CGB - Universidad Mayor

11 septiembre 2019

Intermediate-Salinity Systems at High Altitudes in the Peruvian Andes Unveil a High Diversity and Abundance of Bacteria and Viruses.

DOI : 10.3390/genes10110891


Intermediate-salinity environments are distributed around the world. Here, we

present a snapshot characterization of two Peruvian thalassohaline environments

at high altitude, Maras and Acos, which provide an excellent opportunity to

increase our understanding of these ecosystems. The main goal of this study was

to assess the structure and functional diversity of the communities of

microorganisms in an intermediate-salinity environment, and we used a

metagenomic shotgun approach for this analysis. These Andean hypersaline systems

exhibited high bacterial diversity and abundance of the phyla Proteobacteria,

Bacteroidetes, Balneolaeota, and Actinobacteria; in contrast, Archaea from the

phyla Euryarchaeota, Thaumarchaeota, and Crenarchaeota were identified in low

abundance. Acos harbored a more diverse prokaryotic community and a higher

number of unique species compared with Maras. In addition, we obtained the draft

genomes of two bacteria, Halomonas elongata and Idiomarina loihiensis, as well

as the viral genomes of Enterobacteria lambda-like phage and Halomonas

elongata-like phage and 27 partial novel viral halophilic genomes. The

functional metagenome annotation showed a high abundance of sequences associated

with detoxification, DNA repair, cell wall and capsule formation, and nucleotide

metabolism; sequences for these functions were overexpressed mainly in bacteria

and also in some archaea and viruses. Thus, their metabolic profiles afford a

decrease in oxidative stress as well as the assimilation of nitrogen, a critical

energy source for survival. Our work represents the first microbial

characterization of a community structure in samples collected from Peruvian

hypersaline systems.

Investigadores Participantes del Centro



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