Globally emitted contaminants accumulate in the Arctic and are stored in the frozen environments ... Read more
Globally emitted contaminants accumulate in the Arctic and are stored in the frozen environments of the cryosphere. Climate change influences the release of these contaminants through elevated melt rates, resulting in increased contamination locally. Our understanding of how biological processes interact with contamination in the Arctic is limited. Through shotgun metagenomic data and binned genomes from metagenomes we show that microbial communities, sampled from multiple surface ice locations on the Greenland ice sheet, have the potential for resistance to and degradation of contaminants. The microbial potential to degrade anthropogenic contaminants, such as toxic and persistent polychlorinated biphenyls, was found to be spatially variable and not limited to regions close to human activities. Binned genomes showed close resemblance to microorganisms isolated from contaminated habitats. These results indicate that, from a microbiological perspective, the Greenland ice sheet cannot be seen as a pristine environment.
The microbial abundance and diversity in snow on ice floes at three sites near the North Pole was ... Read more
The microbial abundance and diversity in snow on ice floes at three sites near the North Pole was assessed using quantitative PCR and 454 pyrosequencing. Abundance of 16S rRNA genes in the samples ranged between 43 and 248 gene copies per millilitre of melted snow. A total of 291,331 sequences were obtained through 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes, resulting in 984 OTUs at 97 % identity. Two sites were dominated by Cyanobacteria (72 and 61 %, respectively), including chloroplasts. The third site differed by consisting of 95 % Proteobacteria. Principal component analysis showed that the three sites clustered together when compared to the underlying environments of sea ice and ocean water. The Shannon indices ranged from 2.226 to 3.758, and the Chao1 indices showed species richness between 293 and 353 for the three samples. The relatively low abundances and diversity found in the samples indicate a lower rate of microbial input to this snow habitat compared to snow in the proximity of terrestrial and anthropogenic sources of microorganisms. The differences in species composition and diversity between the sites show that apparently similar snow habitats contain a large variation in biodiversity, although the differences were smaller than the differences to the underlying environment. The results support the idea that a globally distributed community exists in snow and that the global snow community can in part be attributed to microbial input from the atmosphere.
Rhodonellum psychrophilum GCM71(T), isolated from the cold and alkaline submarine ikaite columns ... Read more
Rhodonellum psychrophilum GCM71(T), isolated from the cold and alkaline submarine ikaite columns in the Ikka Fjord in Greenland, displays optimal growth at 5 to 10°C and pH 10. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of this strain, which may provide insight into the mechanisms of adaptation to these extreme conditions.
The West Nordic region holds promising opportunities to improve utilisation, sustainability and v ... Read more
The West Nordic region holds promising opportunities to improve utilisation, sustainability and value from its biological resources. The region’s major bioresources available for biorefining and biotechnological applications are the focus of this report. It identifies valuable ingredients in the different resources, processing technologies which are or may be applied, and possible end products obtained from further processing the raw material. An overview of the current operations and products which are being produced within the region is given. The report divides the available bioresources into biodegradable residues of aquatic or land origin and underutilised biomass. High-north specific opportunities and obstacles are highlighted.