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Mississippi River Plume Enriches Microbial Diversity in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.

Title: Mississippi River Plume Enriches Microbial Diversity in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.
Name(s): Mason, Olivia U, author
Canter, Erin J, author
Gillies, Lauren E, author
Paisie, Taylor K, author
Roberts, Brian J, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Journal Article
Date Issued: 2016-07-07
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The Mississippi River (MR) serves as the primary source of freshwater and nutrients to the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGOM). Whether this input of freshwater also enriches microbial diversity as the MR plume migrates and mixes with the nGOM serves as the central question addressed herein. Specifically, in this study physicochemical properties and planktonic microbial community composition and diversity was determined using iTag sequencing of 16S rRNA genes in 23 samples collected along a salinity (and nutrient) gradient from the mouth of the MR, in the MR plume, in the canyon, at the Deepwater Horizon wellhead and out to the loop current. Analysis of these datasets revealed that the MR influenced microbial diversity as far offshore as the Deepwater Horizon wellhead. The MR had the highest microbial diversity, which decreased with increasing salinity. MR bacterioplankton communities were distinct compared to the nGOM, particularly in the surface where Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria dominated, while the deeper MR was also enriched in Thaumarchaeota. Statistical analyses revealed that nutrients input by the MR, along with salinity and depth, were the primary drivers in structuring the microbial communities. These results suggested that the reduced salinity, nutrient enriched MR plume could act as a seed bank for microbial diversity as it mixes with the nGOM. Whether introduced microorganisms are active at higher salinities than freshwater would determine if this seed bank for microbial diversity is ecologically significant. Alternatively, microorganisms that are physiologically restricted to freshwater habitats that are entrained in the plume could be used as tracers for freshwater input to the marine environment.
Identifier: FSU_pmch_27458442 (IID), 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01048 (DOI), PMC4936242 (PMCID), 27458442 (RID), 27458442 (EID)
Keywords: 16S rRNA gene sequencing, Gulf of Mexico, ITag, Mississippi River, Bacterioplankton community composition, Microbial diversity, Microbial ecology
Publication Note: This NIH-funded author manuscript originally appeared in PubMed Central at
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Frontiers in microbiology.
Issue: vol. 7

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Mason, O. U., Canter, E. J., Gillies, L. E., Paisie, T. K., & Roberts, B. J. (2016). Mississippi River Plume Enriches Microbial Diversity in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Frontiers In Microbiology. Retrieved from