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Inter-Valley Soil Comparative Survey of the McMurdo Dry Valleys

Latest version published by SCAR - Microbial Antarctic Resource System on Aug 14, 2014 SCAR - Microbial Antarctic Resource System

Recent applications of molecular genetics to edaphic microbial communities of the McMurdo Dry Valleys and elsewhere have rejected a long-held belief that Antarctic soils contain extremely limited microbial diversity. The Inter-Valley Soil Comparative Survey aims to elucidate the factors shaping these unique microbial communities and their biogeography by integrating molecular genetic approaches with biogeochemical analyses. Although the microbial communities of Dry Valley soils may be complex, there is little doubt that the ecosystem’s food web is relatively simple, and evidence suggests that physicochemical conditions may have the dominant role in shaping microbial communities. To examine this hypothesis, bacterial communities from representative soil samples collected in four geographically disparate Dry Valleys were analyzed using molecular genetic tools, including pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene PCR amplicons. Results show that the four communities are structurally and phylogenetically distinct, and possess significantly different levels of diversity. Strikingly, only 2 of 214 phylotypes were found in all four valleys, challenging a widespread assumption that the microbiota of the Dry Valleys is composed of a few cosmopolitan species. Analysis of soil geochemical properties indicated that salt content, alongside altitude and Cu2+, was significantly correlated with differences in microbial communities. Our results indicate that the microbial ecology of Dry Valley soils is highly localized and that physicochemical factors potentially have major roles in shaping the microbiology of ice-free areas of Antarctica. These findings hint at links between Dry Valley glacial geomorphology and microbial ecology, and raise previously unrecognized issues related to environmental management of this unique ecosystem.

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How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Lee CK, Barbier BA, Bottos EM, McDonald IR, Cary SC (2012) The Inter-Valley Soil Comparative Survey: the ecology of Dry Valley edaphic microbial communities. ISME J 6: 1046–1057. doi:10.1038/ismej.2011.170.

Rights

Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is SCAR - Microbial Antarctic Resource System. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CCZero 1.0 License http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/legalcode.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: cca539d1-3e43-49bb-8e1f-8c1bda934a8c.  SCAR - Microbial Antarctic Resource System publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research.

Keywords

Bacteria; Cyanobacteria; Fungi; Terrestrial Antarctica; McMurdo Dry Valleys; 16S rRNA; Soil; Metadata

Contacts

Who created the resource:

Charles Lee
Research Fellow
International Center for Terrestrial Antarctic Research Private Bag 3105 3240 Hamilton NZ +64 7 838 4241
http://www.ictar.aq

Who can answer questions about the resource:

Charles Lee
Research Fellow
International Center for Terrestrial Antarctic Research Private Bag 3105 3240 Hamilton NZ +64 7 838 4241
http://www.ictar.aq

Who filled in the metadata:

Charles Lee
Research Fellow
International Center for Terrestrial Antarctic Research Private Bag 3105 3240 Hamilton NZ +64 7 838 4241
http://www.ictar.aq

Who else was associated with the resource:

Author
Charles Lee
Research Fellow
International Center for Terrestrial Antarctic Research Private Bag 3105 3240 Hamilton NZ +64 7 838 4241
http://www.ictar.aq
Principal Investigator
Craig Cary
Professor
International Center for Terrestrial Antarctic Research Private Bag 3105 3240 Hamilton NZ +64 7 838 4593
http://www.ictar.aq

Geographic Coverage

The McMurdo Dry Valleys

Bounding Coordinates South West [-78.091, 160.764], North East [-76.912, 163.809]

Taxonomic Coverage

Molecular surveys of 16S rRNA gene

Domain  Bacteria
Kingdom  Fungi
Phylum  Cyanobacteria (Blue-Green Algae)

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 2006-12-01 / 2006-12-31
Start Date / End Date 2008-01-01 / 2008-01-31
Start Date / End Date 2010-11-01 / 2010-11-30

Project Data

No Description available

Title Professor
Funding Funding was provided by the New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) (UOWX0715) and the New Zealand Marsden Fund (UOW1003). Logistics support was provided by Antarctica New Zealand.
Study Area Description Soil was collected at six different sites in the McMurdo Dry Valleys: Alatna Valley, Battleship Promontory, Upper Wright Valley, Beacon Valley, University Valley, and Miers Valley
Design Description Soil samples were

The personnel involved in the project:

Principal Investigator
Craig Cary

Sampling Methods

Sampling sites were all located on a south facing, 0–20°slope. An intersection was made by two 50 m transects, with the intersection in the middle being the central sampling point (X or C). Four sampling points around the central point were marked (A–D with A being the southernmost point and the remaining points in an anti-clockwise order, or N, E, S, W). Five scoops of the top 2 cm of soil were collected and homogenized at each identified (1 m2) sampling point after pavement pebbles were removed. Samples were stored in sterile Whirl-Pak (Nasco International, Fort Atkinson, WI, USA) at −20 °C until returned to New Zealand, where they were stored at −80 °C until analysis.

Study Extent See Geographic Coverage
Quality Control 454 pyrosquencing flowgrams were denoised using AmpliconNoise, including a SeqNoise step to remove PCR errors and a Perseus step to remove PCR chimeras. See Lee et al 2012 and Dreesens et al 2014 for details.

Method step description:

  1. Two MICROBIAL_SEQUENCE_SET description files describing X data sets was uploaded to the IPT. X MIMARKS data files were uploaded to the IPT.

Collection Data

Collection Name Soil Samples from McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica
Collection Identifier N/A
Parent Collection Identifier N/A
Specimen preservation methods Deep frozen

Bibliographic Citations

  1. Dreesens L, Lee CK, Cary SC (2014) The Distribution and Identity of Edaphic Fungi in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Biology 3: 466–483. doi:10.3390/biology3030466. 10.3390/biology3030466

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers http://ipt.biodiversity.aq/resource.do?r=ictar_ivscs