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Bowman, JS, Berthiaume CT, Armbrust EV, Deming JW.  2014.  The genetic potential for key biogeochemical processes in Arctic frost flowers and young sea ice revealed by metagenomic analysis. FEMS microbiology ecology. 89:376–387.   10.1111/1574-6941.12331   AbstractWebsite

Newly formed sea ice is a vast and biogeochemically active environment. Recently we reported an unusual microbial community dominated by members of the Rhizobiales in frost flowers at the surface of Arctic young sea ice based on the presence of 16S gene sequences related to these strains. Here we use metagenomic analysis of two samples, from a field of frost flowers and the underlying young sea ice, to explore the metabolic potential of this surface ice community. The analysis links genes for key biogeochemical processes to the Rhizobiales, including dimethylsulfide uptake, betaine glycine turnover, and halocarbon production. Nodulation and nitrogen fixation genes characteristic of terrestrial root-nodulating Rhizobiales were generally lacking from these metagenomes. Non-Rhizobiales clades at the ice surface had genes that would enable additional biogeochemical processes, including mercury reduction and dimethylsulfoniopropionate catabolism. Although the ultimate source of the observed microbial community is not known, considerations of the possible role of aeolian deposition or transport with particles entrained during ice formation favor a suspended particle source for this microbial community. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.