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Environ Microbiol. 2008 Apr;10(4):1007-17. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2007.01521.x. Epub 2007 Dec 19.

Community structures of actively growing bacteria shift along a north-south transect in the western North Pacific.

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Graduate School of Biosphere Science, Hiroshima University, 1-4-4 Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Japan.


Bacterial community structures and their activities in the ocean are tightly coupled with organic matter fluxes and thus control ocean biogeochemical cycles. Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), halogenated nucleoside and thymidine analogue, has been recently used to monitor actively growing bacteria (AGB) in natural environments. We labelled DNA of proliferating cells in seawater bacterial assemblages with BrdU and determined community structures of the bacteria that were possible key species in mediating biochemical reactions in the ocean. Surface seawater samples were collected along a north-south transect in the North Pacific in October 2003 and subjected to BrdU magnetic beads immunocapture and PCR-DGGE (BUMP-DGGE) analysis. Change of BrdU-incorporated community structures reflected the change of water masses along a north-south transect from subarctic to subtropical gyres in the North Pacific. We identified 25 bands referred to AGB as BrdU-incorporated phylotypes, belonging to Alphaproteobacteria (5 bands), Betaproteobacteria (1 band), Gammaproteobacteria (4 bands), Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides (CFB) group bacteria (5 bands), Gram-positive bacteria (6 bands), and Cyanobacteria (4 bands). BrdU-incorporated phylotypes belonging to Vibrionales, Alteromonadales and Gram-positive bacteria appeared only at sampling stations in a subtropical gyre, while those belonging to Roseobacter-related bacteria and CFB group bacteria appeared at the stations in both subarctic and subtropical gyres. Our result revealed phylogenetic affiliation of AGB and their dynamic change along with north-south environmental gradients in open oceans. Different species of AGB utilize different amount and kinds of substrates, which can affect the change of organic matter fluxes along transect.

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