High microeukaryotic diversity in the cold-seep sediment

Xu, Zhimeng and Chen, Jiawei and Li, Yingdong and Shekarriz, Erfan and Wu, Wenxue and Chen, Bingzhang and Liu, Hongbin (2023) High microeukaryotic diversity in the cold-seep sediment. Microbial Ecology. ISSN 1432-184X (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00248-023-02212-y)

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Microeukaryotic diversity, community structure, and their regulating mechanisms remain largely unclear in chemosynthetic ecosystems. Here, using high-throughput sequencing data of 18S rRNA genes, we explored microeukaryotic communities from the Haima cold seep in the northern South China Sea. We compared three distinct habitats: active, less active, and non-seep regions, with vertical layers (0-25 cm) from sediment cores. The results showed that seep regions harbored more abundant and diverse parasitic microeukaryotes (e.g., Apicomplexa and Syndiniales) as indicator species, compared to nearby non-seep region. Microeukaryotic community heterogeneity was larger between habitats than within habitat, and greatly increased when considering molecular phylogeny, suggesting the local diversification in cold-seep sediments. Microeukaryotic α-diversity at cold seeps was positively increased by metazoan richness and dispersal rate of microeukaryotes, while its β-diversity was promoted by heterogeneous selection mainly from metazoan communities (as potential hosts). Their combined effects led to the significant higher γ-diversity (i.e., total diversity in a region) at cold seeps than non-seep regions, suggesting cold-seep sediment as a hotspot for microeukaryotic diversity. Our study highlights the importance of microeukaryotic parasitism in cold-seep sediment and has implications for the roles of cold seep in maintaining and promoting marine biodiversity.


Xu, Zhimeng, Chen, Jiawei, Li, Yingdong, Shekarriz, Erfan, Wu, Wenxue, Chen, Bingzhang ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1573-7473 and Liu, Hongbin;