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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bgd-12-13483-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bgd-12-13483-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 20 Aug 2015

Research article | 20 Aug 2015

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

Protist communities in a marine oxygen minimum zone off Costa Rica by 454 pyrosequencing

H. Jing1,2, E. Rocke1, L. Kong1, X. Xia1, H. Liu1, and M. R. Landry3 H. Jing et al.
  • 1Division of Life Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, China
  • 2Sanya Institute of Deep-Sea Science and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Sanya 572000, China
  • 3Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA

Abstract. Marine planktonic protists, including microalgae and protistan grazers, are an important contributor to global primary production and carbon and mineral cycles, however, little is known about their population shifts along the oxic-anoxic gradient in the water column. We used 454 pyrosequencing of the 18S rRNA gene and gene transcripts to study the community composition of whole and active protists throughout a water column in the Costa Rica Dome, where a stable oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) exists at a depth of 400~700 m. A clear shift of protist composition from photosynthetic Dinoflagellates in the surface to potential parasitic Dinoflagellates and Ciliates in the deeper water was revealed along the vertical profile at both rRNA and rDNA levels. Those protist groups recovered only at the rDNA level represent either lysed aggregates sinking from the upper waters or potential hosts for parasitic groups. UPGMA clustering demonstrated that total and active protists in the anoxic core of OMZ (550 m) were distinct from those in other water depths. The reduced community diversity and presence of a parasitic/symbiotic trophic lifestyle in the OMZ, especially the anoxic core, suggests that OMZs can exert a selective pressure on protist communities. Such changes in community structure and a shift in trophic lifestyle could result in a modulation of the microbial loop and associated biogeochemical cycling.

H. Jing et al.
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Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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H. Jing et al.
H. Jing et al.
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Short summary
Photosynthetic Dinoflagellates predominated in the surface, while potential parasitic Dinoflagellates and Ciliates dominated in the OMZ and deeper water in Costa Rica Dome. Total and active protists in the anoxic core were distinct from those in others depths. Reduced community diversity and presence of parasitic/symbiotic trophic lifestyles in the suboxic/anoxic OMZ suggests that oxygen deficiency could cause a change of protist community and the associated microbial food web as well.
Photosynthetic Dinoflagellates predominated in the surface, while potential parasitic...
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