Cryptic bacterial pathogens of diatoms peak during senescence of a winter diatom bloom

Branscombe, L, Harrison, EL, Zhi Yi, DC, Swink, C, Keys, M, Widdicombe, C, Wilson, WH, Cunliffe, M and Helliwell, KE 2023 Cryptic bacterial pathogens of diatoms peak during senescence of a winter diatom bloom. New Phytologist.

New Phytologist - 2023 - Branscombe - Cryptic bacterial pathogens of diatoms peak during senescence of a winter diatom.pdf
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Diatoms are globally abundant microalgae that form extensive blooms in aquatic ecosystems. Certain bacteria behave antagonistically towards diatoms, killing or inhibiting their growth. Despite their crucial implications to diatom bloom and population health, knowledge of diatom antagonists in the environment is fundamentally lacking. We report systematic characterisation of the diversity and seasonal dynamics of bacterial antagonists of diatoms via plaque assay sampling in the Western English Channel, where diatoms frequently bloom. Unexpectedly, peaks in detection did not occur during characteristic spring diatom blooms, but coincided with a winter bloom of Coscinodiscus, suggesting that these bacteria likely influence distinct diatom host populations. We isolated multiple bacterial antagonists, spanning 4 classes and 10 bacterial orders. Notably, a diatom attaching Roseobacter Ponticoccus alexandrii was isolated multiple times, indicative of a persistent environmental presence. Moreover, many isolates had no prior reports of antagonistic activity towards diatoms. We verified diatom growth inhibitory effects of eight isolates. In all cases tested, these effects were activated by pre-exposure to diatom organic matter. Discovery of widespread ‘cryptic’ antagonistic activity indicates that bacterial pathogenicity towards diatoms is more prevalent than previously recognised. Finally, examination of the global biogeography of WEC antagonists revealed co-occurrence patterns with diatom host populations in marine waters globally.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: algicidal, Coscinodiscus, diatom–bacteria interactions, diatoms, plaque assay, Ponticoccus
Subjects: Botany
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Marine Biological Association of the UK > Ocean Biology
Marine Biological Association of the UK > Marine Microbiome
Depositing User: Ms Kristina Hixon
Date made live: 21 Dec 2023 15:22
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2024 17:07

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