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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2001 Nov;67(11):5210-8.

Comparison of cellular and biomass specific activities of dominant bacterioplankton groups in stratified waters of the Celtic Sea.

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  • 1Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth PL1 3DH, United Kingdom. mvz@pml.ac.uk

Abstract

A flow-sorting technique was developed to determine unperturbed metabolic activities of phylogenetically characterized bacterioplankton groups with incorporation rates of [(35)S]methionine tracer. According to fluorescence in situ hybridization with rRNA targeted oligonucleotide probes, a clade of alpha-proteobacteria, related to Roseobacter spp., and a Cytophaga-Flavobacterium cluster dominated the different groups. Cytometric characterization revealed both these groups to have high DNA (HNA) content, while the alpha-proteobacteria exhibited high light scatter (hs) and the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium cluster exhibited low light scatter (ls). A third abundant group with low DNA (LNA) content contained cells from a SAR86 cluster of gamma-proteobacteria. Cellular specific activities of the HNA-hs group were 4- and 1.7-fold higher than the activities in the HNA-ls and LNA groups, respectively. However, the higher cellular protein synthesis by the HNA-hs could simply be explained by their maintenance of a larger cellular protein biomass. Similar biomass specific activities of the different groups strongly support the main assumption that underlies the determination of bacterial production: different bacteria in a complex community incorporate amino acids at a rate proportional to their protein synthesis. The fact that the highest growth-specific rates were determined for the smallest cells of the LNA group can explain the dominance of this group in nutrient-limited waters. The metabolic activities of the three groups accounted for almost the total bacterioplankton activity, indicating their key biogeochemical role in the planktonic ecosystem of the Celtic Sea.

PMID:
11679347
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC93292
Free PMC Article
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