Millimeter-scale genetic gradients and community-level molecular convergence in a hypersaline microbial mat.
Kunin V, Raes J
, Harris JK, Spear JR, Walker JJ, Ivanova N, von Mering C
, Bebout BM, Pace NR, Bork P
, Hugenholtz P
Mol Syst Biol.
2008; 4: 198. PubMed: 18523433.
Abstract + PDF
To investigate the extent of genetic stratification in structured microbial communities, we compared the metagenomes of 10 successive layers of a phylogenetically complex hypersaline mat from Guerrero Negro, Mexico. We found pronounced millimeter-scale genetic gradients that were consistent with the physicochemical profile of the mat. Despite these gradients, all layers displayed near-identical and acid-shifted isoelectric point profiles due to a molecular convergence of amino-acid usage, indicating that hypersalinity enforces an overriding selective pressure on the mat community.