Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Marco Coolen

»Bioavailability of soil organic matter and microbial community dynamics upon permafrost thaw
»7000 years of virus-host molecular dynamics in the Black Sea
»Preservation potential of ancient DNA in Pleistocene marine sediments: Implications for paleoenvironmental reconstructions
»Source-specific variability in post-depositional DNA preservation with potential implications for DNA-based paleecological records
»Exploring preserved ancient dinoflagellalte and haptophyte DNA signatures to infer ecological and environmental conditions during sapropel S1 formation in the eastern Mediterranean
»Ancient DNA in lake sediment records
»Vertical distribution of metabolically active eukaryotes in the water column and sediments of the Black Sea
»DNA and lipid molecular stratigraphic records of haptophyte succession in the Black Sea during the Holocene
»Diversity of Archaea and potential for crenarchaeotal nitrification of group 1.1a in the rivers Rhine and TĂȘt
»Holocene sources of fossil BHPs
»An unusual 17[α],21[β](H)-bacteriohopanetetrol in Holocene sediments from Ace Lake (Antarctica)
»Holocene sources of organic matter in Antarctic fjord
»Variations in spatial and temporal distribution of Archaea in the North Sea
»Archaeal nitrifiers in the Black Sea
»Pleistocene Mediterranean sapropel DNA
»Rapid sulfurisation of highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) alkenes in sulfidic Holocene sediments
»Aerobic and anaerobic methanotrophs in the Black Sea water column
»Fossil DNA in Cretaceous Black Shales: Myth or Reality?
»Sulfur and methane cycling during the Holocene in Ace Lake (Antarctica)
»Ancient algal DNA in the Black Sea
»Archaeal nitrification in the ocean
»Characterization of microbial communities found in the human vagina by analysis of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms of 16S rRNA genes
»Biomarker and 16S rDNA evidence for anaerobic oxidation of methane and related carbonate precipitation in deep-sea mud volcanoes of the Sorokin Trough, Black Sea
»Temperature-dependent variation in the distribution of tetraether membrane lipids of marine Crenarchaeota: Implications for TEX86 paleothermometry
»Paleoecology of algae in Ace Lake
»Evolution of the methane cycle in Ace Lake (Antarctica) during the Holocene: Response of methanogens and methanotrophs to environmental change
»Ongoing modification of Mediterranean Pleistocene sapropels mediated by prokaryotes.
»Microbial communities in the chemocline of a hypersaline deep-sea basin (Urania basin, Mediterranean Sea)
»Functional exoenzymes as indicators of metabolically active bacteria in 124,000-year-old sapropel layers of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea
»Specific detection of different phylogenetic groups of chemocline bacteria based on PCR and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of 16S rRNA gene fragments
»Analysis of subfossil molecular remains of purple sulfur bacteria in a lake sediment
»Effects of nitrate availability and the presence of Glyceria maxima the composition and activity of the dissimilatory nitrate-reducing bacterial community
»Microbial activities and populations in upper sediment and sapropel layers

Coolen, M. J. L., J. K. Volkman, B. Abbas, G. Muyzer, S. Schouten and J. S. Sinninghe Damsté, Identification of organic matter sources in sulfidic late Holocene Antarctic fjord sediments from fossil rDNA sequence analysis, Paleoceanography, 22(2), PA2211, doi:10.1029/2006PA001309, (2007)

The 18S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) isolated from sulfidic Holocene sediments and particulate organic matter in the water column of the stratified Small Meromictic Basin (SMB) in Ellis Fjord (eastern Antarctica) was analyzed to identify possible biological sources of organic matter. Previous work had shown that the sediments contained numerous diatom frustules and high contents of a highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) C25:2 alkene (which is a specific biomarker of certain species of the diatom genera Navicula, Haslea, Pleurosigma or Rhizosolenia), so we focused our search on preserved fossil 18S rDNA of diatoms using sensitive PCR approaches. We did not find diatom-derived fossil 18S rDNA using general eukaryotic primers and even when we used primers selective for diatom 18S rDNA we only identified a Chaetoceros phylotype, which is known to form cysts in the SMB, but is not a likely source of the C25:2 HBI. When we used PCR/DGGE methods specific to phylotypes within the HBI-biosynthesizing genera we were able to identify three phylotypes in the sediments related to HBI-producing strains of the genera Haslea and Navicula. The ancient DNA data thus provided a limited, but valuable, view of the diversity of Late Holocene primary producers with a particular bias to specific components of the biota that were better preserved such as the Chaetoceros cysts. This use of paleogenetics also revealed unexpected possible sources of organic matter such as novel stramenopiles for which no specific lipid biomarkers are known and thus would not have been identified based on traditional lipid stratigraphy alone. Full article can be found here.

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