Josep M Gasol
Frontiers in Microbiology
School of Science / Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research
Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme
Microbes associated with sinking marine particles play key roles in carbon sequestration in the ocean. The sampling of particle-attached microorganisms is often done with sediment traps or by filtration of water collected with oceanographic bottles, both involving a certain time lapse between collection and processing of samples that may result in changes in particle-attached microbial communities. Conversely, in situ water filtration through submersible pumps allows a faster storage of sampled particles, but it has rarely been used to study the associated microbial communities and has never been compared to other particle-sampling methods in terms of the recovery of particle microbial diversity. Here we compared the prokaryotic communities attached to small (1–53 mm) and large ( > 53 mm) particles collected from the mesopelagic zone (100– 300 m) of two Antarctic polynyas using in situ pumps (ISP) and oceanographic bottles (BTL). Each sampling method retrieved largely different particle-attached communities, suggesting that they capture different kinds of particles. These device-driven differences were greater for large particles than for small particles. Overall, the ISP recovered 1.5- to 3-fold more particle-attached bacterial taxa than the BTL, and different taxonomic groups were preferentially recovered by each method. In particular, typical particle-attached groups such as Planctomycetes and Deltaproteobacteria recovered with ISP were nearly absent from BTL samples. Our results suggest that the method used to sample marine particles has a strong influence in our view of their associated microbial communities.
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