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Substrate-Controlled Succession of Marine Bacterioplankton Populations Induced by a Phytoplankton Bloom

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Teeling, H. , Fuchs, B. M. , Becher, D. , Klockow, C. , Gardebrecht, A. , Bennke, C. M. , Kassabgy, M. , Huang, S. , Mann, A. J. , Waldmann, J. , Weber, M. , Klindworth, A. , Otto, A. , Lange, J. , Bernhardt, J. , Reinsch, C. , Hecker, M. , Peplies, J. , Bockelmann, F. D. , Callies, U. , Gerdts, G. , Wichels, A. , Wiltshire, K. H. , Glöckner, F. O. , Schweder, T. and Amann, R. (2012): Substrate-Controlled Succession of Marine Bacterioplankton Populations Induced by a Phytoplankton Bloom , Science, 336 (6081 ), pp. 608-611 . doi: 10.1126/science.1218344
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Abstract:

Phytoplankton blooms characterize temperate ocean margin zones in spring. We investigated the bacterioplankton response to a diatom bloom in the North Sea and observed a dynamic succession of populations at genus-level resolution. Taxonomically distinct expressions of carbohydrate-active enzymes (transporters; in particular, TonB-dependent transporters) and phosphate acquisition strategies were found, indicating that distinct populations of Bacteroidetes, Gammaproteobacteria, and Alphaproteobacteria are specialized for successive decomposition of algal-derived organic matter. Our results suggest that algal substrate availability provided a series of ecological niches in which specialized populations could bloom. This reveals how planktonic species, despite their seemingly homogeneous habitat, can evade extinction by direct competition.

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