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  1. Abstract

    Many marine microbes require vitamin B12 (cobalamin) but are unable to synthesize it, necessitating reliance on other B12-producing microbes. Thus, phytoplankton and bacterioplankton community dynamics can partially depend on the production and release of a limiting resource by members of the same community. We tested the impact of temperature and B12 availability on the growth of two bacterial taxa commonly associated with phytoplankton: Ruegeria pomeroyi, which produces B12 and fulfills the B12 requirements of some phytoplankton, and Alteromonas macleodii, which does not produce B12 but also does not strictly require it for growth. For B12-producing R. pomeroyi, we further tested how temperature influences B12 production and release. Access to B12 significantly increased growth rates of both species at the highest temperatures tested (38 °C for R. pomeroyi, 40 °C for A. macleodii) and A. macleodii biomass was significantly reduced when grown at high temperatures without B12, indicating that B12 is protective at high temperatures. Moreover, R. pomeroyi produced more B12 at warmer temperatures but did not release detectable amounts of B12 at any temperature tested. Results imply that increasing temperatures and more frequent marine heatwaves with climate change will influence microbial B12 dynamics and could interrupt symbiotic resource sharing.

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