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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 73:211-224 (2014)  -  DOI:

Seasonal variation in marine-snow-associated and ambient-water prokaryotic communities in the northern Adriatic Sea

Jana Vojvoda1,2,*, Dominique Lamy1,3, Eva Sintes1, Juan A. L. Garcia1, Valentina Turk2, Gerhard J. Herndl1,4

1Department of Limnology and Oceanography, Center of Ecology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria
2National Institute of Biology, Marine Biology Station, Fornače 41, 6330 Piran, Slovenia
3Université Pierre et Marie Curie, UMR BOREA, UPMC/MNHN/CNRS UMR 7208/IRD-207/UCBN, 61 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France
4Department of Biological Oceanography, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), 1790AB Den Burg, The Netherlands
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The structure and activity of prokaryotic communities were determined in marine snow and in the ambient water of the northern Adriatic Sea in different seasons (autumn, spring and summer). The seasonal variation in the composition of marine-snow-associated and ambient-water bacterial communities was assessed by T-RFLP (Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) on the 16S rRNA gene (16S rDNA) and 16S rRNA transcript (16S rRNA) level. On the 16S rDNA level, the bacterial community composition of the marine snow and ambient water was similar in summer and autumn, but not in spring. In contrast, on the 16S rRNA level, indicative of the active bacterial community, the marine-snow-associated bacterial community was different from that of the ambient-water, and different from the bacterial community on the 16S rDNA level, except in autumn. To phylogenetically characterize the bacterial and archaeal community composition associated with marine snow and the ambient water, clone libraries of 16S rDNA and 16S rRNA were constructed from 2 contrasting seasons. Phylogenetic profiling revealed a higher similarity among bacterial communities in summer compared to late autumn. Certain bacterial and archaeal groups were exclusively associated with summer or autumn marine snow, suggesting that marine-snow-associated prokaryotic communities are subjected to successional changes similar to ambient-water communities. Moreover, the presence of bacterial groups enriched in marine snow including Vibrionales and sulphate-reducing bacteria is consistent with niche partitioning and metabolic adaptations of the particle-associated microbiota.

KEY WORDS: Marine snow · Free-living bacteria · Marine snow-associated bacteria · Archaea · T-RFLP · 16S rRNA · 16S rDNA · Northern Adriatic Sea

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Cite this article as: Vojvoda J, Lamy D, Sintes E, Garcia JAL, Turk V, Herndl GJ (2014) Seasonal variation in marine-snow-associated and ambient-water prokaryotic communities in the northern Adriatic Sea. Aquat Microb Ecol 73:211-224.

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