Patterns of protist diversity associated with raw sewage in New York City

Julia M. Maritz, Theresa A. Ten Eyck, S. Elizabeth Alter, Jane Carlton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Protists are ubiquitous components of terrestrial and aquatic environments, as well as animal and human microbiomes. Despite this, little is known about protists in urban environments. The ~7400-mile sewer system of New York City (NYC) collects human waste from ~8 million human inhabitants as well as from animals, street runoff, and groundwater, providing an ideal system to study these microbes. We used 18S rRNA amplicon sequencing and shotgun metagenomic sequencing to profile raw sewage microbial communities. Raw sewage samples were collected over a 12-month period from 14 treatment plants of the five NYC boroughs, and compared with samples from other environments including soil, stormwater, and sediment. Sewage contained a diverse protist community dominated by free-living clades, and communities were highly differentiated across environments. Seasonal differences in protist composition were observed; however, network analysis and functional profiling demonstrated that sewage communities were robust and functionally consistent. Protists typically associated with human and animal guts or feces were frequently detected. Abundance of these parasites varied significantly both spatially and temporally, suggesting that spikes could reflect trends in the source population. This underscores sewage as a valuable model system for monitoring patterns in urban microbes and provides a baseline protist metagenome of NYC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalISME Journal
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

protist
Sewage
sewage
Metagenome
animal
Metagenomics
sewer systems
Microbiota
Groundwater
microorganisms
Firearms
animals
stormwater
Feces
network analysis
terrestrial environment
edaphic factors
aquatic environment
Parasites
feces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Patterns of protist diversity associated with raw sewage in New York City. / Maritz, Julia M.; Ten Eyck, Theresa A.; Elizabeth Alter, S.; Carlton, Jane.

In: ISME Journal, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Maritz, Julia M. ; Ten Eyck, Theresa A. ; Elizabeth Alter, S. ; Carlton, Jane. / Patterns of protist diversity associated with raw sewage in New York City. In: ISME Journal. 2019.
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