Diversity and predictive metabolic pathways of the prokaryotic microbial community along a groundwater salinity gradient of the Pearl River Delta, ... View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2018-11-23

AUTHORS

Shilei Sang, Xiaoying Zhang, Heng Dai, Bill X. Hu, Hao Ou, Liwei Sun

ABSTRACT

Almost half of the groundwater in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) contains salt water originally derived from paleo-seawater due to the Holocene transgression, which then generates intense physicochemical gradients in the mixing zone between freshwater and saltwater. Although some studies have been conducted on the hydrological and geochemical characteristics of groundwater in the PRD to monitor the intrusion of seawater, little attention has been paid to the microbial community of this particular region. In this study, we implemented a high-throughput sequencing analysis to characterize the microbial communities along a salinity gradient in the PRD aquifer, China. Our results indicated that the microbial community composition varied significantly depending on the salinity of the aquifer. The presence of abundant anaerobic microorganisms of the genera Desulfovibrio and Methanococcus in certain saltwater samples may be responsible for the gas generation of H2S and CH4 in the stratum. In saline water samples (TDS > 10 g/L), the linear discriminant analysis effect size (LEfSe) analysis found two biomarkers that usually live in marine environments, and the aquifers of the PRD still contained large quantity of saltwater, indicating that the impact of the paleo-seawater has lasted to this day. The predictive metagenomic analysis revealed that the metabolic pathways present in the groundwater samples studied, included the degradation of pesticides and refractory organics (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), atrazine and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), matter cycling (methane, nitrogen and sulfur), and inorganic ion and mineral metabolites. This study can help enhance our understanding of the composition of the microbial assemblages and its implications as an environmental indicator in an aquifer affected by saltwater intrusion. More... »

PAGES

17317

References to SciGraph publications

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  • <error retrieving object. in <ERROR RETRIEVING OBJECT
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    35 schema:description Almost half of the groundwater in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) contains salt water originally derived from paleo-seawater due to the Holocene transgression, which then generates intense physicochemical gradients in the mixing zone between freshwater and saltwater. Although some studies have been conducted on the hydrological and geochemical characteristics of groundwater in the PRD to monitor the intrusion of seawater, little attention has been paid to the microbial community of this particular region. In this study, we implemented a high-throughput sequencing analysis to characterize the microbial communities along a salinity gradient in the PRD aquifer, China. Our results indicated that the microbial community composition varied significantly depending on the salinity of the aquifer. The presence of abundant anaerobic microorganisms of the genera Desulfovibrio and Methanococcus in certain saltwater samples may be responsible for the gas generation of H<sub>2</sub>S and CH<sub>4</sub> in the stratum. In saline water samples (TDS &gt; 10 g/L), the linear discriminant analysis effect size (LEfSe) analysis found two biomarkers that usually live in marine environments, and the aquifers of the PRD still contained large quantity of saltwater, indicating that the impact of the paleo-seawater has lasted to this day. The predictive metagenomic analysis revealed that the metabolic pathways present in the groundwater samples studied, included the degradation of pesticides and refractory organics (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), atrazine and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), matter cycling (methane, nitrogen and sulfur), and inorganic ion and mineral metabolites. This study can help enhance our understanding of the composition of the microbial assemblages and its implications as an environmental indicator in an aquifer affected by saltwater intrusion.
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    44 Desulfovibrio
    45 Holocene transgression
    46 Methanococcus
    47 PRD aquifer
    48 Pearl River Delta
    49 Predictive metagenomic analysis
    50 River Delta
    51 abundant anaerobic microorganisms
    52 anaerobic microorganisms
    53 analysis
    54 analysis effect size (LEfSe) analysis
    55 aquifer
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    60 characteristics
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    70 diversity
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    88 inorganic ions
    89 intense physicochemical gradients
    90 intrusion
    91 intrusion of seawater
    92 ions
    93 large quantities
    94 linear discriminant analysis effect size analysis
    95 little attention
    96 marine environment
    97 matter cycling
    98 metabolic pathways
    99 metabolites
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    101 microbial assemblages
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