Metagenomic analysis of microbial community compositions and cold-responsive stress genes in selected antarctic lacustrine and soil ecosystems

Academic Article


  • © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This study describes microbial community compositions, and various cold-responsive stress genes, encompassing cold-induced proteins (CIPs) and cold-associated general stress-responsive proteins (CASPs) in selected Antarctic lake water, sediment, and soil metagenomes. Overall, Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the major taxa in all metagenomes. Prochlorococcus and Thiomicrospira were highly abundant in waters, while Myxococcus, Anaeromyxobacter, Haliangium, and Gloeobacter were dominant in the soil and lake sediment metagenomes. Among CIPs, genes necessary for DNA replication, translation initiation, and transcription termination were highly abundant in all metagenomes. However, genes for fatty acid desaturase (FAD) and trehalose synthase (TS) were common in the soil and lake sediment metagenomes. Interestingly, the Lake Untersee water and sediment metagenome samples contained histone-like nucleoid structuring protein (H-NS) and all genes for CIPs. As for the CASPs, high abundances of a wide range of genes for cryo- and osmo-protectants (glutamate, glycine, choline, and betaine) were identified in all metagenomes. However, genes for exopolysaccharide biosynthesis were dominant in Lake Untersee water, sediment, and other soil metagenomes. The results from this study indicate that although diverse microbial communities are present in various metagenomes, they share common cold-responsive stress genes necessary for their survival and sustenance in the extreme Antarctic conditions.
  • Published In

  • Life  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Koo H; Hakim JA; Morrow CD; Crowley MR; Andersen DT; Bej AK
  • Volume

  • 8
  • Issue

  • 3