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Integrated effort to study microbial communities in YNP

Research Achievements

Integrated effort to study microbial communities in YNP

IGERT students Chris Klatt and Zack Jay lead an integrated effort to study thermophilic phototrophic microbial communities in Yellowstone National Park using metagenome sequencing and bioinformatic analyses. The project was catalyzed by synergy between the NSF Research Coordination Network focused on geothermal biology in YNP and the NSF IGERT Program in Geobiological Systems (both at MSU). The project focused on both cyanobacterial-rich communities sampled in non-sulfidic thermal channels as well as anoxygenic phototrophs found under high levels of dissolved sulfide. Several novel phototrophs were identified including a new Chlorobi lineage from circumneutral 54 C outflow channels. Results documented novel lineages within the phylum Chloroflexi, and several of these organisms are capable of both phototrophy and autotrophy at lower mat depths. The paper is included in a special issue published in Frontiers in Microbiology, focused on the systems biology of microbial mat communities.