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Influence of Algal Photosynthesis on Biofilm Bacterial Production and Associated Glucosidase and Xylosidase Activities

Espeland, E.M., Francoeur, S.N., Wetzel, R.G.
Microbial ecology 2001 v.42 no.4 pp. 524-530
algae, biofilm, biomass, carbon, enzyme activity, photons, photosynthesis, polysaccharides
: Natural photosynthetic biofilms were incubated under light (100 mmol m?2 s?1) and dark conditions to elucidate the impact of photosynthesis on bacterial production, abundance, biovolume, biomass, and enzyme activities over 24 h. Use of organic carbon-free media limited carbon sources to algal photosynthesis and possibly the polysaccharides of the biofilm matrix. Bacterial production of biofilm communities was significantly higher in light incubations (p < 0.001). The greatest differences in production rates between light and dark incubations occurred between 8 and 24 h. Biomass-specific a- and b-glucosidase and b-xylosidase activities were stimulated by photosynthesis, with significantly greater activities occurring at hours 16 and 24 in the light treatment (p < 0.01). The results indicate that algal photosynthesis can have a significant impact on bacterial productivity, biomass, biovolume, and enzyme production over longer time periods at low photon flux densities (?100 mmol m?2 s?1).