Compendium of 530 metagenome-assembled bacterial and archaeal genomes from the polar Arctic Ocean

Marta Royo-Llonch, Pablo Sanchez, Clara Ruiz-Gonzalez, Guillem Salazar, Carlos Pedros-Alio, Marta Sebastian, Karine Labadie, Lucas Paoli, Federico M. Ibarbalz, Lucie Zinger, Benjamin Churcheward, Samuel Chaffron, Damien Eveillard, Eric Karsenti, Shinichi Sunagawa, Patrick Wincker, Lee Karp-Boss, Chris Bowler, Silvia G. Acinas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The role of the Arctic Ocean ecosystem in climate regulation may depend on the responses of marine microorganisms to environmental change. We applied genome-resolved metagenomics to 41 Arctic seawater samples, collected at various depths in different seasons during the Tara Oceans Polar Circle expedition, to evaluate the ecology, metabolic potential and activity of resident bacteria and archaea. We assembled 530 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) to form the Arctic MAGs catalogue comprising 526 species. A total of 441 MAGs belonged to species that have not previously been reported and 299 genomes showed an exclusively polar distribution. Most Arctic MAGs have large genomes and the potential for fast generation times, both of which may enable adaptation to a copiotrophic lifestyle in nutrient-rich waters. We identified 38 habitat generalists and 111 specialists in the Arctic Ocean. We also found a general prevalence of 14 mixotrophs, while chemolithoautotrophs were mostly present in the mesopelagic layer during spring and autumn. We revealed 62 MAGs classified as key Arctic species, found only in the Arctic Ocean, showing the highest gene expression values and predicted to have habitat-specific traits. The Artic MAGs catalogue will inform our understanding of polar microorganisms that drive global biogeochemical cycles.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1561-+
Number of pages1560
JournalNature Microbiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 15 2021
Externally publishedYes


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