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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2007 Aug;61(2):348-61. Epub 2007 Jun 16.

Molecular investigation of the distribution, abundance and diversity of the genus Pseudoalteromonas in marine samples.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Aarhus, Aarhus C, Denmark.


The genus Pseudoalteromonas has attracted interest because it has frequently been found in association with eukaryotic hosts, and because many Pseudoalteromonas species produce biologically active compounds. One distinct group of Pseudoalteromonas species is the antifouling subgroup containing Pseudoalteromonas tunicata and Ps. ulvae, which both produce extracellular compounds that inhibit growth and colonization by different marine organisms. PCR primers targeting the 16S rRNA gene of the genus Pseudoalteromonas and the antifouling subgroup were developed and applied in this study. Real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) was applied to determine the relative bacterial abundance of the genus and the antifouling subgroup, and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was applied to study the diversity of the genus in 11 different types of marine samples from Danish coastal waters. The detection of Ps. tunicata that contain the antifouling subgroup was achieved through specific PCR amplification of the antibacterial protein gene (alpP). The Pseudoalteromonas species accounted for 1.6% of the total bacterial abundance across all samples. The Pseudoalteromonas diversity on the three unfouled marine organisms Ciona intestinalis, Ulva lactuca and Ulvaria fusca was found to be low, and Ps. tunicata was only detected on these three hosts, which all contain accessible cellulose polymers in their cell walls.

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