Vertical distribution of archaeal communities in cold seep sediments from the jiulong methane reef area in the south China sea
Jiulong methane reef, a large cold seep area on the continental slope of the South China Sea (SCS), was characterized by chemosynthetic fauna, bacterial mats, methane-derived carbonate structures, and a shallow depth of sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ) in gravity cores. To characterize the microbial diversity and variation in correlation to methane venting in the cold seep area, the archaeal community in sediments of the gravity Core CL11 was analyzed, using the Illumina MiSeq sequencing system. A total of 96,917 valid sequences were obtained and classified into 275 OTUs. Taxonomic analysis showed that all the archaeal sequences belonged to the phyla of Crenarchaeota (69.41%) and Eurarchaeota (25.26%). Vertical distribution of the archaeal communities showed that the Marine Benthic Group B (MBG-B) was the predominant group (58.92%) in the topmost sediment of the core, while percentages of the South African Gold Mine Euryarchaeotal Group (SAGMEG) sequences increased with depth. Our findings indicate that the archaeal community in the cold seep of Jiulong Methane Reef is unique and provides us new insights into the archaeal community composition of the cold seep area.
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