Bacteria are important dimethylsulfoniopropionate producers in coastal sediments

Williams, Beth T. ORCID:, Cowles, Kasha, Bermejo Martinez, Ana, Curson, Andrew R. J., Zheng, Yanfen, Liu, Jingli, Payne, Simone, Hind, Andrew J., Li, Chun-Yang, Rivera, Peter, Carrion, Ornella, Liu, Ji, Spurgin, Lewis G., Brearley, Charles A. ORCID:, Mackenzie, Brett Wanger, Pinchbeck, Benjamin J., Peng, Ming, Pratscher, Jennifer, Zhang, Xiao-Hua, Zhang, Yu-Zhong, Murrell, J. Colin and Todd, Jonathan D. (2019) Bacteria are important dimethylsulfoniopropionate producers in coastal sediments. Nature Microbiology, 4. pp. 1815-1825. ISSN 2058-5276

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Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) and its catabolite dimethyl sulfide (DMS) are key marine nutrients, with roles in global sulfur cycling, atmospheric chemistry, signalling and, potentially, climate regulation. DMSP production was previously thought to be an oxic and photic process, mainly confined to the surface oceans. However, here we show that DMSP concentrations and DMSP/DMS synthesis rates were higher in surface marine sediment from e.g., saltmarsh ponds, estuaries and the deep ocean than in the overlying seawater. A quarter of bacterial strains isolated from saltmarsh sediment produced DMSP (up to 73 mM), and previously unknown DMSP-producers were identified. Most DMSP-producing isolates contained dsyB, but some alphaproteobacteria, gammaproteobacteria and actinobacteria utilised a methionine methylation pathway independent of DsyB, previously only associated with higher plants. These bacteria contained a methionine methyltransferase ‘mmtN’ gene - a marker for bacterial DMSP synthesis via this pathway. DMSP-producing bacteria and their dsyB and/or mmtN transcripts were present in all tested seawater samples and Tara Oceans bacterioplankton datasets, but were far more abundant in marine surface sediment. Approximately 108 bacteria per gram of surface marine sediment are predicted to produce DMSP, and their contribution to this process should be included in future models of global DMSP production. We propose that coastal and marine sediments, which cover a large part of the Earth’s surface, are environments with high DMSP and DMS productivity, and that bacteria are important producers within them.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: dmsp,bacteria,marine,salt marsh microbiology,biogeochemical cycling,sdg 13 - climate action,sdg 14 - life below water ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/climate_action
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science > School of Chemistry (former - to 2024)
Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Environmental Biology
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Plant Sciences
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Molecular Microbiology
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Organisms and the Environment
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2019 15:30
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2024 09:58
DOI: 10.1038/s41564-019-0527-1


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