Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Chinese Version)


lake; eco-environment; microbes; microbiome; project

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Lake is one of the most important ecosystems on the Earth. Lakes are vital for sustainable development of economy and society not only because lakes can provide important resources like water resources, aquatic products and tourisms, but also that lakes play key roles in flooding control, regional climate regulation, biodiversity protection, as well as the maintaining of regional ecosystem stability. China has plenty of lakes, covering very broad environmental gradients across different area of its continent. China is regarded as one of the countries with the highest diversity of lake ecotypes. Microbes are key components of lake ecosystems and are vital for nutrient cycling and ecosystem functioning. The high environmental heterogeneity across Chinese lakes will maintain a very high microbial diversity and rich microbial resources. However, we know little about the diversity and functionality of microbes that dwell in these diverse Chinese lakes, partially due to the low culturability and the methodological limitations of cultivation and isolation of lake microbes. Large scale culture-independent microbiome investigations and massive comparative metagenomic combined with transcriptomic studies will enhance our understanding on the patterns of diversity and distribution of microbes in Chinese lakes, as well as the mechanisms behind of these patterns. It is also expected that the microbial functional potentials and microbial adaptation to extreme lake environments will be explored in depth from the data of large scale culture-independent microbiotic studies. In particular, we will be able to discover new microbial metabolic pathways and functions to a large extend, which are crucial for exploitation of microbial resources from lakes. We will also uncover the processes, mechanisms, and environmental control of nutrient cycling driven by microbes in lakes. These scientific achievements will enable a better understanding of the structure and functionality of lake ecosystems and will be also helpful for protection of microbial diversity and sustainable exploitation of microbial resources. Furthermore, from the microbial perspectives, we may find more solutions for the mitigation of lake pollution and the restoration of lake ecosystems through enhanced microbiome studies.

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Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences


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