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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 69:101-112 (2013)  -  DOI:

Archaeal distribution and abundance in water masses of the Arctic Ocean, Pacific sector

Chie Amano-Sato1, Shohei Akiyama1, Masao Uchida2, Koji Shimada3, Motoo Utsumi1,*

1University of Tsukuba, Tennodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan
2National Institute for Environmental Studies, Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan
3Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8477, Japan
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Marine planktonic Archaea have been recently recognized as an ecologically important component of marine prokaryotic biomass in the world’s oceans. Their abundance and metabolism are closely connected with marine geochemical cycling. We evaluated the distribution of planktonic Archaea in the Pacific sector of the Arctic Ocean using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with catalyzed reporter deposition (CARD-FISH) and performed statistical analyses using data for archaeal abundance and geochemical variables. The relative abundance of Thaumarchaeota generally increased with depth, and euryarchaeal abundance was the lowest of all planktonic prokaryotes. Multiple regression analysis showed that the thaumarchaeal relative abundance was negatively correlated with ammonium and dissolved oxygen concentrations and chlorophyll fluorescence. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that archaeal distributions differed with oceanographic water masses; in particular, Thaumarchaeota were abundant from the halocline layer to deep water, where salinity was higher and most nutrients were depleted. However, at several stations on the East Siberian Sea side of the study area and along the Northwind Ridge, Thaumarchaeota and Bacteria were proportionally very abundant at the bottom in association with higher nutrient conditions. The abundance of Euryarchaeota was high (>1.0 × 105 cells ml-1) at one of our stations in the Chukchi Sea and was positively correlated with temperature and ammonium concentration, suggesting that there could be ‘hot spots’ with increased euryarchaeal abundance in the Arctic Ocean.

KEY WORDS: Arctic marine environment · Biogeographical distribution · CARD-FISH · Marine Archaea · Marine microbial ecology · Prokaryotes

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Cite this article as: Amano-Sato C, Akiyama S, Uchida M, Shimada K, Utsumi M (2013) Archaeal distribution and abundance in water masses of the Arctic Ocean, Pacific sector. Aquat Microb Ecol 69:101-112.

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