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Unique Microbial Communities Inhabiting Underground Seawater in an Intertidal Area Utilized for Industrialized Aquaculture, as Compared with the Coastal Water

Yang, Liqiang, Tang, Lili, Li, Hongmei, Wang, Long, Zhang, Yongyu
Geomicrobiology journal 2019 v.36 no.6 pp. 483-491
Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, Deferribacteres, Nitrospirae, Opitutae, Planctomycetes, Shewanella, ammonium nitrogen, aquaculture, coastal water, coasts, denitrifying bacteria, industrialization, littoral zone, microbial communities, nitrite nitrogen, pathogens, physicochemical properties, seawater, water quality, China
In recent decades, the decline of coastal water quality has promoted the birth of a new industrialized aquaculture mode in China, which involves the cultivation of organisms using underground seawater extracted from various depths below the intertidal zone. In view of the special physicochemical characteristics of underground seawater, the microbial community in this environment has attracted interest. In this study, the microbial community in the underground seawater of an intertidal area of the Qingdao coast of China was investigated. Compared with the upper coastal water, the underground seawater displayed lower numbers of microorganisms (2.7 ± 0.3 × 10⁵ cells mL⁻¹ in underground seawater vs. 5.3 ± 0.4 × 10⁵ cells mL⁻¹ in upper coastal seawater) but displayed much higher microbial diversity. At the phyla level, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, and Actinobacteria inhabited both environments, whereas bacteria in the phyla Planctomycetes, Deferribacteres, and Nitrospirae were recovered only from the underground seawater. Eighty-nine percent of the OTUs in the underground seawater were environmental specific. Furthermore, compared with coastal water, underground seawater displayed significant lower (p < 0.05) concentration of NH₃-N, NO₂-N, PO₄-P, and DOC-C, and contained fewer potentially harmful pathogens (e.g., Verrucomicrobia/Opitutae) and more denitrifying bacteria (e.g., Shewanella denitrificans), thus making it more suitable for aquaculture.