AME 62:165-176 (2011)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01462

Bacterial carbon content and the living and detrital bacterial contributions to suspended particulate organic carbon in the North Pacific Ocean

Nobuyuki Kawasaki1,2,*, Rumi Sohrin3, Hiroshi Ogawa4, Toshi Nagata4, Ronald Benner1

1University of South Carolina, Marine Science Program, Columbia, South Carolina 29208, USA
2National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan
3Shizuoka University, 836 Ohya Shizuoka, Shizuoka 422-8529, Japan
4Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8564, Japan

ABSTRACT: Carbon-normalized yields of amino acids in size-fractionated seawater samples and bacterial cultures were used in a novel application to estimate the carbon content of heterotrophic marine bacteria. The estimated carbon content (6.3 ± 1.6 fg C cell–1) of open ocean bacteria derived using this approach was lower than most values estimated in previous studies. Based on these values, living heterotrophic bacteria accounted for 6.8 ± 1.1% of suspended particulate organic carbon (POC) in surface waters at Stn ALOHA in the North Pacific gyre. Living cyanobacteria accounted for 13.3 ± 2.2% of suspended POC in surface waters. Carbon-normalized yields of muramic acid, D-alanine and D-glutamic acid, unique biomarkers of bacteria, were used to estimate that bacterial detritus accounted for 4.3 ± 2.9% of suspended POC in surface waters. The relative contribution of bacterial detritus to suspended POC increased dramatically with increasing depth, indicating that some components of bacterial detritus are resistant to decomposition in the deep ocean. The total living and detrital bacterial contribution to suspended POC in surface waters was ~25%.


KEY WORDS: Bacterial carbon content · Bacterial detritus · Bacterial biomarkers · Suspended particulate organic carbon


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Cite this article as: Kawasaki N, Sohrin R, Ogawa H, Nagata T, Benner R (2011) Bacterial carbon content and the living and detrital bacterial contributions to suspended particulate organic carbon in the North Pacific Ocean. Aquat Microb Ecol 62:165-176. https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01462

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