Microbiomic analysis of bacteria associated with rock tripe lichens from alpine areas in eastern Alps and equatorial Africa

He Z., Naganuma T., Nakai R., Uetake J. & Hahn M.W.
Current Microbiology
81: 115 [17 p.]
The diversity of bacteria associated with alpine lichens was profiled. Lichen samples belonging to the Umbilicariaceae family, commonly known as rock tripe lichens, were gathered from two distinct alpine fellfelds: one situated on Mt. Brennkogel located in the Eastern European Alps (Austria), and the other on Mt. Stanley located in the Rwenzori mountains of equatorial Africa (Uganda). The primary aim of this research was to undertake a comparative investigation into the bacterial compositions, and diversities, identifying potential indicators and exploring their potential metabolisms, of these lichen samples. Bulk genomic DNA was extracted from the lichen samples, which was used to amplify the 18S rRNA gene by Sanger sequencing and the V3-V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene by Illumina Miseq sequencing. Examination of the fungal partner was carried out through the analysis of 18S rRNA gene sequences, belonging to the genus Umbilicaria (Ascomycota), and the algal partner affiliated with the lineage Trebouxia (Chlorophyta), constituted the symbiotic components. Analyzing the MiSeq datasets by using bioinformatics methods, operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were established based on a predetermined similarity threshold for the V3-V4 sequences, which were assigned to a total of 26 bacterial phyla that were found in both areas. Eight of the 26 phyla, i.e. Acidobacteriota, Actinomycota, Armatimonadota, Bacteroidota, Chlorofexota, Deinococcota, Planctomycetota, and Pseudomonadota, were consistently present in all samples, each accounting for more than 1% of the total read count. Distinct differences in bacterial composition emerged between lichen samples from Austria and Uganda, with the OTU frequency-based regional indicator phyla, Pseudomonadota and Armatimonadota, respectively. Despite the considerable geographic separation of approximately 5430 km between the two regions, the prediction of potential metabolic pathways based on OTU analysis revealed similar relative abundances. This similarity is possibly influenced by comparable alpine climatic conditions prevailing in both areas.
Friday, 15 March 2024 11:08