Microbial spheres: a novel cyanobacterial–diatom symbiosis View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

2003-03

AUTHORS

Ulrike Brehm, Wolfgang E. Krumbein, Katarzyna A. Palińska

ABSTRACT

Cyanobacteria, algae and bacteria are widespread inhabitants of North Sea microbial mats. Our studies of these populations showed uncommon modes of living and extraordinary structures, which have not been described before. The structures are spherical objects covering a community of cyanobacteria, diatoms and bacteria. The cultivation of these communities in the laboratory and intensive observations of their exceptional movement has led to some spectacular findings. The sphere formations go through different phases with variation in the dominance of different microorganisms. The role of the bacteria is the most important in the first phase, and can be increased by the addition of signal substances. Spheres surrounded by envelopes of unknown composition and permeability appear, with numerous bacteria and sporadic diatoms inside. Then the cyanobacteria penetrate the spheres and arrange themselves at the surface. The communities proliferate over some weeks and are finally released. Laboratory expositions of the microbial communities to different parameters pinpoint the limits of sphere formation. The metabolic products of the sphere communities are concentrated in the spheres and lead to a different kind of compound compared with the surrounding environment. In this way, the microbial communities strongly influence the structure of the sediments. Uncommon circular structures, which develop into spheres between 0.08 and 3 mm in size were found in subcultures of non-axenic filamentous cyanobacteria enrichments from North Sea microbial mats. These filamentous cyanobacteria ( Phormidium sp.) together with associated benthic diatoms of the genus Navicula and associated heterotrophic bacteria were held as reproducible synergistic cultures. Phormidium sp. filaments tightly intertwined with each other, formed the surface of the spheres, trapping diatoms inside. The formation of "spheres" was the result of radial and synchronous movements of the cyanobacteria. In old cultures, the direction of the cyanobacterial movement has turned in the opposite direction, away from the sphere. The integrity of large "spheres" was influenced by chemotactic phenomena and maintained by some type of trichome-trichome interaction. This suggests the presence of metabolic secondary products, which attract cyanobacteria and influence their movement in a form of chemotactic response. More... »

PAGES

136-140

References to SciGraph publications

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s00114-003-0403-x

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00114-003-0403-x

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1075256093

PUBMED

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12649756


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