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Influence des communautés microbiennes sédimentaires sur la répartition faunistique dans les sites hydrothermaux et les zones d'émissions de fluides froids du bassin de Guaymas

Abstract : Whereas the deep-sea environment is often considered to be a desert, hydrothermal vents andcold seeps provide “oases” of biological activity on the ocean floor. Vent and seep ecosystems support complex food webs based on microbial chemoautotrophic primary production. These hydrothermal vent and cold seeps ecosystems both release hydrocarbon- and sulfide-rich fluids,fueling various surface assemblages such as mat-forming giant bacteria or symbiont-bearinginvertebrates (e.g. bivalves, tubeworms). In the Guaymas Basin, the nearby presence at a few tens of kilometers of cold seeps and hydrothermal vents coupled with comparable sedimentary settings and depths offer a unique opportunity to assess and compare the microbial community composition of these ecosystems. Tobetter understand their overall functioning, we studied sedimentary microbial communities associated with cold seep and hydrothermal vent areas in the Guaymas Basin. The diversity of microbial communities inhabiting sediments was studied using high throughput sequencing (454pyrosequencing), combined with complementary approaches, such as FISH and quantitative PCR. This study reveals that sediments found in the Guaymas Basin were colonized by microbial communities typically found in these types of ecosystems. Our results revealed a high similarity between microbial communities composition associated with the cold seep and hydrothermal vent areas as a probable consequence of the sedimentary context. Nonetheless, thermophilic and hyperthermophilic lineages (e.g.: Thermodesulfobacteria, Desulfurococcales, etc) were exclusively identified in hydrothermally influenced sediments highlighting the strong influence of temperature gradients and other hydrothermally-related factors on microbial community composition. Furthermore, sediments populated by different surface assemblages show distinct porewater geochemistry features and are associated with distinct microbial communities. Indeed, in the sediments underlying microbial mats characterized by high methane porewater concentrations,microbial communities were dominated by anaerobic methane oxidizers (ANME), known to produce sulfide which provides high fluxes of sulfide to the seafloor. In contrast, sediment associated microbial communities underlying faunal assemblages were characterized by a lower biomass and lower methane porewater concentrations in sediments, limiting porewater sulfide concentrations. Without elevated and toxic sulfide concentrations, faunal assemblages can colonize the surface. Together, geochemical and microbial surveys indicate that porewater methane concentrations play an important role in the microbial community structure and subsequently in the establishment of the surface colonizers. Furthermore, presence and activity of the surface colonizers influence the underlying microbial communities probably because of modification of energy source availabilities. Finally, the existence of similar microbial populations between the two ecosystems also raises the question of their dispersal mechanisms. Our results support the hypothesis of a potential continuity among deep-sea ecosystems. In absence of physical borders, environmental conditions (temperature, specific compounds associated withhydrothermal fluids) might select specific and highly adapted microorganisms from the pool of microorganisms dispersed globally across the seafloor.
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Perrine Cruaud. Influence des communautés microbiennes sédimentaires sur la répartition faunistique dans les sites hydrothermaux et les zones d'émissions de fluides froids du bassin de Guaymas. Microbiologie et Parasitologie. Université de Bretagne occidentale - Brest, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014BRES0059⟩. ⟨tel-02111535⟩

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