Seasonality of microbial genetic functions in the Arctic Ocean revealed by autonomous sampling

matthias.wietz [ at ]


The functional diversity of microbes along the seasonal extremes in the Arctic Ocean including the Polar Night are virtually unknown. Here, using PacBio long-read metagenomes derived from automated samplers over an annual cycle, we elucidate functional microbial seasonality in the Fram Strait in the context of a high-resolution amplicon time-series. In the ice-free West Spitsbergen Current, the transition from the phototrophy-dominated spring and summer ecosystem states to the dark winter was evident in bacterial genomes. Proteorhodopsin- and DMSP-utilizing genes peaked in late summer, marking a transition phase. Winter mixing of the water column covaried with microbial taxa encoding ammonia- and urea-metabolizing genes, with probable implications for nitrogen recycling and the following phytoplankton bloom. In the ice-covered East Greenland Current, functional diversity varied with the extent of ice cover and polar water masses. During intermittent low-ice conditions in winter, the metagenomic repertoire resembled that during summer, indicating rapidly (i.e. within weeks) shifting ecosystem states with ice cover. Overall, we provide a baseline to understand ecological and biogeochemical processes in a region severely affected by climate change, with implications for the present and future Arctic Ocean.

Item Type
Conference (Talk)
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Primary Topic
Research Networks
Peer revision
Not peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Event Details
Ocean Sciences Meeting, 01 Jan 2022 - 01 Jan 1970, online event.
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Priest, T. , Fuchs, B. , Amann, R. , Boetius, A. and Wietz, M. (2022): Seasonality of microbial genetic functions in the Arctic Ocean revealed by autonomous sampling , Ocean Sciences Meeting, online event, 2022 - unspecified .

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