levels across all samples and observed no significant differences among temperature treatments. Functional predictions (using PICRUSt) revealed the putative presence of key genes implicated in the cycling of carbon (ppc, rbcl) and nitrogen (nifH, nirK), in stress response and in DNA repair throughout all treatments. Overall, our results suggest that shortterm temperature fluctuations do not alter microbial biodiversity and functionality in Antarctic soils. This study provides the first evidence that microbial communities within this edaphic extreme environment may be functionally redundant, adapted and resistant to short term climatic perturbations. en_ZA
dc.description.department Genetics en_ZA
dc.description.embargo 2017-12-31
dc.description.librarian hb2016 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship We are grateful to the National Research Foundation (NRF) (Grant ID 100052 SZdS, 99320 TPM, 93074 for DAC), the South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP e Grant ID SNA14070974748), and the University of Pretoria (Genomics Research Institute and the Research Development Program) for funding. We also thank the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI) for funding and Antarctica New Zealand for field and logistics support. en_ZA
dc.description.uri http://www.elsevier.com/locate/soilbio en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation De Scally, SZ, Makhalanyane, TP, Frossard, A, Hogg, ID & Cowan, DA 2016, 'Antarctic microbial communities are functionally redundant, adapted and resistant to short term temperature perturbations', Soil Biology and Biochemistry, vol. 103, pp. 160-170. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0038-0717
dc.identifier.other 10.1016/j.soilbio.2016.08.013
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/56767
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Elsevier en_ZA
dc.rights © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Notice : this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Soil Biology & Biochemistry. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. A definitive version was subsequently published in Soil Biology & Biochemistry, vol. 103, pp. 160-170, 2016. doi : 10.1016/j.soilbio.2016.08.013. en_ZA
dc.subject Antarctica en_ZA
dc.subject Climate change en_ZA
dc.subject Ecosystem processes en_ZA
dc.subject Microcosm en_ZA
dc.subject Microbial diversity en_ZA
dc.title Antarctic microbial communities are functionally redundant, adapted and resistant to short term temperature perturbations en_ZA
dc.type Postprint Article en_ZA


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