A moderately halophilic hydrocarbon-degrading bacterium was isolated from continuous cultures containing a suspension of intertidal sediment from the German North Sea coast with hexadecane as the sole carbon source. On the basis of phenotypic characteristics, fatty acid analysis and 16S rDNA sequence analysis, it was considered to be a new species belonging to a new genus. It is a Gram-negative, aerobic, rod-shaped bacterium, whose cell size varies. It grows at concentrations of 0.5-15% (w/v) NaCl and utilizes a restricted spectrum of carbon sources. The G + C content of the DNA is 63.6 mol%. Comparative 16S rDNA studies show a clear affiliation of this bacterium to the gamma subclass of the class Proteobacteria. Comparison of phylogenetic data indicate that it is most closely related to Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus (88.9% similarity in 16S rRNA gene sequence). Since it is impossible to find a sufficiently closely related species, we propose the name Fundibacter jadensis gen. nov., sp. nov. for the bacteria. The type strain is T9T (= DSM 12178T). (+info)
(2/114) Rhodovulum iodosum sp. nov. and Rhodovulum robiginosum sp. nov., two new marine phototrophic ferrous-iron-oxidizing purple bacteria.
Two new strains of marine purple bacteria, N1T and N2T, were isolated from coastal sediment of the North Sea (Germany) with ferrous iron as the only electron donor for anoxygenic photosynthesis. The isolates are the first salt-dependent, ferrous-iron-oxidizing purple bacteria characterized so far. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed an affiliation with the genus Rhodovulum, which until now comprises only marine species. The sequence similarity of both strains was 95.2%, and their closest relative was Rhodovulum adriaticum. Like all known Rhodovulum species, the new strains had ovoid to rod-shaped cells, contained bacteriochlorophyll a and carotenoids of the spheroidene series, and were able to oxidize sulfide and thiosulfate. Like Rhodovulum adriaticum, both strains were unable to assimilate sulfate; for growth they needed a reduced sulfur source, e.g. thiosulfate. In contrast to the new strains, none of the known Rhodovulum species tested was able to oxidize ferrous iron or iron sulfide. In growth experiments, strains N1T and N2T oxidized 65 and 95%, respectively, of the ferrous iron supplied. Electron diffraction analysis revealed ferrihydrite as the main product of ferrous iron oxidation. In addition, traces of magnetite were formed. Strains N1T (= DSM 12328T) and N2T (= DSM 12329T) are described as Rhodovulum iodosum sp. nov. and Rhodovulum robiginosum sp. nov., respectively. (+info)
(3/114) Bright light treatment used for adaptation to night work and re-adaptation back to day life. A field study at an oil platform in the North Sea.
Night workers complain of sleepiness, reduced performance and disturbed sleep due to lack of adjustment of the circadian rhythm. In simulated night-work experiments scheduled exposure to bright light has been shown to reduce these complaints. Here we studied the effects of bright light treatment on the adaptation to 14 days of consecutive night work at an oil platform in the North Sea, and the subsequent readaptation to day life at home, using the Karolinska sleep/wake diary. Bright light treatment of 30 min per exposure was applied during the first 4 nights of the night-shift period and the first 4 days at home following the shift period. The bright light exposure was scheduled individually to phase delay the circadian rhythm. Bright light treatment modestly facilitated the subjective adaptation to night work, but the positive effect of bright light was especially pronounced during the re-adaptation back to day life following the return home. Sleepiness was reduced and the quality of day was rated better after exposure to bright light. The modest effect of bright light at the platform was, possibly, related to the finding that the workers seemed to adapt to night work within a few days even without bright light. These results suggest that short-term bright light treatment may help the adaptation to an extended night-work period, and especially the subsequent re-adaptation to day life. (+info)
(4/114) Spectroscopic and molecular characterization of a long wavelength absorbing antenna of Ostreobium sp.
One of the strains of the marine green alga Ostreobium sp. possesses an exceptionally large number of long wavelength absorbing chlorophylls (P. Haldall, Biol. Bull. 134, 1968, 411-424) as evident from a distinct shoulder in the absorption spectrum at around 710 nm while in the other strain this shoulder is absent. Therefore, Ostreobium offers a unique possibility to explore the origin of these red-shifted chlorophylls, because strains with and without these spectral forms can be compared. Here, we characterize these red forms spectroscopically by absorption, fluorescence and CD spectroscopy. In the CD spectra at least three spectroscopic red forms are identified which lead to an unusual room temperature fluorescence spectrum that peaks at 715 nm. The gel electrophoretic pattern from thylakoids of Ostreobium sp. shows an intense band at 22 kDa which correlates with the presence or absence of long wavelength absorbing pigments. By protein sequencing of the N-terminus of the 22-kDa polypeptide and sequence alignments, this was identified as an Lhca1-type light-harvesting complex. The abundance of this polypeptide - and a possibly co-migrating one - in Ostreobium sp. indicates an antenna size of approximately 340 chlorophyll molecules (Chl a and Chl b) per PS IIalpha reaction center, which is significantly larger than in higher plants ( approximately 240). The red forms are more abundant in the interior of the thalli where a 'shade-light' light field is expected than in the white-light exposed surface. This demonstrates that algae exist which may be able to up-regulate the synthesis of large amounts of LHCI and associated red forms under appropriate illumination conditions. (+info)
(5/114) Thymic cysts in harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) from the German North Sea, Baltic Sea, and waters of Greenland.
Thymic cysts have not been previously reported in harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena). Two hundred forty stranded or "by-caught" harbor porpoises originating from the German North Sea and Baltic Sea and 14 animals from the waters of Greenland were necropsied. Thymuses of 78 porpoises of the North Sea and Baltic Sea were considered suitable for histopathologic examination based on the extent of postmortem autolysis. Immunohistochemistry using an anti-cytokeratin antibody was employed to demonstrate thymic epithelial structures in selected cases. Thymic macrocysts were rare and were only found in animals > or =7 years of age. Thymic microcysts, lined by a single cytokeratin-positive cell layer, were common in involuting thymuses, and the prevalence increased with advancing age. Thymic cysts might have arisen from degenerating Hassall's corpuscles or condensed epithelial reticulum. Thymuses were easily identified macroscopically in most adult healthy harbor porpoises, suggesting that physiological thymic involution proceeds slowly in this species. (+info)
(6/114) Culturability and In situ abundance of pelagic bacteria from the North Sea.
The culturability of abundant members of the domain Bacteria in North Sea bacterioplankton was investigated by a combination of various cultivation strategies and cultivation-independent 16S rRNA-based techniques. We retrieved 16S rRNA gene (rDNA) clones from environmental DNAs and determined the in situ abundance of different groups and genera by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). A culture collection of 145 strains was established by plating on oligotrophic medium. Isolates were screened by FISH, amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA), and sequencing of representative 16S rDNAs. The majority of isolates were members of the genera Pseudoalteromonas, Alteromonas, and Vibrio. Despite being readily culturable, they constituted only a minor fraction of the bacterioplankton community. They were not detected in the 16S rDNA library, and FISH indicated rare (<1% of total cell counts) occurrence as large, rRNA-rich, particle-associated bacteria. Conversely, abundant members of the Cytophaga-Flavobacteria and gamma proteobacterial SAR86 clusters, identified by FISH as 17 to 30% and up to 10% of total cells in the North Sea bacterioplankton, respectively, were cultured rarely or not at all. Whereas SAR86-affiliated clones dominated the 16S rDNA library (44 of 53 clones), no clone affiliated to the Cytophaga-Flavobacterum cluster was retrieved. The only readily culturable abundant group of marine bacteria was related to the genus Roseobacter. The group made up 10% of the total cells in the summer, and the corresponding sequences were also present in our clone library. Rarefaction analysis of the ARDRA patterns of all of the isolates suggested that the total culturable diversity by our method was high and still not covered by the numbers of isolated strains but was almost saturated for the gamma proteobacteria. This predicts a limit to the isolation of unculturable marine bacteria, particularly the gamma-proteobacterial SAR86 cluster, as long as no new techniques for isolation are available and thus contrasts with more optimistic accounts of the culturability of marine bacterioplankton. (+info)
(7/114) Regional patterns in prevalence of principal external diseases of dab Limanda limanda in the North Sea and adjacent areas 1992-1997.
The prevalence and spatial distribution of major diseases of dab Limanda limanda in the North Sea and adjacent areas were studied in the summers 1992 to 1997. Areas covered were the North Sea, Irish Sea, northern and northeastern British Waters and the English Channel. The diseases studied were lymphocystis, epidermal hyperplasia/papilloma and skin ulceration. To standardise data, results were analysed for females >15 cm (>3 yr old). Data were subjected to median polish, and additive, extended and additive plus multiplicative models were applied to best account for effects of region and year. Annual differences in disease prevalence were low whilst differences between areas were pronounced. For lymphocystis higher prevalence was observed in the northwestern sector of the North Sea, at the northern tip of Scotland and in an area south of Iceland. Prevalence was low in the Irish Sea, the English Channel and the southern North Sea, and intermediate in the German Bight. For epidermal hyperplasia/papilloma, levels were low at Icelandic stations, in the northern Irish Sea, in the southern North Sea and the English Channel, whilst levels were high in the northwestern part of the North Sea and the German Bight. Elevated levels of skin ulceration were found on the Dogger, at 1 station in the Irish Sea (off Sellafield) and at 1 station to the south of Iceland. Lower levels were detected west of Iceland. Prevalence in all other areas was intermediate. It is concluded that a detailed analysis of available data on disease prevalence and putative causative factors is desirable and, given the good availability of data, would be a promising step forward toward elucidating possible cause and effect relationships between diseases and anthropogenic factors. (+info)
(8/114) Muricauda ruestringensis gen. nov., sp. nov., a facultatively anaerobic, appendaged bacterium from German North Sea intertidal sediment.
A gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic bacterium with appendages was isolated from continuous cultures with a seawater-sediment suspension containing hexadecane as the sole carbon source. Although this organism was isolated from a hexadecane-degrading bacterial community, it was not able to degrade hexadecane. However, this bacterium was able to use different sugars and amino acids for growth, indicating that it probably profits from the lysis or from products like surfactants of other cells in the community. 16S rDNA analysis demonstrated that the isolated strain is phylogenetically related to the family Flavobacteriaceae of the phylum 'Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides'. Evidence based on phenotypic characteristics and 16S rDNA analysis supports the conclusion that this bacterium is distinct from its nearest relative, Zobellia uliginosa (90.72% similarity in 16S rRNA gene sequence), and from the other genera of the Flavobacteriaceae. It is therefore proposed that the isolated marine bacterium represents a novel taxon, designated Muricauda ruestringensis gen. nov., sp. nov. The type strain is strain B1T (= DSM 13258T = LMG 19739T). (+info)