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Open AccessArticle

Microbial Assemblages in Pressurized Antarctic Brine Pockets (Tarn Flat, Northern Victoria Land): A Hotspot of Biodiversity and Activity

1
Institute of Polar Sciences, National Research Council (ISP-CNR), 98122 Messina, Italy
2
Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences, University of Messina, 98168 Messina, Italy
3
Institute of Biology, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21.941-590, Brazil
4
Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, Public Health Unit, University of Rome “Foro Italico”, P.zza Lauro De Bosis 6, 00135 Rome, Italy
5
Dipartimento di Scienze Teoriche e Applicate, University of Insubria, 21100 Varese, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2019, 7(9), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7090333
Received: 19 July 2019 / Revised: 4 September 2019 / Accepted: 5 September 2019 / Published: 9 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Diversity in Extreme Environments)
Two distinct pressurized hypersaline brine pockets (named TF4 and TF5), separated by a thin ice layer, were detected below an ice-sealed Antarctic lake. Prokaryotic (bacterial and archaeal) diversity, abundances (including virus-like particles) and metabolic profiles were investigated by an integrated approach, including traditional and new-generation methods. Although similar diversity indices were computed for both Bacteria and Archaea, distinct bacterial and archaeal assemblages were observed. Bacteroidetes and Gammaproteobacteria were more abundant in the shallowest brine pocket, TF4, and Deltaproteobacteria, mainly represented by versatile sulphate-reducing bacteria, dominated in the deepest, TF5. The detection of sulphate-reducing bacteria and methanogenic Archaea likely reflects the presence of a distinct synthrophic consortium in TF5. Surprisingly, members assigned to hyperthermophilic Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota were common to both brines, indicating that these cold habitats host the most thermally tolerant Archaea. The patterns of microbial communities were different, coherently with the observed microbiological diversity between TF4 and TF5 brines. Both the influence exerted by upward movement of saline brines from a sub-surface anoxic system and the possible occurrence of an ancient ice remnant from the Ross Ice Shelf were the likely main factors shaping the microbial communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: brine pockets; hyperthermophiles; sulphur-reducing bacteria; methanogens; metabolic potential brine pockets; hyperthermophiles; sulphur-reducing bacteria; methanogens; metabolic potential
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MDPI and ACS Style

Papale, M.; Lo Giudice, A.; Conte, A.; Rizzo, C.; Rappazzo, A.C.; Maimone, G.; Caruso, G.; La Ferla, R.; Azzaro, M.; Gugliandolo, C.; Paranhos, R.; Cabral, A.S.; Romano Spica, V.; Guglielmin, M. Microbial Assemblages in Pressurized Antarctic Brine Pockets (Tarn Flat, Northern Victoria Land): A Hotspot of Biodiversity and Activity. Microorganisms 2019, 7, 333. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7090333

AMA Style

Papale M, Lo Giudice A, Conte A, Rizzo C, Rappazzo AC, Maimone G, Caruso G, La Ferla R, Azzaro M, Gugliandolo C, Paranhos R, Cabral AS, Romano Spica V, Guglielmin M. Microbial Assemblages in Pressurized Antarctic Brine Pockets (Tarn Flat, Northern Victoria Land): A Hotspot of Biodiversity and Activity. Microorganisms. 2019; 7(9):333. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7090333

Chicago/Turabian Style

Papale, Maria; Lo Giudice, Angelina; Conte, Antonella; Rizzo, Carmen; Rappazzo, Alessandro C.; Maimone, Giovanna; Caruso, Gabriella; La Ferla, Rosabruna; Azzaro, Maurizio; Gugliandolo, Concetta; Paranhos, Rodolfo; Cabral, Anderson S.; Romano Spica, Vincenzo; Guglielmin, Mauro. 2019. "Microbial Assemblages in Pressurized Antarctic Brine Pockets (Tarn Flat, Northern Victoria Land): A Hotspot of Biodiversity and Activity" Microorganisms 7, no. 9: 333. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7090333

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