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Understanding the impacts of climate change on Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine permafrost microbiomes (CryoLink)

English title Understanding the impacts of climate change on Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine permafrost microbiomes (CryoLink)
Applicant Frey Beat
Number 170941
Funding scheme Bilateral programmes
Research institution Swiss Federal Research Inst. WSL Direktion
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research - WSL
Main discipline Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Start/End 01.07.2017 - 30.06.2021
Approved amount 346'654.00
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Keywords (9)

Microbial functions; Bacteria; Permafrost; Antarctic; Microbial diversity; Soil; Arctic; Alpine; Fungi

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Der Alpenraum mit seinen Gletschern und Dauerfrostböden (Permafrost) ist besonders vom Klimawandel betroffen. Auftauen des alpinen Permafrosts und Abschmelzen der Gletscher sind das Ergebnis anhaltend warmer Bedingungen während der letzten Jahre. Lange Zeit wurde Permafrost im Alpenraum als „steriles Geröll“ angesehen, in denen Leben nur bedingt existieren kann. Heutzutage wird zunehmend deutlicher, dass diese Gebiete als Refugium fur mikrobielle Lebensformen zu betrachten sind.
Lay summary

Lay summary

 
Titel des Forschungsprojektes

Die Wirkungen des Klimawandels auf das arktische, antarktische und alpine Permafrost-Mikrobiom

Understanding the impacts of climate change on Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine permafrost microbiomes (CryoLink)

Lead

Der Alpenraum mit seinen Gletschern und Dauerfrostböden (Permafrost) ist besonders vom Klimawandel betroffen. Auftauen des alpinen Permafrosts und Abschmelzen der Gletscher sind das Ergebnis anhaltend warmer Bedingungen während der letzten Jahre. Lange Zeit wurde Permafrost im Alpenraum als „steriles Geröll“ angesehen, in denen Leben nur bedingt existieren kann. Heutzutage wird zunehmend deutlicher, dass diese Gebiete als Refugium fur mikrobielle Lebensformen zu betrachten sind.

Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojektes

CryoLink erforscht den Permafrost in den Alpen, der Arktis und der Antarktis als Refugium fur mikrobielle Lebensformen. Im alpinen Permafrost leben bis zu 1000 verschiedene Mikroorganismen, über viele ist bislang nichts oder nur wenig bekannt. Es ist noch unklar, wie die an die Kälte angepassten Mikroorganismen im Permafrost überleben, wie Zellen Metabolismus und sogar Reproduktion betreiben können. Diese Gemeinschaften verfugen uber verschiedene Anpassungsstrategien, um unter Extrembedingungen wie beispielsweise Nährstoffknappheit, geringem bis völlig reduziertem Lichtangebot, tiefen Temperaturen oder geringer Verfugbarkeit an flussigem Wasser zu überleben.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext des Forschungsprojektes

Diese Organismen waren Tausende von Jahren im alpinen Permafrost eingeschlossen. Was passiert mit ihnen, wenn sie durch die Klimaerwärmung aus ihrem „Dornröschenschlaf“ geweckt werden? Unter den Mikroorganismen könnten Organismen sein, die sowohl für die Pharma- als auch die Kosmetikindustrie interessant sein könnten. Diesen unermesslichen Schatz von unbekannten Mikroorganismen im Permafrost gilt es nun zu erforschen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 25.04.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Name Institute

Project partner

Publications

Publication
Functional and Structural Responses of Arctic and Alpine Soil Prokaryotic and Fungal Communities Under Freeze-Thaw Cycles of Different Frequencies
Perez-Mon Carla, Frey Beat, Frossard Aline (2020), Functional and Structural Responses of Arctic and Alpine Soil Prokaryotic and Fungal Communities Under Freeze-Thaw Cycles of Different Frequencies, in Frontiers in Microbiology, 11(982), 1-14.
Cryolevonia gen. nov. and Cryolevonia schafbergensis sp. nov., a cryophilic yeast from ancient permafrost and melted sea ice
Pontes Ana, Ruethi Joel, Frey Beat, Aires Andreia, Thomas Amanda, Overy David, Halti Brad, Kerr Russell, Sampaio José Paulo (2020), Cryolevonia gen. nov. and Cryolevonia schafbergensis sp. nov., a cryophilic yeast from ancient permafrost and melted sea ice, in International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 70(4), 2334-2338.
High-Alpine Permafrost and Active-Layer Soil Microbiomes Differ in Their Response to Elevated Temperatures
Luláková Petra, Perez-Mon Carla, Šantrůčková Hana, Ruethi Joel, Frey Beat (2019), High-Alpine Permafrost and Active-Layer Soil Microbiomes Differ in Their Response to Elevated Temperatures, in Frontiers in Microbiology, 10, 668.

Datasets

Sequencing Data1

Author Frey, Beat; Perez Mon, Carla
Publication date 03.04.2019
Persistent Identifier (PID) ID: 0000-0002-6391-3574
Repository NCBI Sequence Read Archive under the BioProject accession number PRJNA497433
Abstract
To evaluate the potential of the permafrost microbiome to adapt to short-term moderate and extreme warming, we set up an incubation experiment with permafrost and active soil layers from northern and southern slopes of a high-alpine mountain ridge on Muot-da-Barba-Peider in the Swiss Alps. Soils were acclimated to increasing temperatures (4-40°C) for 26 days before being exposed to a heat shock treatment of 40°C for 4 days.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Dr. Konrad Steffen, Director of Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL; ETH Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Dr. Anders Prieme, University of Copenhagen Denmark (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Dr. Alexandre Anesio, Bristol University, UK Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. Dr. Don Cowan, Center for Microbial Ecology and Genomics, University of Pretoria South Africa (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Irka Hajdas, ETH Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. Dr. Elie Verleyen, Ghent University, Be Belgium (Europe)
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Dr. Marcia Phillips, WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
3nd Villum Research Station Open Workshop Poster Impact of warming and plant input on high Arctic soil microbial communities 27.01.2020 Copenhagen, Denmark Perez Mon Carla; Frey Beat;
12th IBP PhD Congress, at ETH Zurich Poster Impact of warming and plant input on High-Arctic soil microbial communities 26.04.2019 Zürich, Switzerland Perez Mon Carla; Frey Beat;
Kolloquium CMEG Pretoria Individual talk Functional diversity and metabolic capabilities of alpine permafrost microbial communities 27.02.2019 Pretoria, South Africa Perez Mon Carla; Cowan Don;
Swiss Microbial Ecology (SME) 2019 -the incredible diversity of microbial ecology research Talk given at a conference Effects of freeze-thaw cycles frequencies on arctic and high-alpine soil microbial communities 31.01.2019 Lausanne, Switzerland Frey Beat; Perez Mon Carla;
POLAR 2018 –Where the Poles come together Poster Are the high alpine microbial communities able to deal with the temperature extremes? 23.06.2018 Davos, Switzerland Cowan Don; Frey Beat; Perez Mon Carla;
POLAR 2018 - Where the Poles come together Talk given at a conference The microbiome of the high-alpine permafrost and its response to warming 23.06.2018 Davos, Switzerland Cowan Don; Frey Beat; Perez Mon Carla;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Bodenmikrobiom in Grönland Talk 28.03.2019 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Frey Beat;
Permafrost - Eine Schatzkammer von unbekannten (Mikro)-Organismen Talk 05.02.2019 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Frey Beat;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: radio, television Forscher finden neue Bakterienarten im Permafrost SRF2 Wissenschaftsmagazin German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Media relations: radio, television Mythos Gotthard: Pass der Pioniere 3 SAT; ARTE International 2020
Media relations: print media, online media Swiss researchers identify new bacteria in permafrost Swissinfo International Italian-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Talks/events/exhibitions Characterization of permafrost microbiome at Jungfraujoch German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland International 2018
Media relations: radio, television Forschung über Bakterien in Böden: "Reges Leben im Boden" Radio SRF2 Wissenschaftsmagazin German-speaking Switzerland 2018
Talks/events/exhibitions Public outreach summary at Swiss Polar institute website International Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Engadiner Post"Permafrost ist mehr als mit Geröll vermischte Eismasse" Engadiner Post Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Vortrag an der Academica Engadina: "Lebendiger Permafrost" German-speaking Switzerland Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland 2017

Abstract

Cold habitats represent the majority of the Earth’s biomes and permafrost, defined as the part of the soil frozen for at least two consecutive years, are widely spread on land surfaces. Permafrost areas are considered as an ‘extreme environment’ and harbour microorganisms with an ability to adapt, not only to sub-zero temperatures, but also to low water, carbon and nutrient availability. However, these habitats constitute a unique niche for cold-adapted microorganisms. Little information is available on the ecology of microorganisms in permafrost, despite their high importance in view of their high susceptibility to global change. Here, we propose an extensive study to elucidate the ecology of microbial communities associated with permafrost systems and investigate comprehensively the diversity and functions of microorganisms in three biogeographical areas; the Arctic, the Antarctic and the Alpine regions.
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