Contamination of the Arctic reflected in microbial metagenomes from the Greenland ice sheet

Hauptmann, A., L., Sicheritz-Pontén, T., Cameron, K. A. , Bælum, J., Plichta, D. R., Dalgaard, M. and Stibal, M. (2017) Contamination of the Arctic reflected in microbial metagenomes from the Greenland ice sheet. Environmental Research Letters, 12, 074019. (doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/aa7445)

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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.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was partly supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, the Center for Permafrost (CENPERM) Center no 100 from the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF100) as well as Dudo and Povl Brandt's Foundation. This work was also supported by a Villum Young Investigator Programme grant VKR 023121 to MS. KC is a Sêr CYMRU II COFUND fellow who is also supported by the Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and Environment.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cameron, Dr Karen
Authors: Hauptmann, A., L., Sicheritz-Pontén, T., Cameron, K. A., Bælum, J., Plichta, D. R., Dalgaard, M., and Stibal, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Environmental Research Letters
Publisher:Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd.
ISSN (Online):1748-9326
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd
First Published:First published in Environmental Research Letters 12:074019
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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