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Moroccan lagoon microbiomes
Chaouni, B.; Idrissi Azami, A.; Essayeh, S.; Arrafiqui, E. H.; Bailal, A.; Raoui, S.; Amzazi, S.; Twaddle, A.; El Hamouti, C.; Boukhatem, N.; Timinouni, M.; El Otmani, F.; Chahboune, R.; Barrijal, S.; El Homani, A.; Nejjari, C.; Zaid, E. H.; Hamamouch, N.; Bakkali, F.; Amaral-Zettler, L.; Ghazal, H. (2022). Moroccan lagoon microbiomes. Water 14(11): 1715.
In: Water. MDPI: Basel. e-ISSN 2073-4441, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    metagenomics; marine microbiome; Moroccan lagoons; biodiversity; bioindicators

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  • Amaral-Zettler, L., meer


    Lagoons are fragile marine ecosystems that are considerably affected by anthropogenic pollutants. We performed a spatiotemporal characterization of the microbiome of two Moroccan lagoons, Marchica and Oualidia, both classified as Ramsar sites, the former on the Mediterranean coast and the latter on the Atlantic coast. We investigated their microbial diversity and abundance using 16S rRNA amplicon- and shotgun-based metagenomics approaches during the summers of 2014 and 2015. The bacterial microbiome was composed primarily of Proteobacteria (25–53%, 29–29%), Cyanobacteria (34–12%, 11–0.53%), Bacteroidetes (24–16%, 23–43%), Actinobacteria (7–11%, 13–7%), and Verrucomicrobia (4–1%, 15–14%) in Marchica and Oualidia in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Interestingly, 48 strains were newly reported in lagoon ecosystems, while eight unknown viruses were detected in Mediterranean Marchica only. Statistical analysis showed higher microbial diversity in the Atlantic lagoon than in the Mediterranean lagoon and a robust relationship between alpha diversity and geographic sampling locations. This first-ever metagenomics study on Moroccan aquatic ecosystems enriched the national catalog of marine microorganisms. They will be investigated as candidates for bioindication properties, biomonitoring potential, biotechnology valorization, biodiversity protection, and lagoon health assessment.

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