Nutrient supplementation experiments on saltern microbial communities support utilization of DNA as a source of phosphorus [article]

Zhengshuang Hua, Matthew Ouellette, Andrea M Makkay, R. Thane Papke, Olga Zhaxybayeva
2020 bioRxiv   pre-print
All environments including hypersaline ones harbor measurable concentrations of dissolved extracellular DNA (eDNA) that can be utilized by microbes as a nutrient. However, it remains poorly understood which eDNA components are used, and who in a community utilizes it. For this study, we incubated a saltern microbial community with combinations of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and DNA, and tracked the community response in each microcosm treatment via 16S rRNA and rpoB gene sequencing. We show
more » ... quencing. We show that microbial communities could use DNA only as a phosphorus source, and provision of other sources of carbon and nitrogen was needed to exhibit a substantial growth. The taxonomic composition of eDNA in the water column changed with the availability of inorganic phosphorus or supplied DNA, hinting at preferential uptake of eDNA from specific organismal sources. Especially favored for growth was eDNA from the most abundant taxa, suggesting some haloarchaea prefer eDNA from closely related taxa. Additionally, microcosms' composition shifted substantially depending on the provided nutrient combinations. These shifts allowed us to predict supplemented nutrients from microbial composition with high accuracy, suggesting that nutrient availability in an environment could be assessed from a taxonomic survey of its microbial community.
doi:10.1101/2020.07.20.212662 fatcat:fvzliqg5gjhufpyhfhpfqibaei