When soil nitrogen is in short supply, most terrestrial plants form symbioses with fungi (mycorrhizae): hyphae take up soil nitrogen, transport it into plant roots, and receive plant sugars in return. In ecosystems, the transfers within the pathway fractionate nitrogen isotopes so that the natural abundance of 15N in fungi differs from that in their host plants by as much as 12% per hundred. Here we present a new method to quantify carbon and nitrogen fluxes in the symbiosis based on the fractionation against 15N during transfer of nitrogen from fungi to plant roots. We tested this method, which is based on the mass balance of 15N, with data from arctic Alaska where the nitrogen cycle is well studied. Mycorrhizal fungi provided 61-86% of the nitrogen in plants; plants provided 8-17% of their photosynthetic carbon to the fungi for growth and respiration. This method of analysis avoids the disturbance of the soil-microbe-root relationship caused by collecting samples, mixing the soil, or changing substrate concentrations. This analytical technique also can be applied to other nitrogen-limited ecosystems, such as many temperate and boreal forests, to quantify the importance for terrestrial carbon and nitrogen cycling of nutrient transfers mediated by mycorrhizae at the plant-soil interface.
The utilization of the intracellular and extracellular sources of carbon and energy during the mitotic cycle of yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Kluyveromyces marxianus, Candida boidinii, Candida tropicalis has been studied. Increase in the consumption rate of carbon and energy sources and in the exogenous respiration rate at G1- and G2-phases of the mitotic cycle is shown. The rate of the endogenous respiration of the cells at these phases decreased. The hypothesis has been proposed that during the mitotic cycle of the yeast cell the regular alternation of exotrophy (the utilization of the extracellular carbon and energy sources by a cell) and endotrophy (the process of the utilization of the intracellular carbon and energy sources by a cell) occurs. It is possible to reveal the exotrophic cells by the cytological method which is based on the calculation of dead cells after incubation of the yeast suspension in amyl alcohol solution. This method has revealed that exotrophic and endotrophic processes do not predominate one over another but alternate at the mitotic cycle. Exotrophy and endotrophy are phase-specific processes. The G1- and G2-phases are exotrophic processes, phases S and M are endotrophic ones.
Thawing submarine permafrost is a source of methane to the subsurface biosphere. Methane oxidation in submarine permafrost sediments has been proposed, but the responsible microorganisms remain uncharacterized. We analyzed archaeal communities and identified distinct anaerobic methanotrophic assemblages of marine and terrestrial origin (ANME-2a/b, ANME-2d) both in frozen and completely thawed submarine permafrost sediments. Besides archaea potentially involved in anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) we found a large diversity of archaea mainly belonging to Bathyarchaeota, Thaumarchaeota, and Euryarchaeota. Methane concentrations and d13C-methane signatures distinguish horizons of potential AOM coupled either to sulfate reduction in a sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ) or to the reduction of other electron acceptors, such as iron, manganese or nitrate. Analysis of functional marker genes (mcrA) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) corroborate potential activity of AOM communities in submarine permafrost sediments at low temperatures. Modeled potential AOM consumes 72-100% of submarine permafrost methane and up to 1.2?Tg of carbon per year for the total expected area of submarine permafrost. This is comparable with AOM habitats such as cold seeps. We thus propose that AOM is active where submarine permafrost thaws, which should be included in global methane budgets.
Cites: Environ Microbiol. 2016 Sep;18(9):3073-91 PMID 26971539
Cites: Front Microbiol. 2015 Dec 18;6:1423 PMID 26733968
Cites: Nat Commun. 2015 Jun 30;6:7477 PMID 26123199
Cites: Science. 2016 Feb 12;351(6274):703-7 PMID 26912857
The Palaeocene/Eocene thermal maximum represents a period of rapid, extreme global warming 55 million years ago, superimposed on an already warm world. This warming is associated with a severe shoaling of the ocean calcite compensation depth and a >2.5 per mil negative carbon isotope excursion in marine and soil carbonates. Together these observations indicate a massive release of 13C-depleted carbon and greenhouse-gas-induced warming. Recently, sediments were recovered from the central Arctic Ocean, providing the first opportunity to evaluate the environmental response at the North Pole at this time. Here we present stable hydrogen and carbon isotope measurements of terrestrial-plant- and aquatic-derived n-alkanes that record changes in hydrology, including surface water salinity and precipitation, and the global carbon cycle. Hydrogen isotope records are interpreted as documenting decreased rainout during moisture transport from lower latitudes and increased moisture delivery to the Arctic at the onset of the Palaeocene/Eocene thermal maximum, consistent with predictions of poleward storm track migrations during global warming. The terrestrial-plant carbon isotope excursion (about -4.5 to -6 per mil) is substantially larger than those of marine carbonates. Previously, this offset was explained by the physiological response of plants to increases in surface humidity. But this mechanism is not an effective explanation in this wet Arctic setting, leading us to hypothesize that the true magnitude of the excursion--and associated carbon input--was greater than originally surmised. Greater carbon release and strong hydrological cycle feedbacks may help explain the maintenance of this unprecedented warmth.
Human activities over the past few centuries have profoundly changed the functioning of the earth system as a whole. These changes are particularly evident in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, where environmental change has been pronounced and rapid. Such changes have implications beyond the region, as they can lead to two important feedback processes: the ice-albedo feedback and the terrestrial carbon cycle-climate feedback. These processes play an exceptionally important role in earth system functioning, particularly because they may switch this century from damping the effects of anthropogenic climate change to accelerating them. Rapid environmental change in the high latitudes also has consequences for issues of direct importance to humans, particularly water resources.
Arctic moistening will affect the circumpolar forested riparian ecosystems. Upward trends observed for precipitation in high latitudes illustrate that the moistening may be underway to influence the woody biomass production near the inland waters, lakes and streams with effects on carbon pools and fluxes. Although the flooding and waterlogging tolerance of seedlings has been investigated, our understanding of responses in mature trees is still limited. Here we employ tree-ring d13 C and width data from a subarctic riparian setting in Lapland, where artificially high lake level (HLL) has already altered the ecophysiological and growth responses of riparian Pinus sylvestris trees to external drivers under conditions simulating moister environment. Prior to the HLL event, the carbon assimilation rate was primarily limited by irradiance as reflected in the d13 C data and the radial growth of south-facing riparian trees remained increased in comparison to shaded upland trees. By contrast, the riparian trees were not similarly benefited during the HLL period when reduced assimilation depleted the riparian in comparison to upland d13 C despite of increased irradiance. As a result, the radial growth of riparian trees was markedly reduced over the HLL event while the upland trees benefited from increased irradiance and summer time warming. Although the production of biomass at high latitudes is commonly considered temperature-limited, our results highlight the increasing role of Arctic moistening to limit the growth when increased precipitation (cloudiness) reduces the incoming solar radiation in general and when the riparian habitat becomes increasingly waterlogged in particular. The effects of high-latitude warming to induce higher biomass productivity may be restricted by negative feedbacks.
The susceptibility to arsenic (As)-induced diseases differs greatly between individuals, probably to a large extent due to genetic differences in arsenic metabolism. The aim for this study was to identify genetic variants affecting arsenic metabolism.
We evaluated the association between urinary metabolite pattern and polymorphisms in three gene-groups related to arsenic metabolism: (1) methyltransferases, (2) other genes involved in one-carbon metabolism and (3) genes involved in reduction reactions. Forty-nine polymorphisms were successfully genotyped in indigenous women (N=104) from northern Argentina, exposed to approximately 200 microg/L of arsenic in drinking water, with a unique metabolism with low percent monomethylated arsenic (%MMA) and high percent dimethylated As (%DMA).
Genetic factors affecting arsenic metabolite pattern included two polymorphisms in arsenic (+III) methyltransferase (AS3MT) (rs3740400, rs7085104), where carriers had lower %MMA and higher %DMA. These single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were in strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) with three intronic AS3MT SNPs, previously reported to be associated with arsenic metabolism, indicating the existence of a strongly methylating, population-specific haplotype. The CYP17A1 rs743572, 27kilobasepairs (kbs) upstream of AS3MT, was in strong LD with the AS3MT SNPs and thus had similar effects on the metabolite profile. Smaller effects were also seen for one-carbon metabolism genes choline dehydrogenase (CHDH) (rs9001, rs7626693) and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate-homocysteine methyltransferase reductase (MTRR) (rs1801394) and genes involved in reduction reactions, glutaredoxin (GLRX) (rs3822751) and peroxiredoxin 2 (PRDX2) (rs10427027, rs12151144). Genotypes associated with more beneficial arsenic metabolite profile (low %MMA and/or high %DMA in urine) were more common in this population, which has been exposed to arsenic in drinking water for thousands of years.
Polymorphisms in AS3MT and in genes involved in one-carbon metabolism and reduction reactions affects arsenic metabolism.
Combining a minimum food web model with Arctic microbial community dynamics, we have suggested that top-down control by copepods can affect the food web down to bacterial consumption of organic carbon. Pursuing this hypothesis further, we used the minimum model to design and analyse a mesocosm experiment, studying the effect of high (+Z) and low (-Z) copepod density on resource allocation, along an organic-C addition gradient. In the Arctic, both effects are plausible due to changes in advection patterns (affecting copepods) and meltwater inputs (affecting carbon). The model predicts a trophic cascade from copepods via ciliates to flagellates, which was confirmed experimentally. Auto- and heterotrophic flagellates affect bacterial growth rate and abundance via competition for mineral nutrients and predation, respectively. In +Z, the model predicts low bacterial abundance and activity, and little response to glucose; as opposed to clear glucose consumption effects in -Z. We observed a more resilient bacterial response to high copepods and demonstrate this was due to changes in bacterial community equitability. Species able to use glucose to improve their competitive and/or defensive properties, became predominant. The observed shift from a SAR11-to a Psychromonodaceae - dominated community suggests the latter was pivotal in this modification of ecosystem function. We argue that this group used glucose to improve its defensive or its competitive abilities (or both). Adding such flexibility in bacterial traits to the model, we show how it creates the observed resilience to top-down manipulations observed in our experiment.
Arctic permafrost environments store large amounts of organic carbon. As a result of global warming, intensified permafrost degradation and release of significant quantities of the currently conserved organic matter is predicted for high latitudes. To improve our understanding of the present and future carbon dynamics in climate sensitive permafrost ecosystems, the present study investigates structure and carbon turnover of the bacterial community in a permafrost-affected soil of the Lena Delta (72 degrees 22'N, 126 degrees 28'E) in northeastern Siberia. 16S rRNA gene clone libraries revealed the presence of all major soil bacterial groups and of the canditate divisions OD1 and OP11. A shift within the bacterial community was observed along the soil profile indicated by the absence of Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria and a simultaneous increase in abundance and diversity of fermenting bacteria like Firmicutes and Actinobacteria near the permafrost table. BIOLOG EcoPlates were used to describe the spectrum of utilized carbon sources of the bacterial community in different horizons under in situ temperature conditions in the presence and absence of oxygen. The results revealed distinct qualitative differences in the substrates used and the turnover rates under oxic and anoxic conditions. It can be concluded that constantly negative redox potentials as characteristic for the near permafrost table horizons of the investigated soil did effectively shape the structure of the indigenous bacterial community limiting its phylum-level diversity and carbon turnover capacity.