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Title: Bacterial transcriptional response to labile exometabolites from photosynthetic picoeukaryote Micromonas commoda
Abstract Dissolved primary production released into seawater by marine phytoplankton is a major source of carbon fueling heterotrophic bacterial production in the ocean. The composition of the organic compounds released by healthy phytoplankton is poorly known and difficult to assess with existing chemical methods. Here, expression of transporter and catabolic genes by three model marine bacteria ( Ruegeria pomeroyi DSS-3, Stenotrophomonas sp. SKA14, and Polaribacter dokdonensis MED152) was used as a biological sensor of metabolites released from the picoeukaryote Micromonas commoda RCC299. Bacterial expression responses indicated that the three species together recognized 38 picoeukaryote metabolites. This was consistent with the Micromonas expression of genes for starch metabolism and synthesis of peptidoglycan-like intermediates. A comparison of the hypothesized Micromonas exometabolite pool with that of the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana CCMP1335, analyzed previously with the same biological sensor method, indicated that both phytoplankton released organic acids, nucleosides, and amino acids, but differed in polysaccharide and organic nitrogen release. Future ocean conditions are expected to favor picoeukaryotic phytoplankton over larger-celled microphytoplankton. Results from this study suggest that such a shift could alter the substrate pool available to heterotrophic bacterioplankton.  more » « less
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ISME Communications
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National Science Foundation
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