Diuron tolerance and potential degradation by pelagic microbiomes in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon

Angly, Florent E., Pantos, Olga, Morgan, Thomas C., Rich, Virginia, Tonin, Hemerson, Bourne, David G., Mercurio, Philip, Negri, Andrew P., and Tyson, Gene W. (2016) Diuron tolerance and potential degradation by pelagic microbiomes in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. PeerJ, 4. pp. 1-23.

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Abstract

Diuron is a herbicide commonly used in agricultural areas where excess application causes it to leach into rivers, reach sensitive marine environments like the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) lagoon and pose risks to marine life. To investigate the impact of diuron on whole prokaryotic communities that underpin the marine food web and are integral to coral reef health, GBR lagoon water was incubated with diuron at environmentally-relevant concentration (8 µg/L), and sequenced at specific time points over the following year. 16S rRNA gene amplicon profiling revealed no significant short- or long-term effect of diuron on microbiome structure. The relative abundance of prokaryotic phototrophs was not significantly altered by diuron, which suggests that they were largely tolerant at this concentration. Assembly of a metagenome derived from waters sampled at a similar location in the GBR lagoon did not reveal the presence of mutations in the cyanobacterial photosystem that could explain diuron tolerance. However, resident phages displayed several variants of this gene and could potentially play a role in tolerance acquisition. Slow biodegradation of diuron was reported in the incubation flasks, but no correlation with the relative abundance of heterotrophs was evident. Analysis of metagenomic reads supports the hypothesis that previously uncharacterized hydrolases carried by low-abundance species may mediate herbicide degradation in the GBR lagoon. Overall, this study offers evidence that pelagic phototrophs of the GBR lagoon may be more tolerant of diuron than other tropical organisms, and that heterotrophs in the microbial seed bank may have the potential to degrade diuron and alleviate local anthropogenic stresses to inshore GBR ecosystems.

Item ID: 47928
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: diuron; Great Barrier Reef; amplicon profiling; metagenomics; herbicide; incubation
Additional Information:

Copyright 2016 Angly et al. Distributed under Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0

ISSN: 2167-8359
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), National Environmental Research Program Tropical Ecosystems Hub (NERP-TEH)
Projects and Grants: ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award #DE120101213, ARC Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship #DP1093175, NERP-TEH Project 4.2
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2017 01:37
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060504 Microbial Ecology @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060503 Microbial Genetics @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 50%
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