Several marine and freshwater diatoms produce polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUA) in wound-activated processes. These metabolites are also released by intact diatom cells during algal blooms. Due to their activity in laboratory experiments, PUA are considered as potential mediators of diatom-bacteria interactions. Here, we tested the hypothesis that PUA mediate such processes in a close-to-field mesocosm experiment. Natural plankton communities enriched with Skeletonema marinoi strains that differ in their PUA production, a plankton control, and a plankton control supplemented with PUA at natural and elevated concentrations were observed. We monitored bacterial and viral abundance as well as bacterial community composition and did not observe any influence of PUA on these parameters even at elevated concentrations. We rather detected an alternation of the bacterial diversity over time and differences between the two S. marinoi strains, indicating unique dynamic bacterial communities in these algal blooms. These results suggest that factors other than PUA are of significance for interactions between diatoms and bacteria
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