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Light color acclimation is a key process in the global ocean distribution of Synechococcus cyanobacteria

TitleLight color acclimation is a key process in the global ocean distribution of Synechococcus cyanobacteria
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsGrébert T, Doré H, Partensky F, Farrant GK, Boss ES, Picheral M, Guidi L, Pesant S, Scanlan DJ, Wincker P, Acinas SG, Kehoe DM, Garczarek L
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Volumein press
Date Publishedfeb
Keywords2018, RCC1016, RCC1017, RCC1018, RCC1020, RCC1023, RCC1027, RCC1030, RCC1031, rcc1084, RCC1085, RCC1086, RCC1087, RCC1096, RCC1097, RCC1649, RCC1661, RCC1688, RCC2032, RCC2033, RCC2035, RCC2319, RCC2366, RCC2368, RCC2369, RCC2370, RCC2372, RCC2373, RCC2374, RCC2375, RCC2376, RCC2378, RCC2379, rcc2380, RCC2381, rcc2382, RCC2383, RCC2384, RCC2385, RCC2415, RCC2432, RCC2433, RCC2434, RCC2435, RCC2436, RCC2437, RCC2438, RCC2457, RCC2525, RCC2526, RCC2527, RCC2528, RCC2529, RCC2530, RCC2532, RCC2533, RCC2534, RCC2536, RCC2553, RCC2554, RCC2555, RCC2556, RCC2567, RCC2568, RCC2569, RCC2570, RCC2571, RCC2673, rcc30, RCC3010, RCC3012, RCC3014, RCC307, RCC316, RCC318, RCC325, RCC326, RCC328, RCC37, RCC44, RCC46, RCC47, RCC515, rcc539, RCC542, RCC543, RCC550, RCC552, RCC553, rcc555, RCC556, RCC557, RCC558, RCC559, RCC62, RCC650, RCC66, rcc752, RCC753, RCC790, rcc791, RCC792, RCC793, RCC794, sbr{\_}phyto{\_}mapp

Marine Synechococcus cyanobacteria are major contributors to global oceanic primary production and exhibit a unique diversity of photosynthetic pigments, allowing them to exploit a wide range of light niches. However, the relationship between pigment content and niche partitioning has remained largely undetermined so far due to the lack of a single-genetic marker resolving all pigment types (PT). Here, we developed a novel and robust method based on three distinct marker genes to estimate the relative abundance of all Synechococcus PTs from metagenomes. Analysis of the Tara Oceans dataset allowed us to unveil for the first time the global distribution of Synechococcus PTs and to decipher their realized environmental niches. Green-light specialists (PT 3a) dominated in warm, green equatorial waters, whereas blue-light specialists (PT 3c) were particularly abundant in oligotrophic areas. Type IV chromatic acclimaters (CA4-A/B), which are able to dynamically modify their light absorption properties to maximally absorb green or blue light, were unexpectedly the most abundant PT in our dataset and predominated at depth and high latitudes. We also identified local populations in which CA4 might be inactive due to the lack of specific CA4 genes, notably in warm high nutrient low chlorophyll areas. Major ecotypes within clades I-IV and CRD1 were preferentially associated with a particular PT, while others exhibited a wide range of PTs. Altogether, this study brings unprecedented insights into the ecology of Synechococcus PTs and highlights the complex interactions between vertical phylogeny, pigmentation and environmental parameters that shape Synechococcus populations and evolution.