Líffræðifélag Íslands
Líffræðiráðstefnan 2015

Erindi/veggspjald / Talk/poster E89

Metagenomic analysis of microbial communities at a coastal geothermal area (Reykjanes, NW Iceland)

René Groben, Eyjólfur Reynisson, Pauline Vannier, Alexandra Klonowski & Viggó Þór Marteinsson

Matís ohf / Icelandic Food and Biotech R & D

Kynnir / Presenter: René Groben

Tengiliður / Corresponding author: René Groben (rene@matis.is)

Reykjanes, a small peninsula in the Westfjords of Iceland, contains geothermal springs that are ideally suited for the investigation of extremophiles and adaptive mechanisms to extreme environments. Some geothermal springs are located at the intertidal zone of the peninsula and are submerged in sea water at high tide but exposed at low tide, creating a unique environment where microorganisms are subjected to vastly different environmental conditions on a diurnal rhythm. Environmental samples were taken at locations varying in the influx of hot freshwater from the geothermal springs and of cold sea water. Molecular taxonomic analyses of the samples were carried out by high-throughput next generation sequencing of 16S rRNA genes to identify the occurring taxa and determine the microbial diversity. In addition, metagenomic sequencing was done to access the variety of genes that were represented in the microbial community in general. Taxonomic analyses showed a large biodiversity even at environments that were characterized by extremely high temperatures. Differences in the dominance of various taxonomic groups could be observed among samples but well known thermophilic taxa, like Thermus and Rhodothermus, occurred in all samples at high abundance. Characterization of metagenomes confirmed the taxonomic analysis, with many identified sequences belonging to the dominant taxa. However, sequences were also identified with only low identities to genes from known taxa and most likely represent novel prokaryotic species and genes.