Prokaryotic Community Structure and Metabolisms in Shallow Subsurface of Atacama Desert Playas and Alluvial Fans After Heavy Rains: Repairing and Preparing for Next Dry Period
AuthorFernández-Martínez, Miguel Ángel
dos Santos Severino, Rita
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Soil Water & Environm Sci
Atacama Desert playa
high-throughput DNA sequencing
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherFrontiers Media SA
CitationFernández-Martínez MÁ, dos Santos Severino R, Moreno-Paz M, Gallardo-Carreño I, Blanco Y, Warren-Rhodes K, García-Villadangos M, Ruiz-Bermejo M, Barberán A, Wettergreen D, Cabrol N and Parro V (2019) Prokaryotic Community Structure and Metabolisms in Shallow Subsurface of Atacama Desert Playas and Alluvial Fans After Heavy Rains: Repairing and Preparing for Next Dry Period. Front. Microbiol. 10:1641. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01641
JournalFRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY
RightsCopyright © 2019 Fernández-Martínez, dos Santos Severino, Moreno-Paz, Gallardo-Carreño, Blanco, Warren Rhodes, García-Villadangos, Ruiz-Bermejo, Barberán, Wettergreen, Cabrol and Parro. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractThe Atacama Desert, the oldest and driest desert on Earth, displays significant rains only once per decade. To investigate how microbial communities take advantage of these sporadic wet events, we carried out a geomicrobiological study a few days after a heavy rain event in 2015. Different physicochemical and microbial community analyses were conducted on samples collected from playas and an alluvial fan from surface, 10, 20, 50, and 80 cm depth. Gravimetric moisture content peaks were measured in 10 and 20 cm depth samples (from 1.65 to 4.1% w/w maximum values) while, in general, main anions such as chloride, nitrate, and sulfate concentrations increased with depth, with maximum values of 13-1,125; 168-10,109; and 9,904-30,952 ppm, respectively. Small organic anions such as formate and acetate had maximum concentrations from 2.61 to 3.44 ppm and 6.73 to 28.75 ppm, respectively. Microbial diversity inferred from DNA analysis showed Actinobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria as the most abundant and widespread bacterial taxa among the samples, followed by Chloroflexi and Firmicutes at specific sites. Archaea were mainly dominated by Nitrososphaerales, Methanobacteria, with the detection of other groups such as Halobacteria. Metaproteomics showed a high and even distribution of proteins involved in primary metabolic processes such as energy production and biosynthetic pathways, and a limited but remarkable presence of proteins related to resistance to environmental stressors such as radiation, oxidation, or desiccation. The results indicated that extra humidity in the system allows the microbial community to repair, and prepare for the upcoming hyperarid period. Additionally, it supplies biomarkers to the medium whose preservation potential could be high under strong desiccation conditions and relevant for planetary exploration.
NoteOpen access journal
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsSpanish Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad/Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional Grants [ESP2014-58494-R, ESP2015-69540-R, ESP2017-89053-C2-2-P]; NASA ASTEP "Life in the Atacama (LITA)" project [NNX11AJ87G]; NASA Astrobiology Institute Colaborative Agreement 7 (CAN-7) project [NNX15BB01A]; Comunidad de Madrid/European Union YEI program; Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity (MINECO); "Maria de Maeztu" program [MDM-2017-0737]