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  1. Maresca, Julia A. (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Here, we report the genome sequence of Tenacibaculum mesophilum strain ECR, which was isolated from the river/ocean interface at Trunk River in Falmouth, Massachusetts. The isolation and sequencing were performed as part of the 2016 and 2018 Microbial Diversity courses at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
  2. Abstract Background Lagoons are common along coastlines worldwide and are important for biogeochemical element cycling, coastal biodiversity, coastal erosion protection and blue carbon sequestration. These ecosystems are frequently disturbed by weather, tides, and human activities. Here, we investigated a shallow lagoon in New England. The brackish ecosystem releases hydrogen sulfide particularly upon physical disturbance, causing blooms of anoxygenic sulfur-oxidizing phototrophs. To study the habitat, microbial community structure, assembly and function we carried out in situ experiments investigating the bloom dynamics over time. Results Phototrophic microbial mats and permanently or seasonally stratified water columns commonly contain multiple phototrophic lineages that coexist based on their light, oxygen and nutrient preferences. We describe similar coexistence patterns and ecological niches in estuarine planktonic blooms of phototrophs. The water column showed steep gradients of oxygen, pH, sulfate, sulfide, and salinity. The upper part of the bloom was dominated by aerobic phototrophic Cyanobacteria , the middle and lower parts by anoxygenic purple sulfur bacteria ( Chromatiales ) and green sulfur bacteria ( Chlorobiales ), respectively. We show stable coexistence of phototrophic lineages from five bacterial phyla and present metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) of two uncultured Chlorobaculum and Prosthecochloris species. In addition to genes involved in sulfur oxidation andmore »photopigment biosynthesis the MAGs contained complete operons encoding for terminal oxidases. The metagenomes also contained numerous contigs affiliating with Microviridae viruses, potentially affecting Chlorobi . Our data suggest a short sulfur cycle within the bloom in which elemental sulfur produced by sulfide-oxidizing phototrophs is most likely reduced back to sulfide by Desulfuromonas sp . Conclusions The release of sulfide creates a habitat selecting for anoxygenic sulfur-oxidizing phototrophs, which in turn create a niche for sulfur reducers. Strong syntrophism between these guilds apparently drives a short sulfur cycle that may explain the rapid development of the bloom. The fast growth and high biomass yield of Chlorobi -affiliated organisms implies that the studied lineages of green sulfur bacteria can thrive in hypoxic habitats. This oxygen tolerance is corroborated by oxidases found in MAGs of uncultured Chlorobi . The findings improve our understanding of the ecology and ecophysiology of anoxygenic phototrophs and their impact on the coupled biogeochemical cycles of sulfur and carbon.« less
  3. ABSTRACT In aquatic environments, Caulobacter spp. can be found at the boundary between liquid and air known as the neuston. I report an approach to study temporal features of Caulobacter crescentus colonization and pellicle biofilm development at the air-liquid interface and have defined the role of cell surface structures in this process. At this interface, C. crescentus initially forms a monolayer of cells bearing a surface adhesin known as the holdfast. When excised from the liquid surface, this monolayer strongly adheres to glass. The monolayer subsequently develops into a three-dimensional structure that is highly enriched in clusters of stalked cells known as rosettes. As this pellicle film matures, it becomes more cohesive and less adherent to a glass surface. A mutant strain lacking a flagellum does not efficiently reach the surface, and strains lacking type IV pili exhibit defects in organization of the three-dimensional pellicle. Strains unable to synthesize the holdfast fail to accumulate at the boundary between air and liquid and do not form a pellicle. Phase-contrast images support a model whereby the holdfast functions to trap C. crescentus cells at the air-liquid boundary. Unlike the holdfast, neither the flagellum nor type IV pili are required for C. crescentusmore »to partition to the air-liquid interface. While it is well established that the holdfast enables adherence to solid surfaces, this study provides evidence that the holdfast has physicochemical properties that allow partitioning of nonmotile mother cells to the air-liquid interface and facilitate colonization of this microenvironment. IMPORTANCE In aquatic environments, the boundary at the air interface is often highly enriched with nutrients and oxygen. Colonization of this niche likely confers a significant fitness advantage in many cases. This study provides evidence that the cell surface adhesin known as a holdfast enables Caulobacter crescentus to partition to and colonize the air-liquid interface. Additional surface structures, including the flagellum and type IV pili, are important determinants of colonization and biofilm formation at this boundary. Considering that holdfast-like adhesins are broadly conserved in Caulobacter spp. and other members of the diverse class Alphaproteobacteria , these surface structures may function broadly to facilitate colonization of air-liquid boundaries in a range of ecological contexts, including freshwater, marine, and soil ecosystems.« less