Herndl Gerhard J.

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Gerhard J.

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  • Preprint
    Biogeochemical relationships between ultrafiltered dissolved organic matter and picoplankton activity in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea
    ( 2009-12-10) Meador, Travis B. ; Gogou, Alexandra ; Spyres, Georgina ; Herndl, Gerhard J. ; Krasakopoulou, Evangelia ; Psarra, Stella ; Yokokawa, Taichi ; De Corte, Daniele ; Zervakis, Vassilis ; Repeta, Daniel J.
    We targeted the warm, subsurface waters of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS) to investigate processes that are linked to the chemical composition and cycling of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in seawater. The apparent respiration of semi-labile DOC accounted for 27 ± 18% of oxygen consumption in EMS mesopelagic and bathypelagic waters; this value is higher than that observed in the bathypelagic open ocean, so the chemical signals that accompany remineralization of DOC may thus be more pronounced in this region. Ultrafiltered dissolved organic matter (UDOM) collected from four deep basins at depths ranging from 2 to 4350 m exhibited bulk chemical (1H-NMR) and molecular level (amino acid and monosaccharide) abundances, composition, and spatial distribution that were similar to previous reports, except for a sample collected in the deep waters of the N. Aegean Sea that had been isolated for over a decade. The amino acid component of UDOM was tightly correlated with apparent oxygen utilization and prokaryotic activity, indicating its relationship with remineralization processes that occur over a large range of timescales. Principal component analyses of relative mole percentages of monomers revealed that oxygen consumption and prokaryotic activity were correlated with variability in amino acid distributions but not well correlated with monosaccharide distributions. Taken together, this study elucidates key relationships between the chemical composition of DOM and heterotrophic metabolism.
  • Article
    Diversity of Archaea and detection of crenarchaeotal amoA genes in the rivers Rhine and Têt
    (Inter-Research, 2009-04-28) Herfort, Lydie ; Kim, Jung-Hyun ; Coolen, Marco J. L. ; Abbas, Ben ; Schouten, Stefan ; Herndl, Gerhard J. ; Sinninghe Damste, Jaap S.
    Pelagic archaeal phylogenetic diversity and the potential for crenarchaeotal nitrification of Group 1.1a were determined in the rivers Rhine and Têt by 16S rRNA sequencing, catalyzed reported deposition-fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARD–FISH) and quantification of 16S rRNA and functional genes. Euryarchaeota were, for the first time, detected in temperate river water even though a net predominance of crenarchaeotal phylotypes was found. Differences in phylogenic distribution were observed between rivers and seasons. Our data suggest that a few archaeal phylotypes (Euryarchaeota Groups RC-V and LDS, Crenarchaeota Group 1.1a) are widely distributed in pelagic riverine environments whilst others (Euryarchaeota Cluster Sagma-1) may only occur seasonally in river water. Crenarchaeota Group 1.1a has recently been identified as a major nitrifier in the marine environment and phylotypes of this group were also present in both rivers, where they represented 0.3% of the total pelagic microbial community. Interestingly, a generally higher abundance of Crenarchaeota Group 1.1a was found in the Rhine than in the Têt, and crenarchaeotal ammonia monooxygenase gene (amoA) was also detected in the Rhine, with higher amoA copy numbers measured in February than in September. This suggests that some of the Crenarchaeota present in river waters have the ability to oxidize ammonia and that riverine crenarchaeotal nitrification of Group 1.1a may vary seasonally.
  • Article
    Towards integrating evolution, metabolism, and climate change studies of marine ecosystems
    (Elsevier, 2019-07-24) Baltar, Federico ; Bayer, Barbara ; Bednarsek, Nina ; Deppeler, Stacy ; Escribano, Ruben ; Gonzalez, Carolina E. ; Hansman, Roberta L. ; Mishra, Rajani Kanta ; Moran, Mary Ann ; Repeta, Daniel J. ; Robinson, Carol ; Sintes, Eva ; Tamburini, Christian ; Valentin, Luis E. ; Herndl, Gerhard J.
    Global environmental changes are challenging the structure and functioning of ecosystems. However, a mechanistic understanding of how global environmental changes will affect ecosystems is still lacking. The complex and interacting biological and physical processes spanning vast temporal and spatial scales that constitute an ecosystem make this a formidable problem. A unifying framework based on ecological theory, that considers fundamental and realized niches, combined with metabolic, evolutionary, and climate change studies, is needed to provide the mechanistic understanding required to evaluate and forecast the future of marine communities, ecosystems, and their services.
  • Article
    Towards a better understanding of microbial carbon flux in the sea
    (Inter-Research, 2008-09-18) Gasol, Josep M. ; Pinhassi, Jarone ; Alonso-Saez, Laura ; Ducklow, Hugh W. ; Herndl, Gerhard J. ; Koblizek, Michal ; Labrenz, Matthias ; Luo, Ya-Wei ; Moran, Xose Anxelu G. ; Reinthaler, Thomas ; Simon, Meinhard
    We now have a relatively good idea of how bulk microbial processes shape the cycling of organic matter and nutrients in the sea. The advent of the molecular biology era in microbial ecology has resulted in advanced knowledge about the diversity of marine microorganisms, suggesting that we might have reached a high level of understanding of carbon fluxes in the oceans. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that there are large gaps in the understanding of the role of bacteria in regulating carbon fluxes. These gaps may result from methodological as well as conceptual limitations. For example, should bacterial production be measured in the light? Can bacterial production conversion factors be predicted, and how are they affected by loss of tracers through respiration? Is it true that respiration is relatively constant compared to production? How can accurate measures of bacterial growth efficiency be obtained? In this paper, we discuss whether such questions could (or should) be addressed. Ongoing genome analyses are rapidly widening our understanding of possible metabolic pathways and cellular adaptations used by marine bacteria in their quest for resources and struggle for survival (e.g. utilization of light, acquisition of nutrients, predator avoidance, etc.). Further, analyses of the identity of bacteria using molecular markers (e.g. subgroups of Bacteria and Archaea) combined with activity tracers might bring knowledge to a higher level. Since bacterial growth (and thereby consumption of DOC and inorganic nutrients) is likely regulated differently in different bacteria, it will be critical to learn about the life strategies of the key bacterial species to achieve a comprehensive understanding of bacterial regulation of C fluxes. Finally, some processes known to occur in the microbial food web are hardly ever characterized and are not represented in current food web models. We discuss these issues and offer specific comments and advice for future research agendas.
  • Preprint
    Archaeal nitrification in the ocean
    ( 2006-01-30) Wuchter, Cornelia ; Abbas, Ben ; Coolen, Marco J. L. ; Herfort, Lydie ; van Bleijswijk, Judith ; Timmers, Peer ; Strous, Marc ; Teira, Eva ; Herndl, Gerhard J. ; Middelburg, Jack J. ; Schouten, Stefan ; Sinninghe Damste, Jaap S.
    Marine Crenarchaeota are the most abundant single group of prokaryotes in the ocean but their physiology and role in marine biogeochemical cycles are unknown. Recently, a member of this clade was isolated from a sea aquarium and shown to be capable of nitrification, tentatively suggesting that they may play a role in the oceanic nitrogen cycle. We enriched a crenarchaeote from North Sea water and show that it oxidizes ammonium to nitrite. A time series study in the North Sea revealed that the abundance of the gene encoding for the archaeal ammonia monooxygenase alfa subunit (amoA) is correlated with the decline in ammonium concentrations and with the abundance of Crenarcheota. Remarkably, the archaeal amoA abundance was 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than those of bacterial nitrifiers which are commonly thought to mediate the oxidation of ammonium to nitrite in marine environments. Analysis of Atlantic waters of the upper 1000 m, where most of the ammonium regeneration and oxidation takes place, showed that crenarchaeotal amoA copy numbers are also one to three orders of magnitude higher than those of bacterial amoA. Our data thus suggest a major role for Archaea in oceanic nitrification.
  • Article
    Editorial: the oceanic particle flux and its cycling within the deep water column
    (Frontiers Media, 2022-09-09) Conte, Maureen H. ; Pedrosa-Pamies, Rut ; Honda, Makio C. ; Herndl, Gerhard J.
    The oceanic particle flux transfers energy and material from the surface through the water column to the seafloor. (See review by Conte (2019) and references therein). The particle flux fuels life below the sunlit photic zone, exerts a major control on the global cycling of carbon and particle-associated elements, and also plays a major role in long-term carbon sequestration. In this Research Topic we present a collection of articles that provide a broad overview of current research on the interlinked processes controlling the magnitude and composition of the oceanic particle flux, and its cycling and depth attenuation within the deep water column.
  • Article
    Hiding in plain sight: the globally distributed bacterial candidate phylum PAUC34f
    (Frontiers Media, 2020-03-12) Chen, Michael L. ; Becraft, Eric D. ; Pachiadaki, Maria G. ; Brown, Julia M. ; Jarett, Jessica K. ; Gasol, Josep M. ; Ravin, Nikolai V. ; Moser, Duane P. ; Nunoura, Takuro ; Herndl, Gerhard J. ; Woyke, Tanja ; Stepanauskas, Ramunas
    Bacterial candidate phylum PAUC34f was originally discovered in marine sponges and is widely considered to be composed of sponge symbionts. Here, we report 21 single amplified genomes (SAGs) of PAUC34f from a variety of environments, including the dark ocean, lake sediments, and a terrestrial aquifer. The diverse origins of the SAGs and the results of metagenome fragment recruitment suggest that some PAUC34f lineages represent relatively abundant, free-living cells in environments other than sponge microbiomes, including the deep ocean. Both phylogenetic and biogeographic patterns, as well as genome content analyses suggest that PAUC34f associations with hosts evolved independently multiple times, while free-living lineages of PAUC34f are distinct and relatively abundant in a wide range of environments.