Microbial diversity of co-occurring heterotrophs in cultures of marine picocyanobacteria release_7wvj522xgraelh77tqza7wn3ye

by Sean M Kearney, Elaina Thomas, Allison Coe, Sallie Chisholm

Published in Environmental Microbiome by Springer Science and Business Media LLC.

2021   Volume 16, Issue 1, p1


<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:sec> <jats:title>Background</jats:title> The cyanobacteria <jats:italic>Prochlorococcus</jats:italic> and <jats:italic>Synechococcus</jats:italic> are responsible for around 10% of global net primary productivity, serving as part of the foundation of marine food webs. Heterotrophic bacteria are often co-isolated with these picocyanobacteria in seawater enrichment cultures that contain no added organic carbon; heterotrophs grow on organic carbon supplied by the photolithoautotrophs. For examining the selective pressures shaping autotroph/heterotroph interactions, we have made use of unialgal enrichment cultures of <jats:italic>Prochlorococcus</jats:italic> and <jats:italic>Synechococcus</jats:italic> maintained for hundreds to thousands of generations in the lab. We examine the diversity of heterotrophs in 74 enrichment cultures of these picocyanobacteria obtained from diverse areas of the global oceans. </jats:sec><jats:sec> <jats:title>Results</jats:title> Heterotroph community composition differed between clades and ecotypes of the autotrophic 'hosts' but there was significant overlap in heterotroph community composition across these cultures. Collectively, the cultures were comprised of many shared taxa, even at the genus level. Yet, observed differences in community composition were associated with time since isolation, location, depth, and methods of isolation. The majority of heterotrophs in the cultures are rare in the global ocean, but enrichment conditions favor the opportunistic outgrowth of these rare bacteria. However, we found a few examples, such as bacteria in the family Rhodobacteraceae, of heterotrophs that were ubiquitous and abundant in cultures and in the global oceans. We found their abundance in the wild is also positively correlated with that of picocyanobacteria. </jats:sec><jats:sec> <jats:title>Conclusions</jats:title> Particular conditions surrounding isolation have a persistent effect on long-term culture composition, likely from bottlenecking and selection that happen during the early stages of enrichment for the picocyanobacteria. We highlight the potential for examining ecologically relevant relationships by identifying patterns of distribution of culture-enriched organisms in the global oceans. </jats:sec>
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