Millimeter-scale genetic gradients and community-level molecular convergence in a hypersaline microbial mat

Mol Syst Biol. 2008;4:198. doi: 10.1038/msb.2008.35. Epub 2008 Jun 3.

Abstract

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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Genetics, Microbial*
  • Mexico
  • Salinity*
  • Selection, Genetic*

Substances

  • Amino Acids