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Jellyfish Modulate Bacterial Dynamic and Community Structure

By Tinkara Tinta (156733), Tjaša Kogovšek (156739), Alenka Malej (156745) and Valentina Turk (156748)


<div><p>Jellyfish blooms have increased in coastal areas around the world and the outbreaks have become longer and more frequent over the past few decades. The Mediterranean Sea is among the heavily affected regions and the common bloom - forming taxa are scyphozoans <em>Aurelia aurita</em> s.l., <em>Pelagia noctiluca</em>, and <em>Rhizostoma pulmo</em>. Jellyfish have few natural predators, therefore their carcasses at the termination of a bloom represent an organic-rich substrate that supports rapid bacterial growth, and may have a large impact on the surrounding environment. The focus of this study was to explore whether jellyfish substrate have an impact on bacterial community phylotype selection. We conducted <em>in situ</em> jellyfish - enrichment experiment with three different jellyfish species. Bacterial dynamic together with nutrients were monitored to assess decaying jellyfish-bacteria dynamics. Our results show that jellyfish biomass is characterized by protein rich organic matter, which is highly bioavailable to ‘jellyfish - associated’ and ‘free - living’ bacteria, and triggers rapid shifts in bacterial population dynamics and composition. Based on 16S rRNA clone libraries and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis, we observed a rapid shift in community composition from unculturable <em>Alphaproteobacteria</em> to culturable species of <em>Gammaproteobacteria</em> and <em>Flavobacteria</em>. The results of sequence analyses of bacterial isolates and of total bacterial community determined by culture independent genetic analysis showed the dominance of the <em>Pseudoalteromonadaceae</em> and the <em>Vibrionaceae</em> families. Elevated levels of dissolved proteins, dissolved organic and inorganic nutrient release, bacterial abundance and carbon production as well as ammonium concentrations characterized the degradation process. The biochemical composition of jellyfish species may influence changes in the amount of accumulated dissolved organic and inorganic nutrients. Our results can contribute insights into possible changes in bacterial population dynamics and nutrient pathways following jellyfish blooms which have important implications for ecology of coastal waters.</p> </div

Topics: Microbiology, Ecology, Inorganic Chemistry, jellyfish, modulate, bacterial
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039274
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Provided by: FigShare
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