Present addresses: Center for Research in Biological Systems, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive #0446, La Jolla, CA 92093-0446, USA;
Bacterial community transcription patterns during a marine phytoplankton bloom
Article first published online: 11 OCT 2011
© 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Special Issue: OMICS Driven Microbial Ecology
Volume 14, Issue 1, pages 228–239, January 2012
How to Cite
Rinta-Kanto, J. M., Sun, S., Sharma, S., Kiene, R. P. and Moran, M. A. (2012), Bacterial community transcription patterns during a marine phytoplankton bloom. Environmental Microbiology, 14: 228–239. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2011.02602.x
- Issue published online: 2 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 11 OCT 2011
- Received 26 January, 2011; revised 25 August, 2011; accepted 2 September, 2011.
Bacterioplankton consume a large proportion of photosynthetically fixed carbon in the ocean and control its biogeochemical fate. We used an experimental metatranscriptomics approach to compare bacterial activities that route energy and nutrients during a phytoplankton bloom compared with non-bloom conditions. mRNAs were sequenced from duplicate bloom and control microcosms 1 day after a phytoplankton biomass peak, and transcript copies per litre of seawater were calculated using an internal mRNA standard. Transcriptome analysis revealed a potential novel mechanism for enhanced efficiency during carbon-limited growth, mediated through membrane-bound pyrophosphatases [V-type H(+)-translocating; hppA]; bloom bacterioplankton participated less in this metabolic energy scavenging than non-bloom bacterioplankton, with possible implications for differences in growth yields on organic substrates. Bloom bacterioplankton transcribed more copies of genes predicted to increase cell surface adhesiveness, mediated by changes in bacterial signalling molecules related to biofilm formation and motility; these may be important in microbial aggregate formation. Bloom bacterioplankton also transcribed more copies of genes for organic acid utilization, suggesting an increased importance of this compound class in the bioreactive organic matter released during phytoplankton blooms. Transcription patterns were surprisingly faithful within a taxon regardless of treatment, suggesting that phylogeny broadly predicts the ecological roles of bacterial groups across ‘boom’ and ‘bust’ environmental backgrounds.