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Lett Appl Microbiol. 1998 Sep;27(3):142-6.

Cross-species induction and enhancement of antimicrobial activity produced by epibiotic bacteria from marine algae and invertebrates, after exposure to terrestrial bacteria.

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1
Department of Biological Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton, Edinburgh, UK.

Abstract

Antibiotic producing marine bacteria isolated from surfaces of the marine alga Fucus vesiculosus and the nudibranch Archidoris pseudoargus were exposed to live cells of Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and heat-killed cells of Staph. aureus. Twelve out of the 16 marine strains tested showed enhanced antimicrobial activity towards Staph. aureus, E. coli and Ps. aeruginosa following this exposure. Three out of seven strains tested showed enhanced antimicrobial activity when exposed to Ps. aeruginosa and three out of seven strains showed enhanced antimicrobial activity when exposed to E. coli. These results suggest that production of antimicrobial compounds by marine bacteria can be induced by the presence of terrestrial bacteria. This appears to be the first example of cross-species induction and enhancement of antimicrobial activity in marine bacteria and has important implications for the design of antibiotic screening assays and for an understanding of microbial competition in the environment.

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