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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2014 Oct;12(10):686-98. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3326. Epub 2014 Aug 19.

Master recyclers: features and functions of bacteria associated with phytoplankton blooms.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-0845, USA.
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, USA.
Department of Microbiology, University of La Laguna, ES-38200 La Laguna, Spain.


Marine phytoplankton blooms are annual spring events that sustain active and diverse bloom-associated bacterial populations. Blooms vary considerably in terms of eukaryotic species composition and environmental conditions, but a limited number of heterotrophic bacterial lineages - primarily members of the Flavobacteriia, Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria - dominate these communities. In this Review, we discuss the central role that these bacteria have in transforming phytoplankton-derived organic matter and thus in biogeochemical nutrient cycling. On the basis of selected field and laboratory-based studies of flavobacteria and roseobacters, distinct metabolic strategies are emerging for these archetypal phytoplankton-associated taxa, which provide insights into the underlying mechanisms that dictate their behaviours during blooms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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