+1 Recommend
0 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Diversity of Phototrophic Genes Suggests Multiple Bacteria May Be Able to Exploit Sunlight in Exposed Soils from the Sør Rondane Mountains, East Antarctica


      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


          Microbial life in exposed terrestrial surface layers in continental Antarctica is faced with extreme environmental conditions, including scarcity of organic matter. Bacteria in these exposed settings can therefore be expected to use alternative energy sources such as solar energy, abundant during the austral summer. Using Illumina MiSeq sequencing, we assessed the diversity and abundance of four conserved protein encoding genes involved in different key steps of light-harvesting pathways dependent on (bacterio)chlorophyll ( pufM, bchL/ chlL, and bchX genes) and rhodopsins (actinorhodopsin genes), in exposed soils from the Sør Rondane Mountains, East Antarctica. Analysis of pufM genes, encoding a subunit of the type 2 photochemical reaction center found in anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria, revealed a broad diversity, dominated by Roseobacter- and Loktanella-like sequences. The bchL and chlL, involved in (bacterio)chlorophyll synthesis, on the other hand, showed a high relative abundance of either cyanobacterial or green algal trebouxiophyceael chlL reads, depending on the sample, while most bchX sequences belonged mostly to previously unidentified phylotypes. Rhodopsin-containing phototrophic bacteria could not be detected in the samples. Our results, while suggesting that Cyanobacteria and green algae are the main phototrophic groups, show that light-harvesting bacteria are nevertheless very diverse in microbial communities in Antarctic soils.

          Related collections

          Most cited references64

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: not found
          • Article: not found

          Overview of the marine roseobacter lineage.

            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            The rare bacterial biosphere.

            All communities are dominated by a few species that account for most of the biomass and carbon cycling. On the other hand, a large number of species are represented by only a few individuals. In the case of bacteria, these rare species were until recently invisible. Owing to their low numbers, conventional molecular techniques could not retrieve them. Isolation in pure culture was the only way to identify some of them, but current culturing techniques are unable to isolate most of the bacteria in nature. The recent development of fast and cheap high-throughput sequencing has begun to allow access to the rare species. In the case of bacteria, the exploration of this rare biosphere has several points of interest. First, it will eventually produce a reasonable estimate of the total number of bacterial taxa in the oceans; right now, we do not even know the right order of magnitude. Second, it will answer the question of whether "everything is everywhere." Third, it will require hypothesizing and testing the ecological mechanisms that allow subsistence of many species in low numbers. And fourth, it will open an avenue of research into the immense reserve of genes with potential applications hidden in the rare biosphere.
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Evolution of photosynthesis.

              Energy conversion of sunlight by photosynthetic organisms has changed Earth and life on it. Photosynthesis arose early in Earth's history, and the earliest forms of photosynthetic life were almost certainly anoxygenic (non-oxygen evolving). The invention of oxygenic photosynthesis and the subsequent rise of atmospheric oxygen approximately 2.4 billion years ago revolutionized the energetic and enzymatic fundamentals of life. The repercussions of this revolution are manifested in novel biosynthetic pathways of photosynthetic cofactors and the modification of electron carriers, pigments, and existing and alternative modes of photosynthetic carbon fixation. The evolutionary history of photosynthetic organisms is further complicated by lateral gene transfer that involved photosynthetic components as well as by endosymbiotic events. An expanding wealth of genetic information, together with biochemical, biophysical, and physiological data, reveals a mosaic of photosynthetic features. In combination, these data provide an increasingly robust framework to formulate and evaluate hypotheses concerning the origin and evolution of photosynthesis.

                Author and article information

                Front Microbiol
                Front Microbiol
                Front. Microbiol.
                Frontiers in Microbiology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                19 December 2016
                : 7
                : 2026
                Laboratory of Microbiology, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Ghent University Ghent, Belgium
                Author notes

                Edited by: Hongchen Jiang, Miami University, USA

                Reviewed by: Wei Lin, Institute of Geology and Geophysics (CAS), China; Charles K. Lee, University of Waikato, New Zealand

                *Correspondence: Anne Willems Anne.Willems@ 123456UGent.be

                This article was submitted to Terrestrial Microbiology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Microbiology

                Copyright © 2016 Tahon, Tytgat and Willems.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 23 September 2016
                : 02 December 2016
                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 4, Equations: 0, References: 90, Pages: 17, Words: 11359
                Funded by: Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek 10.13039/501100003130
                Award ID: G.0146.12
                Funded by: Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid 10.13039/501100002749
                Award ID: CCAMBIO
                Original Research

                Microbiology & Virology
                princess elisabeth station,sør rondane mountains,anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria,actinorhodopsin,light-harvesting,aap


                Comment on this article