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., A. Boere, B. Abbas, M. Baas, S. G. Wakeham and J. S. Sinninghe Damsté, Ancient DNA derived from alkenone-biosynthesizing haptophytes and other algae in Holocene sediments from the Black Sea, Paleoceanography, 21, PA1005-doi:10.1029/2005PA001188, (2006)

Holocene sea-surface temperatures (SST) of the Black Sea have been reconstructed using sedimentary C37 unsaturated alkenones assumed to be derived from the coccolithophorid haptophyte Emiliania huxleyi, whose fossil coccoliths are an important constituent of the Unit I sediments. However, alkenones can also be biosynthesized by haptophyte species which do not produce microscopic recognizable coccoliths. A species-specific identification of haptophytes is important in such -based past SST reconstructions since different species have different alkenone-SST calibrations. We showed that 18S rDNA of E. huxleyi comprised only a very small percentage (less than 0.8%) of the total eukaryotic 18S rDNA within the up to 3600-year-old fossil record obtained from the depocentre (>2000 m) of the Black Sea. The predominant fossil 18S rDNA was derived from dinoflagellates (Gymnodinium spp.) which are predominant members of the summer phytoplankton bloom in the modern Black Sea. Using a PCR/DGGE method selective for haptophytes, we recovered substantial numbers of a preserved 458-bp-long 18S rDNA of E. huxleyi from the Holocene Black Sea sediments. Additional fossil haptophyte sequences were not detected, indicating that the E. huxleyi alkenone-SST calibration can be applied for at least the last ~3600 years. The ancient E. huxleyi DNA was well protected against degradation since the DNA/alkenone ratio did not significantly decrease throughout the whole sediment core and 20% of ~2700-year-old fossil E. huxleyi DNA was still up to 23,000 base pairs long. We showed that fossil DNA offers great potential to study the Holocene palaeoecology and palaeoenvironment of anoxic deep-sea settings in unprecedented detail. Full article is available here.

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