Science and earth science

Polish Polar Research

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Polish Polar Research | Accepted articles

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Abstract

The human movement to and from Antarctica has increased significantly in recent decades, particularly to the South Shetland Islands, King George Island (KGI), and Deception Island (DCI). Such movements may result in unintentional soil transfer to other warmer regions, such as tropical countries. However, the ability of Antarctic bacteria to survive in tropical climates remained unknown. Hence, the objectives of this work were (i) to determine the bacterial diversity of the soils at the study sites on the two islands, and (ii) to determine if simulated tropical-like growth climate conditions would impact overall diversity and increase the abundance of potentially harmful bacteria in the Antarctic soils. KGI and DCI soils were incubated for 12 months under simulated tropical conditions. After 6 and 12-months, samples were collected and subjected to metagenomic DNA extraction, 16S rDNA amplification, sequencing, and alignment analysis. The 12-month denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis revealed changes in fingerprinting patterns and bacterial diversity indices. Following that, bacterial diversity analyses for KGI and DCI soils were undertaken using V3-V4 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing. Major bacterial phyla in KGI and DCI soils comprised Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia. Except for Proteobacteria in KGI soils and Acidobacteria and Chloroflexi in DCI soils, most phyla in both soils did not acclimate to simulated tropical conditions. Changes in diversity were also observed at the genus level, with Methylobacterium spp. predominating in both soils after incubation. After the 12-month incubation, the abundance of potentially pathogenic bacteria such as Mycobacterium, Massilia, and Williamsia spp. increased. Overall, there was a loss of bacterial diversity in both Antarctic soils after 12 months, indicating that most bacteria from both islands' sampling sites cannot survive well if the soils were accidentally transported into warmer climates.
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Authors and Affiliations

Chuen Yang Chua
1
Clemente Michael Vui Ling Wong
1 2
ORCID: ORCID
Marcelo González-Aravena
3
ORCID: ORCID
Paris Lavin
4
ORCID: ORCID
Yoke Kqueen Cheah
5
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Biotechnology Research Institute, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Jalan UMS, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
  2. National Antarctic Research Centre, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  3. Instituto Antártico Chileno, Plaza Muñoz Gamero 1055, Punta Arenas, Chile
  4. Departamento de Biotecnologia, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y Recursos Biologicos, Universidad de Antofagasta, Antofagasta 1270300, Chile
  5. Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
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Abstract

Sessile suspension feeders depend primarily on availability of a space to settle and access to the water column. Their sessile nature incapacitates displacement during disturbances, and they must rely on their morphology to overcome selective processes. We classified the assemblage of SSF from Mackellar Inlet (King George Island, Antarctica) according to their growth forms (GF) and epibiotic association type, the latter based on direct observation of the epibiotic behaviour of every individual. Organisms that did not comply with any previously established GF were grouped into ‘other GF’. Sampling stations were distributed across the fjord following a gradient based primarily on the distance to Domeyko Glacier (inner, middle, outer sections). Seven GF were recognised in the glaciomarine fjord: tree, bush, stalk, mound, flat, runner, and sheet. Four types of epibiotic associations were identified: basibiont, both facultative epibiont and basibiont, facultative epibiont, and epibiont. Our results showed that the tree GF were found in the inner and middle sections, mound in middle and outer, and flat across all fjord sections. These GF enhanced GF-diversity since they constituted additional substrate for most of the ‘other GF’ which had primarily an epibiotic strategy. Contrastingly, bush, runner and stalk GF were only found in the outer section of the fjord, thus the most distanced from periglacial disturbances. The GF distribution was consistent with distance to glacier, both in number and strategies. These results highlight the potentialities of the morpho-functional classification applied to Antarctic sessile suspension feeders to help understand their distribution based on adaptive capabilities.
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Authors and Affiliations

Daniela C.S. Thorne
1
ORCID: ORCID
Bernabé Moreno
1 2
ORCID: ORCID
Aldo G. Indacochea
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Carrera de Biología Marina, Universidad Científica del Sur, Lima 15067, Perú
  2. Marine Ecology Department, Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences, Sopot, 81-712, Poland
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Abstract

We used an artificial substratum (plexiglass tiles) to compare diatom communities at three different depths at two sites differing in their hydrological conditions and glacier melt-water influence. Samples at 1 m depth were taken during early summer in 2018, whereas samples at 3 m and 6.5 m were obtained in late summer 2020. The tiles were submerged for a period of up to 45 days in 2018, and up to 34 days in 2020. Water temperature, salinity, conductivity, oxygen saturation and concentrations, and Secchi depth were measured multiple times at both sites. During late summer of 2020 Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) was also measured at depths of 3, 6.5 and 10 m at both sites. The communities constituted of a total of 50 taxa. Colonization and community development followed the same scheme at both sites and at all depths, with an early establishment of the dominant taxa, and a decline in species richness, diversity, and evenness indices over the time towards relatively stable low values. Based on the results of PERMANOVA, ANOSIM and SIMPER analyses, diatom communities were site-specific, with 49% dissimilarity between the sites. Mechanical disturbances, such as wave action and ice scouring, as well as depth (and light availability) seemed to be the main factors driving the differences. The motile Navicula aff. perminuta dominated under mechanical disturbances at various light conditions, Navicula glaciei preferred calm shallow waters, and erect diatom growth forms were present in higher numbers in deeper waters with deteriorated light conditions.
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Authors and Affiliations

Ralitsa Zidarova
1
ORCID: ORCID
Elitsa Hineva
1
ORCID: ORCID
Plamen Ivanov
2
ORCID: ORCID
Nina Dzhembekova
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Institute of Oceanology – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 9000 Varna, Bulgaria
  2. Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
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Abstract

Fungi are highly diverse, yet only a minor part of the total estimated species has been cultured and characterized. This might be especially true for Arctic, where studies on the fungal diversity are still scarce. For that reason, our aim was to analyze fungal diversity in the droppings of Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus. The samples of feces from 32 adult individuals were collected in the southern or central parts of the Wedel Jarlsberg Land (Spitsbergen, Svalbard Archipelago) and assessed for micromycetes diversity using a combination of classical and molecular identification approaches. We found 16 fungal species, out of which three were described as mesophilic, two as psychrotolerant and eleven as psychrophilic. The identified Arctic fungi belonged to eleven genera out of which representatives of Naganishia genus (formerly belonging to Cryptococcus albidus clade) were the most abundant fungal species isolated. Additionally, to our knowledge, we firstly recorded Botrytis cinerea in polar areas. We conclude that droppings of R. tarandus platyrhynchus are a source of different fungal taxa, including fungi potentially pathogenic towards humans, plants and insects.
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Authors and Affiliations

Rafał Ogórek
1
ORCID: ORCID
Jakub Suchodolski
1
ORCID: ORCID
Bartłomiej Dudek
2
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Department of Mycology and Genetics, University of Wrocław, 51-148 Wrocław, Poland
  2. Department of Microbiology, University of Wrocław, 51-148 Wrocław, Poland

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