Studies in the field of microbial biogeography have as main objective to search for existence of patterns in the communities of these organisms. Such studies are particularly recent and important in extreme environments where microbial biodiversity is little explored and uncommon. The Brazilian Pantanal is one of the world's largest wetland área and has in its hydrologic system soda lakes (salinas) that are considered extreme environments due to high pH values and high concentrations of salt, selecting organisms adapted to survive in this environment. Studies on the diversity in these soda lakes are scarce and on microbial biogeography of the Brazilian Pantanal does not exist. Therefore, the objective of this study is to identify and map the microbial diversity, taxonomic and functional in Pantanal soda lakes, evaluating the influence, across time, of chemical variables and historical events in the composition of these communities.Water samples will be collected from eight soda lakes, known locally as Salina 60,000, Salina Preta, Salina Grande, Salina Corridor 1, Salina Corridor 2, Salina Verde, Salina Redonda and Salina Mole. The sampling will be performed at the end of the rain (May) and dry (September) season. Physicochemical analyses of pH, electrical conductivity, water turbidity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, macro and micronutrients will be performed at each sampling to obtain environmental variables data. The DNA and RNA of the samples will be extracted and sequenced. The microbial community composition present in these soda lakes will be accessed through metagenomic sequencing. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis of the 16S and 18S rRNA genes, studied as phylogenetic markers, will be performed with the objective of quantifying microorganisms from the Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya domains. From the data obtained by the metagenomic sequencing, the characterization of the metabolic potential of the soda lakes will be made and by the sequencing of the total RNA will be elucidated the metabolic pathways active in these environments. Also, the biogeographic patterns that determine the structure of the microbial communities of the Pantanal soda lakes will be studied, allowing a better understanding of the functionality of these ecosystems and the perception of which variables are directly influencing the microbial diversity of these Brazilian extreme environments.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: