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Seasonality Is the Main Determinant of Microbial Diversity Associated to Snow/Ice around Concordia Station on the Antarctic Polar Plateau

Stoppiello, Gerardo A. and Coleine, Claudia and Moeller, Ralf and Ripa, Caterina and Billi, Daniela and Selbmann, Laura (2023) Seasonality Is the Main Determinant of Microbial Diversity Associated to Snow/Ice around Concordia Station on the Antarctic Polar Plateau. Biology, 12 (9), p. 1193. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). doi: 10.3390/biology12091193. ISSN 2079-7737.

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biology12091193


The French–Italian Concordia Research Station, situated on the Antarctic Polar Plateau at an elevation of 3,233 meters above sea level, offers a unique opportunity to study the presence and variation of microbes introduced by abiotic or biotic vectors and, consequently, appraise the amplitude of human impact in such a pristine environment. This research built upon a previous work, which explored microbial diversity in the surface snow surrounding the Concordia Research Station. While that study successfully characterized the bacterial assemblage, detecting fungal diversity was hampered by the low DNA content. To address this knowledge gap, in the present study, we optimized the sampling by increasing ice/snow collected to leverage the final DNA yield. The V4 variable region of the 16S rDNA and Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS1) rDNA was used to evaluate bacterial and fungal diversity. From the sequencing, we obtained 3,352,661 and 4,433,595 reads clustered in 930 and 3182 amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) for fungi and bacteria, respectively. Amplicon sequencing revealed a predominance of Basidiomycota (49%) and Ascomycota (42%) in the fungal component; Bacteroidota (65.8%) is the main representative among the bacterial phyla. Basidiomycetes are almost exclusively represented by yeast-like fungi. Our findings provide the first comprehensive overview of both fungal and bacterial diversity in the Antarctic Polar Plateauʹs surface snow/ice near Concordia Station and to identify seasonality as the main driver of microbial diversity; we also detected the most sensitive microorganisms to these factors, which could serve as indicators of human impact in this pristine environment and aid in planetary protection for future exploration missions.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/197053/
Document Type:Article
Title:Seasonality Is the Main Determinant of Microbial Diversity Associated to Snow/Ice around Concordia Station on the Antarctic Polar Plateau
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Stoppiello, Gerardo A.UNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2158-3802UNSPECIFIED
Coleine, ClaudiaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9289-6179UNSPECIFIED
Moeller, RalfUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2371-0676UNSPECIFIED
Ripa, CaterinaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6001-930XUNSPECIFIED
Billi, DanielaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9363-2415UNSPECIFIED
Date:31 August 2023
Journal or Publication Title:Biology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:p. 1193
Publisher:Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Keywords:Antarctic Polar Plateau; extremophiles; life detection; fungi; bacteria; amplicon sequencing; extraterrestrial analogue
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R FR - Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project ISS LIFE 2.0
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:27 Sep 2023 10:37
Last Modified:27 Sep 2023 10:37

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