Deep-sea plastisphere: long-term colonization by plastic-associated bacterial and archaeal communities in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean

Agostini, Luana, Moreira, Julio Cezar Fornazier, Bendia, Amanda Goncalves, Kmit, Maria Carolina Pezzo, Waters, Linda Gwen, Santana, Marina Ferreira Mourão, Sumida, Paulo Yukio Gomes, Turra, Alexander, and Pellizari, Vivian Helena (2021) Deep-sea plastisphere: long-term colonization by plastic-associated bacterial and archaeal communities in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean. Science of the Total Environment, 793. 148335.

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Marine plastic pollution is a global concern because of continuous release into the oceans over the last several decades. Although recent studies have made efforts to characterize the so-called plastisphere, or microbial community inhabiting plastic substrates, it is not clear whether the plastisphere is defined as a core community or as a random attachment of microbial cells. Likewise, little is known about the influence of the deep-sea environment on the plastisphere. In our experimental study, we evaluated the microbial colonization on polypropylene pellets and two types of plastic bags: regular high density polyethylene (HDPE) and HDPE with the oxo-biodegradable additive BDA. Gravel was used as control. Samples were deployed at three sites at 3300 m depth in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean and left for microbial colonization for 719 days. For microbial communities analysis, DNA was extracted from the biofilm on plastic and gravel substrates, and then the 16S rRNA was sequenced through the Illumina Miseq platform. Cultivation was performed to isolate strains from the plastic and gravel substrates. Substrate type strongly influenced the microbial composition and structure, while no difference between sites was detected. Although several taxa were shared among plastics, we observed some groups specific for each plastic substrate. These communities comprised taxa previously reported from both epipelagic zones and deep-sea benthic ecosystems. The core microbiome (microbial taxa shared by all plastic substrates) was exclusively composed by low abundance taxa, with some members well-described in the plastisphere and with known plastic-degradation capabilities. Additionally, we obtained bacterial strains that have been previously reported inhabiting plastic substrates and/or degrading hydrocarbon compounds, which corroborates our metabarcoding data and suggests the presence of microbial members potentially active and involved with degradation of these plastics in the deep sea.

Item ID: 72292
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-1026
Keywords: Core microbiome, Microbial colonization, Plastics, 16S rRNA
Copyright Information: © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 13:04
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