Community ecology of hot spring cyanobacterial mats: Predominant populations and their functional potential

Christian G. Klatt, Jason M. Wood, Douglas B. Rusch, Mary M. Bateson, Natsuko Hamamura, John F. Heidelberg, Arthur R. Grossman, Devaki Bhaya, Frederick M. Cohan, Michael Kühl, Donald A. Bryant, David M. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Phototrophic microbial mat communities from 60 °C and 65 °C regions in the effluent channels of Mushroom and Octopus Springs (Yellowstone National Park, WY, USA) were investigated by shotgun metagenomic sequencing. Analyses of assembled metagenomic sequences resolved six dominant chlorophototrophic populations and permitted the discovery and characterization of undescribed but predominant community members and their physiological potential. Linkage of phylogenetic marker genes and functional genes showed novel chlorophototrophic bacteria belonging to uncharacterized lineages within the order Chlorobiales and within the Kingdom Chloroflexi. The latter is the first chlorophototrophic member of Kingdom Chloroflexi that lies outside the monophyletic group of chlorophototrophs of the Order Chloroflexales. Direct comparison of unassembled metagenomic sequences to genomes of representative isolates showed extensive genetic diversity, genomic rearrangements and novel physiological potential in native populations as compared with genomic references. Synechococcus spp. metagenomic sequences showed a high degree of synteny with the reference genomes of Synechococcus spp. strains A and B′, but synteny declined with decreasing sequence relatedness to these references. There was evidence of horizontal gene transfer among native populations, but the frequency of these events was inversely proportional to phylogenetic relatedness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1262-1278
Number of pages17
JournalISME Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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