Coastal bacterioplankton community response to diatom-derived polysaccharide microgels

Taylor, JD; Cunliffe, M. 2017 Coastal bacterioplankton community response to diatom-derived polysaccharide microgels. Environmental Microbiology Reports, 9 (2). 151-157.

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Phytoplankton-derived polysaccharide microgels, including transparent exopolymer particles (TEP), are a major component of the marine organic carbon pool. Previous studies have made correlative links between phytoplankton material and bacterioplankton, and performed experiments that assess general responses to phytoplankton, yet there is a lack of direct empirical evidence of specific bacterioplankton responses to natural phytoplankton polysaccharide microgels. In this study, we used diatom produced TEP in controlled incubation experiments to determine the impact of polysaccharide microgels on a coastal bacterioplankton community. Quantification of bacterial 16S rRNA gene transcripts showed that the addition of TEP caused an increase in bacterioplankton activity. Similarly, high-throughput sequencing of RT-PCR amplified bacterial 16S rRNA gene transcripts showed that active bacterioplankton community structure and diversity also changed in response to microgels. Alteromonadales and Rhodobacterales increased in abundance in response to TEP, suggesting that both bacterioplankton taxa utilize diatom-derived microgels. However, through assessing 13C-labelled TEP uptake via RNA Stable Isotope Probing, we show that only the Alteromonadales (genus Alteromonas) assimilated the TEP carbon. This study adds utilization of diatom-derived TEP to the metabolic repertoire of the archetypal copiotrophic bacterioplankton Alteromonas, and indicates that the Rhodobacterales may utilize TEP for other purposes (e.g. attachment sites).

Item Type: Publication - Article
Divisions: Marine Biological Association of the UK > Mechanisms underlying biogeochemical and ecological processes > Marine Microbial Biochemistry
Depositing User: Dr Michael Cunliffe
Date made live: 12 Oct 2017 10:45
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2020 09:58

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