Searching for signatures across microbial communities: Metagenomic analysis of soil samples from mangrove and other ecosystems
Wattam, Alice R.
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In this study, we categorize the microbial community in mangrove sediment samples from four different locations within a vast mangrove system in Kerala, India. We compared this data to other samples taken from the other known mangrove data, a tropical rainforest, and ocean sediment. An examination of the microbial communities from a large mangrove forest that stretches across southwestern India showed strong similarities across the higher taxonomic levels. When ocean sediment and a single isolate from a tropical rain forest were included in the analysis, a strong pattern emerged with Bacteria from the phylum Proteobacteria being the prominent taxon among the forest samples. The ocean samples were predominantly Archaea, with Euryarchaeota as the dominant phylum. Principal component and functional analyses grouped the samples isolated from forests, including those from disparate mangrove forests and the tropical rain forest, from the ocean. Our findings show similar patterns in samples were isolated from forests, and these were distinct from the ocean sediment isolates. The taxonomic structure was maintained to the level of class, and functional analysis of the genes present also displayed these similarities. Our report for the first time shows the richness of microbial diversity in the Kerala coast and its differences with tropical rain forest and ocean microbiome.