Characterization of a homogeneous taxonomic group of marine magnetotactic cocci within a low tide zone in the China Sea

Authors

  • Hongmiao Pan,

    1. Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanhai road 7, Qingdao 266071, China
    2. Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 19 Yuquan road, Beijing 100039, China.
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  • Kailing Zhu,

    1. Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanhai road 7, Qingdao 266071, China
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  • Tao Song,

    1. Institute of Electrical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, China.
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  • Kui Yu-Zhang,

    1. Laboratoire de Microscopies et d'Etude de Nanostructures (LMEN), Université de Reims, Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France.
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  • Christopher Lefèvre,

    1. Laboratoire de Chimie Bactérienne, UPR9043, Institut de Biologie Structurale et Microbiologie, CNRS, Marseille, France.
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  • Sue Xing,

    1. Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanhai road 7, Qingdao 266071, China
    2. Beihai Marine Environmental Monitoring Central Station, State Oceanic Administration, Beihai 536000, China.
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  • Min Liu,

    1. Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanhai road 7, Qingdao 266071, China
    2. Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 19 Yuquan road, Beijing 100039, China.
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  • Sanjun Zhao,

    1. Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanhai road 7, Qingdao 266071, China
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  • Tian Xiao,

    Corresponding author
    1. Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanhai road 7, Qingdao 266071, China
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  • Long-Fei Wu

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratoire de Chimie Bactérienne, UPR9043, Institut de Biologie Structurale et Microbiologie, CNRS, Marseille, France.
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*E-mail wu@ibsm.cnrs-mrs.fr; Tel. (+33) 491 16 4157; Fax (+33) 491 71 8914;

**E-mail txiao@ms.qdio.ac.cn; Tel. (+86) 532 828 98586; Fax (+86) 532 828 98586.

Summary

Magnetotactic bacteria are a heterologous group of motile prokaryotes, ubiquitous in aquatic habitats and cosmopolitan in distribution. Here, we studied the diversity of magnetotactic bacteria in a seawater pond within an intertidal zone at Huiquan Bay in the China Sea. The pond is composed of a permanently submerged part and a low tide subregion. The magnetotactic bacteria collected from the permanently submerged part display diversity in morphology and taxonomy. In contrast, we found a virtually homogenous population of ovoid-coccoid magnetotactic bacteria in the low tide subregion of the pond. They were bilophotrichously flagellated and exhibited polar magnetotactic behaviour. Almost all cells contained two chains of magnetosomes composed of magnetite crystals. Intriguingly, the combination of restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (RFLP) and sequencing of cloned 16S rDNA genes from the low tide subregion samples as well as fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) revealed the presence of a homogenous population. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis indicated that the Qingdao Huiquan low tide magnetotactic bacteria belong to a new genus affiliated with the α-subclass of Proteobacteria. This finding suggests the adaptation of the magnetotactic bacterial population to the marine tide.

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