Bacterial communities in a tar-contaminated lake sediment
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Organic anthropogenic pollutants, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are widespread in nature and even low concentrations can be harmful for many organisms. To assess if also microbiota residing in freshwater sediments respond to such contaminants a lake sediment adjacent to the former discharge of a factory that conducted tar distillation in the early 20th century in central Sweden were studied. We compared the bacterial community composition (BCC) at sites affected by high tar loads to BCC in a linked, but pristine sediment, and a downstream site that is likely influenced by regular diffusive loads of PAHs. PAH and VOC (Volatile Organic Carbon) concentrations were analyzed whereas sediment aliquots were used for molecular identification of the local BCC. Here we took the opportunity to compare the bacteria abundance-data retrieved from two distinct approaches; two OTU tables were generated based on either paired-end MiSeq Illumina 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing or direct HiSeq Illumina-based metagenome sequencing of sediment DNA extracts. Both methods revealed that the high PAH loads adjacent to the tar factory significantly alters the BCC compared to the less affected sites, even though they both partly result in contrasting outcome. The highly contaminated sediments hosted a bacterial community that was low in richness, featuring taxa known to colonize habitats with high PAH loads. For instance the relative abundance of Sphingomonadales and Burkhoderiales, both orders, within the phylum Proteobacteria, increased relative to the pristine site as well as Acidimicrobiales, one subclass of Actinobacteria. Interestingly the sediment downstream of the former factory outlet was colonized by bacteria which were very similar in community composition to the pristine site upstream of the factory outlet, implying a capacity of the natural sediment microbiota to cope with low levels of PAH contamination.
Research subject Biology with specialization in Microbiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-229140OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-229140DiVA: diva2:735859