Millimeter-scale genetic gradients and community-level molecular convergence in a hypersaline microbial mat
Kunin, Victor × Raes, Jeroen Harris, J Kirk Spear, John R Walker, Jeffrey J Ivanova, Natalia von Mering, Christian Bebout, Brad M Pace, Norman R Bork, Peer Hugenholtz, Philip #
Nature Pub. Group
Molecular Systems Biology vol:4 pages:198
To investigate the extent of genetic stratification in structured microbial communities, we compared the metagenomes of 10 successive layers of a phylogenetically complex hypersaline mat from Guerrero Negro, Mexico. We found pronounced millimeter-scale genetic gradients that were consistent with the physicochemical profile of the mat. Despite these gradients, all layers displayed near-identical and acid-shifted isoelectric point profiles due to a molecular convergence of amino-acid usage, indicating that hypersalinity enforces an overriding selective pressure on the mat community.