Kohler, Tyler J., et al. Frontiers in Microbiology (2020)


Glacier-fed streams (GFSs) exhibit near-freezing temperatures, variable flows, and often high turbidities. Currently, the rapid shrinkage of mountain glaciers is altering the delivery of meltwater, solutes, and particulate matter to GFSs, with unknown consequences for their ecology. Benthic biofilms dominate microbial life in GFSs, and play a major role in their biogeochemical cycling. Mineralization is likely an important process for microbes to meet elemental budgets in these systems due to commonly oligotrophic conditions, and extracellular enzymes retained within the biofilm enable the degradation of organic matter and acquisition of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P). The measurement and…

Busi SB, et al. PeerJ (2020)


Glacier-fed streams (GFS) are harsh ecosystems dominated by microbial life organized in benthic biofilms, yet the biodiversity and ecosystem functions provided by these communities remain under-appreciated. To better understand the microbial processes and communities contributing to GFS ecosystems, it is necessary to leverage high throughput sequencing. Low biomass and high inorganic particle load in GFS sediment samples may affect nucleic acid extraction efficiency using extraction methods tailored to other extreme environments such as deep-sea sediments. Here, we benchmarked the utility and efficacy of four extraction protocols, including an up-scaled phenol-chloroform protocol. We found that established protocols for comparable sample types consistently failed to yield sufficient…

Fodelianakis, Stilianos, et al. bioRxiv (2020)


Microdiversity, the organization of microorganisms into groups with closely related but ecologically different sub-types, is widespread and represents an important linchpin between microbial ecology and evolution. However, the drivers of microdiversification remain largely unknown. Here we show that selection promotes microdiversity in the microbiome associated with sediments in glacier-fed streams (GFS). Applying a novel phylogenetic framework, we identify several clades that are under homogeneous selection and that contain genera with higher levels of microdiversity than the rest of the genera. Overall these clades constituted ∼44% and ∼64% of community α-diversity and abundance, and…