Saturday, 17 September 2011

High-throughput sequencing confers a deep view of seasonal community dynamics in pelagic marine environments

If you sequence the bacteria in the English Channel, you can work out which month it is with perfect accuracy HT @dr_bik

Gilbert et al. (2011, 2010) show that even in bacterial communities, there are definite seasonal patterns and peaks in community diversity.  Figuring out what causes these patterns is sometimes surprisingly easy – it looks like shifting day length accounts for 65% of the changes in bacterial diversity (I'm sure the authors' jaws dropped when they saw this result…).  Even more ridiculous (in a good way), the specific bacterial assemblage—the 'fingerprint' of species present in the community—could predict the month with 100% accuracy.   And no surprise, only 2% of the 100 most abundant taxa they observed could be identified down to species level.  (Previously undiscovered diversity is so old hat these days.  But still cool).

Gilbert JA, Steele JA, Caporaso JG, Steinbrück L, Reeder J, Temperton B, Huse S, McHardy AC, Knight R, Joint I, Somerfield P, Fuhrman JA, & Field D (2011a). Defining seasonal marine microbial community dynamics. The ISME journal PMID: 21850055
Gilbert, J., Field, D., Swift, P., Thomas, S., Cummings, D., Temperton, B., Weynberg, K., Huse, S., Hughes, M., Joint, I., Somerfield, P., & Mühling, M. (2010). The Taxonomic and Functional Diversity of Microbes at a Temperate Coastal Site: A ‘Multi-Omic’ Study of Seasonal and Diel Temporal Variation PLoS ONE, 5 (11) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015545
Fuhrman JA, Hewson I, Schwalbach MS, Steele JA, Brown MV, & Naeem S (2006). Annually reoccurring bacterial communities are predictable from ocean conditions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103 (35), 13104-9 PMID: 16938845

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