Limited carbon cycling due to high-pressure effects on the deep-sea microbiome

Type Article
Date 2022-12
Language English
Author(s) Amano ChieORCID1, Zhao ZihaoORCID1, Sintes Eva1, 2, Reinthaler ThomasORCID1, Stefanschitz JuliaORCID1, Kisadur Murat1, Utsumi Motoo3, 4, Herndl Gerhard J.ORCID1, 5, 6
Affiliation(s) 1 : Department of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology, Bio-Oceanography and Marine Biology Unit, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
2 : Instituto Español de Oceanografía-CSIC, Centro Oceanográfico de Baleares, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
3 : Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
4 : Microbiology Research Center for Sustainability, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
5 : NIOZ, Department of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Utrecht University, Texel, The Netherlands
6 : Vienna Metabolomics & Proteomics Center, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Source Nature Geoscience (1752-0894) (Springer Science and Business Media LLC), 2022-12 , Vol. 15 , N. 12 , P. 1041-1047
DOI 10.1038/s41561-022-01081-3
WOS© Times Cited 10

Deep-sea microbial communities are exposed to high-pressure conditions, which has a variable impact on prokaryotes depending on whether they are piezophilic (that is, pressure-loving), piezotolerant or piezosensitive. While it has been suggested that elevated pressures lead to higher community-level metabolic rates, the response of these deep-sea microbial communities to the high-pressure conditions of the deep sea is poorly understood. Based on microbial activity measurements in the major oceanic basins using an in situ microbial incubator, we show that the bulk heterotrophic activity of prokaryotic communities becomes increasingly inhibited at higher hydrostatic pressure. At 4,000 m depth, the bulk heterotrophic prokaryotic activity under in situ hydrostatic pressure was about one-third of that measured in the same community at atmospheric pressure conditions. In the bathypelagic zone—between 1,000 and 4,000 m depth—~85% of the prokaryotic community was piezotolerant and ~5% of the prokaryotic community was piezophilic. Despite piezosensitive-like prokaryotes comprising only ~10% (mainly members of Bacteroidetes, Alteromonas) of the deep-sea prokaryotic community, the more than 100-fold metabolic activity increase of these piezosensitive prokaryotes upon depressurization leads to high apparent bulk metabolic activity. Overall, the heterotrophic prokaryotic activity in the deep sea is likely to be substantially lower than hitherto assumed, with major impacts on the oceanic carbon cycling.

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Publisher's official version 17 4 MB Open access
Supplementary Information 6 402 KB Open access
List of up- and down-regulated functions of Alteromonas, Bacteroidetes and SAR202 using gene ontology, 73 KB Open access
Source Data Fig. 1 csv file containing the embedded data 1 KB Open access
Source Data Fig. 2a,c Excel file containing the embedded data 38 KB Open access
Source Data Fig. 2b Microscopic image 211 KB Open access
Source Data Extended Data Fig. 4 csv file containing the embedded data 4 KB Open access
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