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Harmful Algae. 2019 Apr;84:139-150. doi: 10.1016/j.hal.2018.12.004. Epub 2019 Apr 6.

Dynamics of seagrass bed microbial communities in artificial Chattonella blooms: A laboratory microcosm study.

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Civil Engineering Research Institute for Cold Region, Public Works Research Institute, Hiragishi 1-3-1-34, Toyohira-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, 062-8602, Japan. Electronic address:
Environmental and Fisheries Science Division, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2725 Montlake Blvd. E., Seattle, WA, 98112, United States.
National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, 2-12-4 Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-8648, Japan.
Plankton Laboratory, Graduate School of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido University, 3-1-1 Minato-cho Hokkaido, Hakodate, 041-8611, Japan.
National Research Institute of Aquaculture, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, 422-1 Nakatsuhama-ura, Minami-ise, Mie 516-0193, Japan.
Research Institute for Fisheries Science, Okayama Prefectural Technology Center for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Kashino 6641-6, Ushimado, Setouchi, Okayama 701-4303, Japan.


The influence of algicidal and growth-inhibiting bacteria in a seagrass (Zostera marina) bed, and their capability of controlling blooms of the fish-killing raphidophyte flagellate, Chattonella antiqua, were examined in laboratory microcosm experiments. Bacterial communities in seawater collected from the seagrass bed and Z. marina biofilm suppressed artificial Chattonella blooms in the presence of their natural competitors and predators. Phylogenetic analysis suggest that considerable numbers of bacteria that suppress Chattonella, including algicidal or growth-inhibiting bacteria isolated from seagrass biofilm and seawater from the seagrass bed, are members of Proteobacteria that can decompose lignocellulosic compounds. A direct comparison of partial 16S rRNA gene sequences (500 bp) revealed that the growth-limiting bacterium (strain ZM101) isolated from Z. marina biofilm belonged to the genus Phaeobacter (Alphaproteobacteria) showed 100% similarity with strains of growth-limiting bacteria isolated from seawater of both the seagrass bed and nearshore region, suggesting that the origin of these growth-limiting bacteria are the seagrass biofilm or seawater surrounding the seagrass bed. This study demonstrates that Chattonella growth-limiting bacteria living on seagrass biofilm and in the adjacent seawater can suppress Chattonella blooms, suggesting the possibility of Chattonella bloom prevention through restoration, protection, or introduction of seagrass in coastal areas.


Chattonella; HAB prevention; Harmful algal blooms (HAB); Microcosm; Seagrass; Study


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