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Open AccessArticle

Bacterial and Archaeal Assemblages from Two Size Fractions in Submarine Groundwater Near an Industrial Zone

State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
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Water 2019, 11(6), 1261; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061261
Received: 24 April 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Ecosystems)
Nutrients and organic pollutants transported by submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) play a significant role in controlling water quality, and can lead to the concerned deleterious effects on marine ecosystems. Subterranean estuaries are complicated habitats of diverse microbial communities that mediate different biogeochemical processes. However, there is less information on how microorganisms mediate biogeochemical cycles in the submarine groundwater system. In this study, we investigated the changes in bacterial and archaeal assemblages from two size fractions (0.2–0.45 μm and >0.45 μm) in the submarine groundwater of Qinzhou Bay, China. Phylogenetic analysis showed that Bathyarchaeota was dominant in archaeal communities in the >0.45 μm size fraction, but was seldom in the 0.2–0.45 μm fraction. The co-occurrence of sequences belonging to Bathyarchaeota and Methanosaeta was found in the >0.45 μm size fraction. Since a gene encoding acetate kinase of Bathyarchaeota is involved in acetate production, and acetate is also a necessary growth factor for Methanosaeta, the acetate produced by Bathyarchaeota can provide food or energy sources for Methanosaeta in this very >0.45 μm size fraction. The most abundant bacterial sequences in the >0.45 μm size fraction was closely related to biomineral iron-oxidizing Gallionella spp., whereas the dominant bacterial sequences in the 0.2–0.45 μm fraction were affiliated with Limnohabitans spp., which can utilize dissolved organic matter as an important source of growth substrates. Notably, approximately 10% of the bacterial sequences in both of the two size fractions belonged to Novosphingobium spp., which plays an important role in the degradation of pollutants, especially aromatic compounds. Furthermore, the predictive functional profiling also revealed that the pathways involved in the degradation of aromatic compounds by both bacteria and archaea were identified. The presence of nutrients or pollutants in our study site provides different substrates for the growth of the specific microbial groups; in turn, these microbes may help to deplete pollutants to the ocean through submarine groundwater. We suggest that these specific microbial groups could be potential candidates for effective in situ bioremediation of groundwater ecosystems. View Full-Text
Keywords: subterranean estuary; size fractions; bacteria, archaea; geochemistry; Bathyarchaeota; in situ bioremediation; Qinzhou Bay subterranean estuary; size fractions; bacteria, archaea; geochemistry; Bathyarchaeota; in situ bioremediation; Qinzhou Bay
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, X.; Ye, Q.; Du, J.; Zhang, J. Bacterial and Archaeal Assemblages from Two Size Fractions in Submarine Groundwater Near an Industrial Zone. Water 2019, 11, 1261.

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