Abundance and Co-Distribution of Widespread Marine Archaeal Lineages in Surface Sediments of Freshwater Water Bodies across the Iberian Peninsula

Sergi Compte-Port, Jèssica Subirats, Mireia Fillol, Alexandre Sànchez-Melsió, Rafael Marcé, Pedro Rivas-Ruiz, Antoni Rosell-Melé, Carles M. Borrego

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10 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Archaea inhabiting marine and freshwater sediments have a relevant role in organic carbon mineralization, affecting carbon fluxes at a global scale. Despite current evidences suggesting that freshwater sediments largely contribute to this process, few large-scale surveys have been addressed to uncover archaeal diversity and abundance in freshwater sedimentary habitats. In this work, we quantified and high-throughput sequenced the archaeal 16S rRNA gene from surficial sediments collected in 21 inland waterbodies across the Iberian Peninsula differing in typology and trophic status. Whereas methanogenic groups were dominant in most of the studied systems, especially in organic-rich sediments, archaea affiliated to widespread marine lineages (the Bathyarchaeota and the Thermoplasmata) were also ubiquitous and particularly abundant in euxinic sediments. In these systems, Bathyarchaeota communities were dominated by subgroups Bathyarchaeota-6 (87.95 ± 12.71%) and Bathyarchaeota-15 (8.17 ± 9.2%) whereas communities of Thermoplasmata were mainly composed of members of the order Thermoplasmatales. Our results also indicate that Archaea accounted for a minor fraction of sedimentary prokaryotes despite remarkable exceptions in reservoirs and some stratified lakes. Copy numbers of archaeal and bathyarchaeotal 16S rRNA genes were significantly different when compared according to system type (i.e., lakes, ponds, and reservoirs), but no differences were obtained when compared according to their trophic status (from oligotrophy to eutrophy). Interestingly, we obtained significant correlations between the abundance of reads (Spearman r = 0.5, p = 0.021) and OTU richness (Spearman r = 0.677, p < 0.001) of Bathyarchaeota and Thermoplasmata across systems, reinforcing the hypothesis of a potential syntrophic interaction between members of both lineages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-787
JournalMicrobial Ecology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Bathyarchaeota
  • Euxinic sediments
  • Thermoplasmata
  • Uncultured archaea


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