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Modeling selective pressures on phytoplankton in the global ocean

Bragg, Jason G.; Dutkiewicz, Stephanie; Jahn, Oliver; Follows, Michael J.; Chisholm, Sallie W.

Description

Our view of marine microbes is transforming, as culture-independent methods facilitate rapid characterization of microbial diversity. It is difficult to assimilate this information into our understanding of marine microbe ecology and evolution, because their distributions, traits, and genomes are shaped by forces that are complex and dynamic. Here we incorporate diverse forces--physical, biogeochemical, ecological, and mutational--into a global ocean model to study selective pressures on a...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorBragg, Jason G.
dc.contributor.authorDutkiewicz, Stephanie
dc.contributor.authorJahn, Oliver
dc.contributor.authorFollows, Michael J.
dc.contributor.authorChisholm, Sallie W.
dc.date.accessioned2015-10-28T01:43:29Z
dc.date.available2015-10-28T01:43:29Z
dc.identifier.issn1932-6203
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/16146
dc.description.abstractOur view of marine microbes is transforming, as culture-independent methods facilitate rapid characterization of microbial diversity. It is difficult to assimilate this information into our understanding of marine microbe ecology and evolution, because their distributions, traits, and genomes are shaped by forces that are complex and dynamic. Here we incorporate diverse forces--physical, biogeochemical, ecological, and mutational--into a global ocean model to study selective pressures on a simple trait in a widely distributed lineage of picophytoplankton: the nitrogen use abilities of Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus cyanobacteria. Some Prochlorococcus ecotypes have lost the ability to use nitrate, whereas their close relatives, marine Synechococcus, typically retain it. We impose mutations for the loss of nitrogen use abilities in modeled picophytoplankton, and ask: in which parts of the ocean are mutants most disadvantaged by losing the ability to use nitrate, and in which parts are they least disadvantaged? Our model predicts that this selective disadvantage is smallest for picophytoplankton that live in tropical regions where Prochlorococcus are abundant in the real ocean. Conversely, the selective disadvantage of losing the ability to use nitrate is larger for modeled picophytoplankton that live at higher latitudes, where Synechococcus are abundant. In regions where we expect Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus populations to cycle seasonally in the real ocean, we find that model ecotypes with seasonal population dynamics similar to Prochlorococcus are less disadvantaged by losing the ability to use nitrate than model ecotypes with seasonal population dynamics similar to Synechococcus. The model predictions for the selective advantage associated with nitrate use are broadly consistent with the distribution of this ability among marine picocyanobacteria, and at finer scales, can provide insights into interactions between temporally varying ocean processes and selective pressures that may be difficult or impossible to study by other means. More generally, and perhaps more importantly, this study introduces an approach for testing hypotheses about the processes that underlie genetic variation among marine microbes, embedded in the dynamic physical, chemical, and biological forces that generate and shape this diversity.
dc.description.sponsorshipThis work was supported in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foudation, the United States Department of Energy, and the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education and Biological Oceanography Programs of the United States National Science Foundation.
dc.format6 pages
dc.publisherPublic Library of Science
dc.rights© 2010 Bragg et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
dc.sourcePLoS ONE
dc.subjectecology
dc.subjectgene expression regulation, bacterial
dc.subjectgenome
dc.subjectgenome, bacterial
dc.subjectmodels, biological
dc.subjectnitrates
dc.subjectnitrogen
dc.subjectoceans and seas
dc.subjectphytoplankton
dc.subjectseasons
dc.subjectsynechococcus
dc.subjecttime factors
dc.titleModeling selective pressures on phytoplankton in the global ocean
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume5
dcterms.dateAccepted2010-02-07
dc.date.issued2010-03-10
local.identifier.absfor060303
local.identifier.ariespublicationU3488905xPUB979
local.publisher.urlhttps://www.plos.org/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationBragg, Jason, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, CMBE Research School of Biology, Division of Evolution, Ecology & Genetics, The Australian National University
local.contributor.affiliationDutkiewicz, Stephanie, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States of America
local.contributor.affiliationJahn, Oliver, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States of America
local.contributor.affiliationFollows, Michael J., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States of America
local.contributor.affiliationChisholm, Sallie W., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States of America
local.identifier.essn1932-6203
local.bibliographicCitation.issue3
local.bibliographicCitation.startpagee9569
local.identifier.doi10.1371/journal.pone.0009569
local.identifier.absseo960805
dc.date.updated2015-12-10T09:45:51Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-77949702394
local.identifier.thomsonID000275328800010
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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