In situ environment rather than substrate type dictates microbial community structure of biofilms in a cold seep system

O.O. Lee, Y. Wang, R. Tian, W. Zhang, C.S. Shek, Salim Bougouffa, Abdulaziz M. Al-Suwailem, Zenon B. Batang, Wei Xu, Guangchao Wang, Xixiang Zhang, Feras Fawzi Lafi, Vladimir B. Bajic, P.-Y. Qian

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Using microscopic and molecular techniques combined with computational analysis, this study examined the structure and composition of microbial communities in biofilms that formed on different artificial substrates in a brine pool and on a seep vent of a cold seep in the Red Sea to test our hypothesis that initiation of the biofilm formation and spreading mode of microbial structures differs between the cold seep and the other aquatic environments. Biofilms on different substrates at two deployment sites differed morphologically, with the vent biofilms having higher microbial abundance and better structural features than the pool biofilms. Microbes in the pool biofilms were more taxonomically diverse and mainly composed of various sulfate-reducing bacteria whereas the vent biofilms were exclusively dominated by sulfur-oxidizing Thiomicrospira. These results suggest that the redox environments at the deployment sites might have exerted a strong selection on microbes in the biofilms at two sites whereas the types of substrates had limited effects on the biofilm development.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 8 2014

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