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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2013 Sep;36(6):417-25. doi: 10.1016/j.syapm.2013.05.002. Epub 2013 Jul 1.

Mapping glycoconjugate-mediated interactions of marine Bacteroidetes with diatoms.

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Max-Planck-Institute for Marine Microbiology, Department Molecular Ecology, Celsiusstr 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany.


The degradation of diatoms is mainly catalyzed by Bacteroidetes and this process is of global relevance for the carbon cycle. In this study, a combination of catalyzed reporter deposition-fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARD-FISH) and fluorescent lectin binding analysis (FLBA) was used to identify and map glycoconjugates involved in the specific interactions of Bacteroidetes and diatoms, as well as detritus, at the coastal marine site Helgoland Roads (German Bight, North Sea). The study probed both the presence of lectin-specific extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) of Bacteroidetes for cell attachment and that of glycoconjugates on diatoms with respect to binding sites for Bacteroidetes. Members of the clades Polaribacter and Ulvibacter were shown to form microcolonies within aggregates for which FLBA indicated the presence of galactose containing slime. Polaribacter spp. was shown to bind specifically to the setae of the abundant diatom Chaetoceros spp., and the setae were stained with fucose-specific lectins. In contrast, Ulvibacter spp. attached to diatoms of the genus Asterionella which bound, among others, the mannose-specific lectin PSA. The newly developed CARD-FISH/FLBA protocol was limited to the glycoconjugates that persisted after the initial CARD-FISH procedure. The differential attachment of bacteroidetal clades to diatoms and their discrete staining by FLBA provided evidence for the essential role that formation and recognition of glycoconjugates play in the interaction of bacteria with phytoplankton.


Bacteroidetes; CARD-FISH; Diatoms; EPS; Lectins; Polysaccharides

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