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Dimethylsulfoniopropionate Turnover Is Linked to the Composition and Dynamics of the Bacterioplankton Assemblage during a Microcosm Phytoplankton Bloom

Pinhassi, Jarone, Simó, Rafel, González, José M., Vila, Maria, Alonso-Sáez, Laura, Kiene, Ronald P., Moran, Mary Ann, Pedrós-Alió, Carlos
Applied and environmental microbiology 2005 v.71 no.12 pp. 7650-7660
Flavobacteria, Roseobacter, algal blooms, bacteria, bacterioplankton, bioassays, biomass production, chlorophyll, coastal water, gamma-Proteobacteria, glucose, microbial growth, organic matter, organic sulfur compounds, phylogeny, phytoplankton, senescence, sulfur, Alabama, Gulf of Mexico
Processing of the phytoplankton-derived organic sulfur compound dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) by bacteria was studied in seawater microcosms in the coastal Gulf of Mexico (Alabama). Modest phytoplankton blooms (peak chlorophyll a [Chl a] concentrations of [approximately]2.5 [micro]g liter⁻¹) were induced in nutrient-enriched microcosms, while phytoplankton biomass remained low in unamended controls (Chl a concentrations of [approximately]0.34 [micro]g liter⁻¹). Particulate DMSP concentrations reached 96 nM in the enriched microcosms but remained approximately 14 nM in the controls. Bacterial biomass production increased in parallel with the increase in particulate DMSP, and nutrient limitation bioassays in the initial water showed that enrichment with DMSP or glucose caused a similar stimulation of bacterial growth. Concomitantly, increased bacterial consumption rate constants of dissolved DMSP (up to 20 day⁻¹) and dimethylsulfide (DMS) (up to 6.5 day⁻¹) were observed. Nevertheless, higher DMSP S assimilation efficiencies and higher contribution of DMSP to bacterial S demand were found in the controls compared to the enriched microcosms. This indicated that marine bacterioplankton may rely more on DMSP as a source of S under oligotrophic conditions than under the senescence phase of phytoplankton blooms. Phylogenetic analysis of the bacterial assemblages in all microcosms showed that the DMSP-rich algal bloom favored the occurrence of various Roseobacter members, flavobacteria (Bacteroidetes phylum), and oligotrophic marine GAMMAPROTEOBACTERIA: Our observations suggest that the composition of the bacterial assemblage and the relative contribution of DMSP to the overall dissolved organic sulfur/organic matter pool control how efficiently bacteria assimilate DMSP S and thereby potentially divert it from DMS production.