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Ammonia‐oxidizing archaea release a suite of organic compounds potentially fueling prokaryotic heterotrophy in the ocean
Bayer, B.; Hansman, R.L.; Bittner, M.J.; Noriega-Ortega, B.E.; Niggemann, J.; Dittmar, T.; Herndl, G. (2019). Ammonia‐oxidizing archaea release a suite of organic compounds potentially fueling prokaryotic heterotrophy in the ocean. Environ. Microbiol. Early view. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.14755
In: Environmental Microbiology. Blackwell Scientific Publishers: Oxford. ISSN 1462-2912; e-ISSN 1462-2920, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Auteurs  Top 
  • Bayer, B.
  • Hansman, R.L.
  • Bittner, M.J.
  • Noriega-Ortega, B.E.
  • Niggemann, J.
  • Dittmar, T.
  • Herndl, G.

Abstract
    Ammonia‐oxidizing archaea (AOA) constitute a considerable fraction of microbial biomass in the global ocean, comprising 20%–40% of the ocean's prokaryotic plankton. However, it remains enigmatic to what extent these chemolithoautotrophic archaea release dissolved organic carbon (DOC). A combination of targeted and untargeted metabolomics was used to characterize the exometabolomes of three model AOA strains of the Nitrosopumilus genus. Our results indicate that marine AOA exude a suite of organic compounds with potentially varying reactivities, dominated by nitrogen‐containing compounds. A significant fraction of the released dissolved organic matter (DOM) consists of labile compounds, which typically limit prokaryotic heterotrophic activity in open ocean waters, including amino acids, thymidine and B vitamins. Amino acid release rates corresponded with ammonia oxidation activity and the three Nitrosopumilus strains predominantly released hydrophobic amino acids, potentially as a result of passive diffusion. Despite the low contribution of DOC released by AOA (~0.08%–1.05%) to the heterotrophic prokaryotic carbon demand, the release of physiologically relevant metabolites could be crucial for microbes that are auxotrophic for some of these compounds, including members of the globally abundant and ubiquitous SAR11 clade.

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