Substrate type determines metagenomic profiles from diverse chemical habitats

Thomas Jeffries, Justin Seymour, J Gilbert, Elizabeth Dinsdale, Kelly Newton, Sophie Leterme, Ben Roudnew, Renee Smith, Laurent Seuront, James Mitchell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    Environmental parameters drive phenotypic and genotypic frequency variations in microbial communities and thus control the extent and structure of microbial diversity. We tested the extent to which microbial community composition changes are controlled by shifting physiochemical properties within a hypersaline lagoon. We sequenced four sediment metagenomes from the Coorong, South Australia from samples which varied in salinity by 99 Practical Salinity Units (PSU), an order of magnitude in ammonia concentration and two orders of magnitude in microbial abundance. Despite the marked divergence in environmental parameters observed between samples, hierarchical clustering of taxonomic and metabolic profiles of these metagenomes showed striking similarity between the samples (>89%). Comparison of these profiles to those derived from a wide variety of publically available datasets demonstrated that the Coorong sediment metagenomes were similar to other sediment, soil, biofilm and microbial mat samples regardless of salinity (>85% similarity). Overall, clustering of solid substrate and water metagenomes into discrete similarity groups based on functional potential indicated that the dichotomy between water and solid matrices is a fundamental determinant of community microbial metabolism that is not masked by salinity, nutrient concentration or microbial abundance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere25173
    Pages (from-to)e25173
    Number of pages9
    JournalPLoS One
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Sep 2011


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