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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.02319

Taxonomic and functional differences between microbial communities in Qinghai Lake and its input streams

 ze ren1*, Fang Wang2,  Xiaodong Qu2,  James J. Elser1, Yang Liu2 and Limin Chu2
  • 1Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana, United States
  • 2China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, China

Understanding microbial communities in terms of taxon and function is essential to decipher the biogeochemical cycling in aquatic ecosystems. Lakes and their input streams are highly linked. However, the differences between microbial assemblages in streams and lakes are still unclear. In this study, we conducted an intensive field sampling of microbial communities from lake water and stream biofilms in the Qinghai Lake watershed, the largest lake in China. We determined bacterial communities using high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing and predicted functional profiles using PICRUSt to determine the taxonomic and functional differences between microbial communities in stream biofilms and lake water. The results showed that stream biofilms and lake water harbored distinct microbial communities. The microbial communities were different taxonomically and functionally between stream and lake. Moreover, streams biofilms had a microbial network with higher connectivity and modularity than lake water. Functional beta diversity was strongly correlated with taxonomic beta diversity in both the stream and lake microbial communities. Lake microbial assemblages displayed greater predicted metabolic potentials of many metabolism pathways while the microbial assemblages in stream biofilms were more abundant in xenobiotic biodegradation and metabolism and lipid metabolism. Furthermore, lake microbial assemblages had stronger predicted metabolic potentials in amino acid metabolism, carbon fixation, and photosynthesis while stream microbial assemblages were higher in carbohydrate metabolism, oxidative phosphorylation, and nitrogen metabolism. This study adds to our knowledge of stream-lake linkages from the functional and taxonomic composition of microbial assemblages.

Keywords: Co-Occurrence, functional, microbial community, stream-lake linkage, taxonomic

Received: 15 Aug 2017; Accepted: 10 Nov 2017.

Edited by:

George Tsiamis, University of Patras, Greece

Reviewed by:

Geng Wu, China University of Geosciences, China
DIMITRIS TSALTAS, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus
Jialiang Kuang, University of Oklahoma, United States  

Copyright: © 2017 ren, Wang, Qu, Elser, Liu and Chu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. ze ren, REN., University of Montana, Flathead Lake Biological Station, 32125 Bio Station Ln, 32125 Bio Station Ln, Missoula, 59860, MONTANA, United States,