Changing composition of microbial communities indicates seepage fluid difference of the Thuwal Seeps in the Red Sea

Bo Yang, Weipeng Zhang, Renmao Tian, Yong Wang, Pei-Yuan Qian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015. Cold seeps are unique ecosystems that are generally characterized by high salinity and reducing solutions. Seepage fluid, the major water influx of this system, contains hypersaline water, sediment pore water, and other components. The Thuwal cold seeps were recently discovered on the continental margin of the Red Sea. Using 16S rRNA gene pyro-sequencing technology, microbial communities were investigated by comparing samples collected in 2011 and 2013. The results revealed differences in the microbial communities between the two sampling times. In particular, a significantly higher abundance of Marine Group I (MGI) Thaumarchaeota was coupled with lower salinity in 2013. In the brine pool, the dominance of Desulfobacterales in 2011 was supplanted byMGI Thaumarchaeota in 2013, perhaps due to a reduced supply of hydrogen sulfide from the seepage fluid. Collectively, this study revealed a difference in water components in this ecosystem between two sampling times. The results indicated that the seawater in this cold seep displayed a greater number of characteristics of normal seawater in 2013 than in 2011, which might represent the dominant driving force for changes in microbial community structures. This is the first study to provide a temporal comparison of the microbial biodiversity of a cold seep ecosystem in the Red Sea.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-471
Number of pages11
JournalAntonie van Leeuwenhoek
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 10 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors are grateful to the crew members of R/V Aegaeo and Dr Abdulaziz Al-Suwailem and his team from Coastal and Marine Resources Core Laboratory from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) for providing technical assistance during the sample collection. This study was supported by grants from the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, No: 2012CB417304) and the China Ocean Mineral Resources R & D Association (COMRA) (DY125-15-R-01) as well as by a Global Collaborative Research Award from KAUST to Pei-Yuan Qian.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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