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Karen Junge

Senior Oceanographer

Email

kjunge@apl.washington.edu

Phone

206-543-8938

Department Affiliation

Polar Science Center

Publications

2000-present and while at APL-UW

Diversity and potential sources of microbiota associated with snow on western portions of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Cameron, K.A., et al., including K. Junge, "Diversity and potential sources of microbiota associated with snow on western portions of the Greenland Ice Sheet," Environ. Microbiol., 17, 594-609, doi:10.1111/1462-2920.12446, 2015.

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1 Mar 2015

Snow overlays the majority of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). However, there is very little information available on the microbiological assemblages that are associated with this vast and climate-sensitive landscape. In this study, the structure and diversity of snow microbial assemblages from two regions of the western GrIS ice margin were investigated through the sequencing of small subunit ribosomal RNA genes. The origins of the microbiota were investigated by examining correlations to molecular data obtained from marine, soil, freshwater and atmospheric environments and geochemical analytes measured in the snow. Snow was found to contain a diverse assemblage of bacteria (Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria) and eukarya (Alveolata, Fungi, Stramenopiles and Chloroplastida). Phylotypes related to archaeal Thaumarchaeota and Euryarchaeota phyla were also identified. The snow microbial assemblages were more similar to communities characterized in soil than to those documented in marine ecosystems. Despite this, the chemical composition of snow samples was consistent with a marine contribution, and strong correlations existed between bacterial beta diversity and the concentration of Na+ and Cl. These results suggest that surface snow from western regions of Greenland contains exogenous microbiota that were likely aerosolized from more distant soil sources, transported in the atmosphere and co-precipitated with the snow.

Proteomics of Colwellia psychrerythraea at subzero temperatures — a life with limited movement, flexible membranes and vital DNA repair

Nunn, B.L., K.V. Slattery, K.A. Cameron, E. Timmins-Schiffman, and K. Junge, "Proteomics of Colwellia psychrerythraea at subzero temperatures — a life with limited movement, flexible membranes and vital DNA repair," Environ. Microbial., 17, 2319-2335, doi:10.111/1462-2920.12691, 2015.

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5 Feb 2015

The mechanisms that allow psychrophilic bacteria to remain metabolically active at subzero temperatures result from form and function of their proteins. We present first proteomic evidence of physiological changes of the marine psychrophile Colwellia psychrerythraea 34H (Cp34H) after exposure to subzero temperatures (-1, and -10°C in ice) through 8 weeks. Protein abundance was compared between different treatments to understand the effects of temperature and time, independently and jointly, within cells transitioning to, and being maintained in ice. Parallel [3H]-leucine and [3H]-thymidine incubations indicated active protein and DNA synthesis to -10°C. Mass spectrometry-based proteomics identified 1763 proteins across four experimental treatments. Proteins involved in osmolyte regulation and polymer secretion were found constitutively present across all treatments, suggesting that they are required for metabolic success below 0°C. Differentially abundant protein groups indicated a reallocation of resources from DNA binding to DNA repair and from motility to chemo-taxis and sensing. Changes to iron and nitrogen metabolism, cellular membrane structures, and protein synthesis and folding were also revealed. By elucidating vital strategies during life in ice, this study provides novel insight into the extensive molecular adaptations that occur in cold-adapted marine organisms to sustain cellular function in their habitat.

Molecular and biogeochemical evidence for methane cycling beneath the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Dieser, M., et al., including K.A. Cameron and K. Junge, "Molecular and biogeochemical evidence for methane cycling beneath the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet," ISME Journal, doi:10.1038/ismej.2014.59, 2014.

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17 Apr 2014

Microbial processes that mineralize organic carbon and enhance solute production at the bed of polar ice sheets could be of a magnitude sufficient to affect global elemental cycles. To investigate the biogeochemistry of a polar subglacial microbial ecosystem, we analyzed water discharged during the summer of 2012 and 2013 from Russell Glacier, a land-terminating outlet glacier at the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The molecular data implied that the most abundant and active component of the subglacial microbial community at these marginal locations were bacteria within the order Methylococcales (59–100% of reverse transcribed (RT)-rRNA sequences). mRNA transcripts of the particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA) from these taxa were also detected, confirming that methanotrophic bacteria were functional members of this subglacial ecosystem.

Dissolved methane ranged between 2.7 and 83 μM in the subglacial waters analyzed, and the concentration was inversely correlated with dissolved oxygen while positively correlated with electrical conductivity. Subglacial microbial methane production was supported by δ13C-CH4 values between -64% and -62% together with the recovery of RT-rRNA sequences that classified within the Methanosarcinales and Methanomicrobiales. Under aerobic conditions, >98% of the methane in the subglacial water was consumed over ~30 days incubation at ~4°C and rates of methane oxidation were estimated at 0.32 μM per day. Our results support the occurrence of active methane cycling beneath this region of the Greenland Ice Sheet, where microbial communities poised in oxygenated subglacial drainage channels could serve as significant methane sinks.

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High-resolution ice nucleation spectra of sea-ice bacteria: Implications for cloud formation and life in frozen environments

Junge, K. and B.D. Swanson, "High-resolution ice nucleation spectra of sea-ice bacteria: Implications for cloud formation and life in frozen environments," Biogeosciences, 5, 865-873, 10.5194/bgd-4-4261-2007, 2008.

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22 May 2008

Even though studies of Arctic ice forming particles suggest that a bacterial or viral source derived from open leads could be important for cloud formation in the Arctic (Bigg and Leck, 2001), the ice nucleation potential of most polar marine psychrophiles or viruses has not been examined under conditions more closely resembling those in the atmosphere. In this paper, we examined the ice nucleation activity (INA) of several representative Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice bacterial isolates and a polar Colwellia phage virus. High-resolution ice nucleation spectra were obtained for droplets containing bacterial cells or virus particles using a free-fall freezing tube technique. The fraction of frozen droplets at a particular droplet temperature was determined by measuring the depolarized light scattering intensity from solution droplets in free-fall. Our experiments revealed that all sea-ice isolates and the virus nucleated ice at temperatures very close to the homogeneous nucleation temperature for the nucleation medium —3 which for artificial seawater was –42.2±0.3°C. Our results indicated that these marine psychro-active bacteria and viruses are not important for heterogeneous ice nucleation processes in sea ice or polar clouds. These results also suggested that avoidance of ice formation in close proximity to cell surfaces might be one of the cold-adaptation and survival strategies for sea-ice bacteria. The fact that INA occurs at such low temperature could constitute one factor that explains the persistence of metabolic activities at temperatures far below the freezing point of seawater.

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center
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