Editor: Patricia Sobecky
Characterization of culturable bacteria isolated from the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa
Article first published online: 12 MAY 2011
© 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved
FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Volume 77, Issue 2, pages 333–346, August 2011
How to Cite
Galkiewicz, J. P., Pratte, Z. A., Gray, M. A. and Kellogg, C. A. (2011), Characterization of culturable bacteria isolated from the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 77: 333–346. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2011.01115.x
Present address: Zoë A. Pratte, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33174, USA.
- Issue published online: 11 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 12 MAY 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 20 APR 2011 11:26AM EST
- Received 23 November 2010; revised 19 January 2011; accepted 10 April 2011., Final version published online 12 May 2011.
- deep sea;
- cold water;
Microorganisms associated with corals are hypothesized to contribute to the function of the host animal by cycling nutrients, breaking down carbon sources, fixing nitrogen, and producing antibiotics. This is the first study to culture and characterize bacteria from Lophelia pertusa, a cold-water coral found in the deep sea, in an effort to understand the roles that the microorganisms play in the coral microbial community. Two sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico were sampled over 2 years. Bacteria were cultured from coral tissue, skeleton, and mucus, identified by 16S rRNA genes, and subjected to biochemical testing. Most isolates were members of the Gammaproteobacteria, although there was one isolate each from the Betaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria. Phylogenetic results showed that both sampling sites shared closely related isolates (e.g. Pseudoalteromonas spp.), indicating possible temporally and geographically stable bacterial–coral associations. The Kirby–Bauer antibiotic susceptibility test was used to separate bacteria to the strain level, with the results showing that isolates that were phylogenetically tightly grouped had varying responses to antibiotics. These results support the conclusion that phylogenetic placement cannot predict strain-level differences and further highlight the need for culture-based experiments to supplement culture-independent studies.