3 years ago

Microbial dynamics during harmful dinoflagellate Ostreopsis cf. ovata growth: Bacterial succession and viral abundance pattern

Silvana Vanucci, Flavio Guidi, Laura Pezzolesi


Algal–bacterial interactions play a major role in shaping diversity of algal associated bacterial communities. Temporal variation in bacterial phylogenetic composition reflects changes of these complex interactions which occur during the algal growth cycle as well as throughout the lifetime of algal blooms. Viruses are also known to cause shifts in bacterial community diversity which could affect algal bloom phases. This study investigated on changes of bacterial and viral abundances, bacterial physiological status, and on bacterial successional pattern associated with the harmful benthic dinoflagellate Ostreopsis cf. ovata in batch cultures over the algal growth cycle. Bacterial community phylogenetic structure was assessed by 16S rRNA gene ION torrent sequencing. A comparison between bacterial community retrieved in cultures and that one co‐occurring in situ during the development of the O. cf. ovata bloom from where the algal strain was isolated was also reported. Bacterial community growth was characterized by a biphasic pattern with the highest contributions (~60%) of highly active bacteria found at the two bacterial exponential growth steps. An alphaproteobacterial consortium composed by the Rhodobacteraceae Dinoroseobacter (22.2%–35.4%) and Roseovarius (5.7%–18.3%), together with Oceanicaulis (14.2‐40.3%), was strongly associated with O. cf. ovata over the algal growth. The Rhodobacteraceae members encompassed phylotypes with an assessed mutualistic‐pathogenic bimodal behavior. Fabibacter (0.7%–25.2%), Labrenzia (5.6%–24.3%), and Dietzia (0.04%–1.7%) were relevant at the stationary phase. Overall, the successional pattern and the metabolic and functional traits of the bacterial community retrieved in culture mirror those ones underpinning O. cf. ovata bloom dynamics in field. Viral abundances increased synoptically with bacterial abundances during the first bacterial exponential growth step while being stationary during the second step. Microbial trends also suggest that viruses induced some shifts in bacterial community composition.

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