Discerning autotrophy, mixotrophy and heterotrophy in marine TACK archaea from the North Atlantic

Lauren M. Seyler, Lora R. McGuinness, Jack A. Gilbert, Jennifer F. Biddle, Donglai Gong, Lee J. Kerkhof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


DNA stable isotope probing (SIP) was used to track the uptake of organic and inorganic carbon sources for TACK archaea (Thaumarchaeota/Aigarchaeota/Crenarchaeota/Korarchaeota) on a cruise of opportunity in the North Atlantic. Due to water limitations, duplicate samples from the deep photic (60-115 m), the mesopelagic zones (local oxygen minimum; 215-835 m) and the bathypelagic zone (2085-2835 m) were amended with various combinations of 12C- or 13C-acetate/urea/bicarbonate to assess cellular carbon acquisition. The SIP results indicated the majority of TACK archaeal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) incorporated 13C from acetate and/or urea into newly synthesized DNA within 48 h. A small fraction (16%) of the OTUs, often representing the most dominant members of the archaeal community, were able to incorporate bicarbonate in addition to organic substrates. Only two TACK archaeal OTUs were found to incorporate bicarbonate but not urea or acetate. These results further demonstrate the utility of SIP to elucidate the metabolic capability of mesothermal archaea in distinct oceanic settings and suggest that TACK archaea play a role in organic carbon recycling in the mid-depth to deep ocean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberfiy014
JournalFEMS microbiology ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


  • Heterotrophy
  • Mesopelagic
  • Mixotrophy
  • North Atlantic
  • SIP
  • TACK archaea


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