The effect of pressure on leucine and thymidine incorporation by free-living bacteria and by bacteria attached to sinking oceanic particles

Turley, CM 1993 The effect of pressure on leucine and thymidine incorporation by free-living bacteria and by bacteria attached to sinking oceanic particles. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 40 (11-12). 2193-2206.

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The effect of pressure on upper ocean free-living bacteria and bacteria attached to rapidly sinking particles was investigated through studying their ability to synthesize DNA and protein by measuring their rate of 3H-thymidine and 3H-leucine incorporation. Studies were carried out on samples from the NE Atlantic under the range of pressures (1–430 atm) encountered by sinking aggregates during their journey to the deep-sea bed. Thymidine and leucine incorporation rates per bacterium attached to sinking particles from 200 m were about six and ten times higher, respectively, than the free-living bacterial assemblage. The ratio of leucine incorporation rate per cell to thymidine incorporation rate per cell was significantly different between the larger attached (18.9:1) and smaller free-living (10.4:1) assemblages. The rates of leucine and thymidine incorporation decreased exponentially with increasing pressure for the free-living and linearly for attached bacteria, while there was no significant influence of pressure on cell numbers. At 100 atm leucine and thymidine incorporation rate per free-living bacterium was reduced to 73 and 20%, respectively, relative to that measured at 1 atm. Pressure of 100 atm reduced leucine and thymidine incorporation per attached bacterium to 94 and 70%, and at 200 atm these rates were reduced to 34 and 51%, respectively, relative to those measured at 1 atm. There was no significant uncoupling of thymidine and leucine incorporation for either the free-living or attached bacterial assemblages with increasing pressure, indicating that the processess of DNA and protein synthesis may be equally affected by increasing pressure. It is therefore unlikely that bacteria, originating from surface waters, attached to rapidly sinking particles play a role in particle remineralization below approximately 1000–2000 m. These results may help to explain the occurrence of relatively fresh aggregates on the deep-sea bed that still contain sufficient organic carbon to fuel the rapid growth of benthic micro-organisms; they also indicate that the effect of pressure on microbial processes may be important in oceanic biogeochemical cycles.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Other (PML)
Depositing User: Mrs Julia Crocker
Date made live: 01 Sep 2014 15:02
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:12

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