The Ecology of Microbial Communities Associated with Macrocystis pyrifera

Vanessa K. Michelou, James G Caporaso, Rob Knight, Stephen R. Palumbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Kelp forests are characterized by high biodiversity and productivity, and the cycling of kelp-produced carbon is a vital process in this ecosystem. Although bacteria are assumed to play a major role in kelp forest carbon cycling, knowledge of the composition and diversity of these bacterial communities is lacking. Bacterial communities on the surface of Macrocystis pyrifera and adjacent seawater were sampled at the Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey Bay, CA, and further studied using 454-tag pyrosequencing of 16S RNA genes. Our results suggest that M. pyrifera-dominated kelp forests harbor distinct microbial communities that vary temporally. The distribution of sequence tags assigned to Gammaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Bacteriodetes differed between the surface of the kelp and the surrounding water. Several abundant Rhodobacteraceae, uncultivated Gammaproteobacteria and Bacteriodetes-associated tags displayed considerable temporal variation, often with similar trends in the seawater and the surface of the kelp. Bacterial community structure and membership correlated with the kelp surface serving as host, and varied over time. Several kelp-specific taxa were highly similar to other bacteria known to either prevent the colonization of eukaryotic larvae or exhibit antibacterial activities. Some of these kelp-specific bacterial associations might play an important role for M. pyrifera. This study provides the first assessment of the diversity and phylogenetic profile of the bacterial communities associated with M. pyrifera.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere67480
JournalPLoS One
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 19 2013

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Macrocystis
Kelp
Macrocystis pyrifera
Ecology
microbial communities
macroalgae
ecology
Seawater
bacterial communities
Bacteria
Carbon
Gammaproteobacteria
Biodiversity
Ports and harbors
gamma-Proteobacteria
Ecosystems
Rhodobacteraceae
Genes
Productivity
RNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

The Ecology of Microbial Communities Associated with Macrocystis pyrifera. / Michelou, Vanessa K.; Caporaso, James G; Knight, Rob; Palumbi, Stephen R.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 8, No. 6, e67480, 19.06.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Michelou, Vanessa K. ; Caporaso, James G ; Knight, Rob ; Palumbi, Stephen R. / The Ecology of Microbial Communities Associated with Macrocystis pyrifera. In: PLoS One. 2013 ; Vol. 8, No. 6.
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