Seasonal variation in marine-snow-associated and ambient-water prokaryotic communities in the northern Adriatic Sea

Jana Vojvoda, Dominique Lamy, Eva Sintes Elvelin, Juan A L Garcia, Valentina Turk, Gerhard J. Herndl

The structure and activity of prokaryotic communities were determined in marine snow and in the ambient water of the northern Adriatic Sea in different seasons (autumn, spring and summer). The seasonal variation in the composition of marine-snow-associated and ambientwater bacterial communities was assessed by T-RFLP (Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) on the 16S rRNA gene (16S rDNA) and 16S rRNA transcript (16S rRNA) level. On the 16S rDNA level, the bacterial community composition of the marine snow and ambient water was similar in summer and autumn, but not in spring. In contrast, on the 16S rRNA level, indicative of the active bacterial community, the marine-snow-associated bacterial community was different from that of the ambient-water, and different from the bacterial community on the 16S rDNA level, except in autumn. To phylogenetically characterize the bacterial and archaeal community composition associated with marine snow and the ambient water, clone libraries of 16S rDNA and 16S rRNA were constructed from 2 contrasting seasons. Phylogenetic profiling re vealed a higher similarity among bacterial communities in summer compared to late autumn. Certain bacterial and archaeal groups were exclusively associated with summer or autumn marine snow, suggesting that marine-snow-associated prokaryotic communities are subjected to successional changes similar to ambient-water communities. Moreover, the presence of bacterial groups enriched in marine snow including Vibrionales and sulphate-reducing bacteria is consistent with niche partitioning and metabolic adaptations of the particle-associated microbiota.

Functional and Evolutionary Ecology
External organisation(s)
Université Paris VI - Pierre-et-Marie-Curie, National Institute of Biology, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Aquatic Microbial Ecology
No. of pages
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
106021 Marine biology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Aquatic Science, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
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