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ISME J. 2010 Dec;4(12):1581-90. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2010.69. Epub 2010 Jun 17.

High bicarbonate assimilation in the dark by Arctic bacteria.

Author information

1
Limnology/Department of Ecology and Evolution, Uppsala University, Sweden. laura.alonso@gi.ieo.es

Abstract

Although both autotrophic and heterotrophic microorganisms incorporate CO₂ in the dark through different metabolic pathways, this process has usually been disregarded in oxic marine environments. We studied the significance and mediators of dark bicarbonate assimilation in dilution cultures inoculated with winter Arctic seawater. At stationary phase, bicarbonate incorporation rates were high (0.5-2.5 μg C L⁻¹ d⁻¹) and correlated with rates of bacterial heterotrophic production, suggesting that most of the incorporation was due to heterotrophs. Accordingly, very few typically chemoautotrophic bacteria were detected by 16S rRNA gene cloning. The genetic analysis of the biotin carboxylase gene accC putatively involved in archaeal CO₂ fixation did not yield any archaeal sequence, but amplified a variety of bacterial carboxylases involved in fatty acids biosynthesis, anaplerotic pathways and leucine catabolism. Gammaproteobacteria dominated the seawater cultures (40-70% of cell counts), followed by Betaproteobacteria and Flavobacteria as shown by catalyzed reporter deposition fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARDFISH). Both Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria were active in leucine and bicarbonate uptake, while Flavobacteria did not take up bicarbonate, as measured by microautoradiography combined with CARDFISH. Within Gammaproteobacteria, Pseudoalteromonas-Colwellia and Oleispira were very active in bicarbonate uptake (ca. 30 and 70% of active cells, respectively), while the group Arctic96B-16 did not take up bicarbonate. Our results suggest that, potentially, the incorporation of CO₂ can be relevant for the metabolism of specific Arctic heterotrophic phylotypes, promoting the maintenance of their cell activity and/or longer survival under resource depleted conditions.

PMID:
20555365
DOI:
10.1038/ismej.2010.69
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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