Cross-Hemisphere Study Reveals Geographically Ubiquitous, Plastic-Specific Bacteria Emerging from the Rare and Unexplored Biosphere

Scales BS, Cable RN, Duhaime MB, Gerdts G, Fischer F, Fischer D, Mothes S, Hintzki L, Moldaenke L, Ruwe M, Kalinowski J, et al. (2021)
mSphere 6(3): e00851-20.

Zeitschriftenaufsatz | Veröffentlicht | Englisch
 
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Autor*in
Scales, Brittan S; Cable, Rachel N; Duhaime, Melissa B; Gerdts, Gunnar; Fischer, Franziska; Fischer, Dieter; Mothes, Stephanie; Hintzki, Lisa; Moldaenke, Lynn; Ruwe, MatthiasUniBi; Kalinowski, JörnUniBi; Kreikemeyer, Bernd
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Abstract / Bemerkung
While it is now appreciated that the millions of tons of plastic pollution travelling through marine systems carry complex communities of microorganisms, it is still unknown to what extent these biofilm communities are specific to the plastic or selected by the surrounding ecosystem. To address this, we characterized and compared the microbial communities of microplastic particles, nonplastic (natural and wax) particles, and the surrounding waters from three marine ecosystems (the Baltic, Sargasso and Mediterranean seas) using high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We found that biofilm communities on microplastic and nonplastic particles were highly similar to one another across this broad geographical range. The similar temperature and salinity profiles of the Sargasso and Mediterranean seas, compared to the Baltic Sea, were reflected in the biofilm communities. We identified plastic-specific operational taxonomic units (OTUs) that were not detected on nonplastic particles or in the surrounding waters. Twenty-six of the plastic-specific OTUs were geographically ubiquitous across all sampled locations. These geographically ubiquitous plastic-specific OTUs were mostly low-abundance members of their biofilm communities and often represented uncultured members of marine ecosystems. These results demonstrate the potential for plastics to be a reservoir of rare and understudied microbes, thus warranting further investigations into the dynamics and role of these microbes in marine ecosystems. IMPORTANCE This study represents one of the largest comparisons of biofilms from environmentally sampled plastic and nonplastic particles from aquatic environments. By including particles sampled through three separate campaigns in the Baltic, Sargasso, and Mediterranean seas, we were able to make cross-geographical comparisons and discovered common taxonomical signatures that define the plastic biofilm. For the first time, we identified plastic-specific bacteria that reoccur across marine regions. Our data reveal that plastics have selective properties that repeatedly enrich for similar bacteria regardless of location, potentially shifting aquatic microbial communities in areas with high levels of plastic pollution. Furthermore, we show that bacterial communities on plastic do not appear to be strongly influenced by polymer type, suggesting that other properties, such as the absorption and/or leaching of chemicals from the surface, are likely to be more important in the selection and enrichment of specific microorganisms.
Erscheinungsjahr
2021
Zeitschriftentitel
mSphere
Band
6
Ausgabe
3
Art.-Nr.
e00851-20
eISSN
2379-5042
Page URI
https://pub.uni-bielefeld.de/record/2955515

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Scales BS, Cable RN, Duhaime MB, et al. Cross-Hemisphere Study Reveals Geographically Ubiquitous, Plastic-Specific Bacteria Emerging from the Rare and Unexplored Biosphere. mSphere. 2021;6(3): e00851-20.
Scales, B. S., Cable, R. N., Duhaime, M. B., Gerdts, G., Fischer, F., Fischer, D., Mothes, S., et al. (2021). Cross-Hemisphere Study Reveals Geographically Ubiquitous, Plastic-Specific Bacteria Emerging from the Rare and Unexplored Biosphere. mSphere, 6(3), e00851-20. https://doi.org/10.1128/mSphere.00851-20
Scales, B. S., Cable, R. N., Duhaime, M. B., Gerdts, G., Fischer, F., Fischer, D., Mothes, S., Hintzki, L., Moldaenke, L., Ruwe, M., et al. (2021). Cross-Hemisphere Study Reveals Geographically Ubiquitous, Plastic-Specific Bacteria Emerging from the Rare and Unexplored Biosphere. mSphere 6: e00851-20.
Scales, B.S., et al., 2021. Cross-Hemisphere Study Reveals Geographically Ubiquitous, Plastic-Specific Bacteria Emerging from the Rare and Unexplored Biosphere. mSphere, 6(3): e00851-20.
B.S. Scales, et al., “Cross-Hemisphere Study Reveals Geographically Ubiquitous, Plastic-Specific Bacteria Emerging from the Rare and Unexplored Biosphere”, mSphere, vol. 6, 2021, : e00851-20.
Scales, B.S., Cable, R.N., Duhaime, M.B., Gerdts, G., Fischer, F., Fischer, D., Mothes, S., Hintzki, L., Moldaenke, L., Ruwe, M., Kalinowski, J., Kreikemeyer, B., Pedrotti, M.-L., Gorsky, G., Elineau, A., Labrenz, M., Oberbeckmann, S.: Cross-Hemisphere Study Reveals Geographically Ubiquitous, Plastic-Specific Bacteria Emerging from the Rare and Unexplored Biosphere. mSphere. 6, : e00851-20 (2021).
Scales, Brittan S, Cable, Rachel N, Duhaime, Melissa B, Gerdts, Gunnar, Fischer, Franziska, Fischer, Dieter, Mothes, Stephanie, Hintzki, Lisa, Moldaenke, Lynn, Ruwe, Matthias, Kalinowski, Jörn, Kreikemeyer, Bernd, Pedrotti, Maria-Luiza, Gorsky, Gaby, Elineau, Amanda, Labrenz, Matthias, and Oberbeckmann, Sonja. “Cross-Hemisphere Study Reveals Geographically Ubiquitous, Plastic-Specific Bacteria Emerging from the Rare and Unexplored Biosphere”. mSphere 6.3 (2021): e00851-20.

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