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High prokaryotic biodiversity associated with gut contents of the holothurian Molpadia musculus from the Nazaré Canyon (NE Atlantic)

High prokaryotic biodiversity associated with gut contents of the holothurian Molpadia musculus from the Nazaré Canyon (NE Atlantic)
High prokaryotic biodiversity associated with gut contents of the holothurian Molpadia musculus from the Nazaré Canyon (NE Atlantic)
Sediments in the Nazaré Canyon (NE Atlantic) are inhabited by unexpectedly high abundances of the deposit-feeding holothurian Molpadia musculus. The energetic demand of such a large megafaunal biomass is presumably high and requires the efficient exploitation of the food inputs coming from the photic zone. We hypothesise the existence of cooperative interactions between these deep-sea holothurians and prokaryotes in their guts. To investigate these interactions, sediment samples and holothurians were collected at ca. 3500 m depth using a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) and an incubation chamber used to “harvest” faeces from the holothurian. In all of these samples (ingested sediment from different sectors of the holothurian gut content, faeces and sediments) we determined total prokaryotic abundance, the relative abundance of Bacteria and Archaea (by means of Catalysed Reporter Deposition-Fluorescence in situ Hybridisation) and bacterial diversity (by means of fingerprinting techniques: ARISA and T-RFLP). Prokaryotic abundances and bacterial diversity in the holothurian gut were very high (up to 105 bacterial Operational Taxonomic Units) and significantly greater than in surrounding bottom sediments. Archaea represented a key component within the gut of the holothurians and in certain tracts dominated the prokaryotic assemblage. We also found that ca. 40% of bacterial OTUs were associated uniquely with the gut contents (i.e., absent in surrounding sediments). These findings suggest the occurrence of wide and highly diversified interactions between prokaryotes and deep-sea holothurians. Results presented here provide new insights into the potential relationships between deep-sea holothurians and specific associations of Archaea and Bacteria within their guts. The work opens new perspectives for investigating the diversity of prokaryotes associated to deep-sea megafauna.
Deep-sea sediments, Fingerprinting techniques, Bacteria, Archaea, Microbial diversity, Holothurians, Megafauna
0967-0637
82-90
Amaro, Teresa
9f7fe037-42c9-4262-b020-f934b921a5e6
Luna, Gian Marco
74951515-8ab0-4aa6-86fb-10a1947756a4
Danovaro, Roberto
4447c73e-a846-4964-81b6-219e02ff3b20
Billett, David S.M.
aab439e2-c839-4cd2-815c-3d401e0468db
Cunha, Marina R.
f97b25ca-1a36-47ae-a48b-43800a6a6d51
Amaro, Teresa
9f7fe037-42c9-4262-b020-f934b921a5e6
Luna, Gian Marco
74951515-8ab0-4aa6-86fb-10a1947756a4
Danovaro, Roberto
4447c73e-a846-4964-81b6-219e02ff3b20
Billett, David S.M.
aab439e2-c839-4cd2-815c-3d401e0468db
Cunha, Marina R.
f97b25ca-1a36-47ae-a48b-43800a6a6d51

Amaro, Teresa, Luna, Gian Marco, Danovaro, Roberto, Billett, David S.M. and Cunha, Marina R. (2012) High prokaryotic biodiversity associated with gut contents of the holothurian Molpadia musculus from the Nazaré Canyon (NE Atlantic). Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 63, 82-90. (doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2012.01.007).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Sediments in the Nazaré Canyon (NE Atlantic) are inhabited by unexpectedly high abundances of the deposit-feeding holothurian Molpadia musculus. The energetic demand of such a large megafaunal biomass is presumably high and requires the efficient exploitation of the food inputs coming from the photic zone. We hypothesise the existence of cooperative interactions between these deep-sea holothurians and prokaryotes in their guts. To investigate these interactions, sediment samples and holothurians were collected at ca. 3500 m depth using a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) and an incubation chamber used to “harvest” faeces from the holothurian. In all of these samples (ingested sediment from different sectors of the holothurian gut content, faeces and sediments) we determined total prokaryotic abundance, the relative abundance of Bacteria and Archaea (by means of Catalysed Reporter Deposition-Fluorescence in situ Hybridisation) and bacterial diversity (by means of fingerprinting techniques: ARISA and T-RFLP). Prokaryotic abundances and bacterial diversity in the holothurian gut were very high (up to 105 bacterial Operational Taxonomic Units) and significantly greater than in surrounding bottom sediments. Archaea represented a key component within the gut of the holothurians and in certain tracts dominated the prokaryotic assemblage. We also found that ca. 40% of bacterial OTUs were associated uniquely with the gut contents (i.e., absent in surrounding sediments). These findings suggest the occurrence of wide and highly diversified interactions between prokaryotes and deep-sea holothurians. Results presented here provide new insights into the potential relationships between deep-sea holothurians and specific associations of Archaea and Bacteria within their guts. The work opens new perspectives for investigating the diversity of prokaryotes associated to deep-sea megafauna.

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More information

Published date: 2012
Keywords: Deep-sea sediments, Fingerprinting techniques, Bacteria, Archaea, Microbial diversity, Holothurians, Megafauna
Organisations: Marine Biogeochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 338080
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/338080
ISSN: 0967-0637
PURE UUID: 5eb1938e-6e36-49c3-bc12-1eacc908bdbe

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 May 2012 16:09
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:59

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