(25/10106) Detritus-dependent development of the microbial community in an experimental system: qualitative analysis by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis.

Correlations between the biomass of phytoplankton and the biomass of bacteria and between the biomass of bacteria and the biomass of protozoans suggest that there is coupling between these compartments of the "microbial loop." To investigate this coupling on the species level, bacteria and protozoans from untreated lake water inocula were allowed to grow on detritus of the green alga Ankistrodesmus falcatus or the cyanobacterium Oscillatoria limnetica in continuous-flow systems for 1 month. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of the 16S and 18S rRNA genes was used to monitor the development of the bacterial community structure and the eukaryotic community structure, respectively. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling of the DGGE profiles revealed the changes in the microbial community structure. This analysis showed that significantly different bacterial communities developed on the green algal detritus and on the cyanobacterial detritus. Although similar results were obtained for the eukaryotic communities, the differences were not significant. Hence, our findings indicate that the origin of detritus can affect the structure of at least the bacterial community. A phylogenetic analysis of 20 18S ribosomal DNA clones that were isolated from the continuous cultures revealed that many sequences were related to the sequences of bacterivorous protozoans (members of the Ciliophora, Rhizopoda, Amoeba, and Kinetoplastida). One clone grouped in a recently established clade whose previously described members are all parasites. The affiliations of about 20% of the clones could not be determined.  (+info)

(26/10106) Microbial control of the culture of Artemia juveniles through preemptive colonization by selected bacterial strains.

The use of juvenile Artemia as feed in aquaculture and in the pet shop industry has been getting more attention during the last decade. In this study, the use of selected bacterial strains to improve the nutritional value of dry food for Artemia juveniles and to obtain control of the associated microbial community was examined. Nine bacterial strains were selected based on their positive effects on survival and/or growth of Artemia juveniles under monoxenic culture conditions, while other strains caused no significant effect, significantly lower rates of survival and/or growth, or even total mortality of the Artemia. The nine selected strains were used to preemptively colonize the culture water of Artemia juveniles. Xenic culture of Artemia under suboptimal conditions yielded better survival and/or growth rates when they were grown in the preemptively colonized culture medium than when grown in autoclaved seawater. The preemptive colonization of the culture water had a drastic influence on the microbial communities that developed in the culture water or that were associated with the Artemia, as determined with Biolog GN community-level physiological profiles. Chemotaxonomical characterization based on fatty acid methyl ester analysis of bacterial isolates recovered from the culture tanks was performed, and a comparison with the initially introduced strains was made. Finally, several modes of action for the beneficial effect of the bacterial strains are proposed.  (+info)

(27/10106) Effects of larval mosquitoes (Aedes triseriatus) and stemflow on microbial community dynamics in container habitats.

The dynamics of the microbial food sources for Aedes triseriatus larvae in microcosms were found to be strongly influenced by larval presence. The total abundance of bacteria in water samples generally increased in response to larvae, including populations of cultivable, facultatively anaerobic bacteria. Additionally, a portion of the community shifted from Pseudomonaceae to Enterobacteriaceae. Bacterial abundance on leaf material was significantly reduced in the presence of actively feeding larvae. Principle-component analysis of whole community fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) profiles showed that larvae changed the microbial community structure in both the water column and the leaf material. Cyclopropyl FAMEs, typically associated with bacteria, were reduced in microcosms containing larvae; however, other bacterial fatty acids showed no consistent response. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids characteristic of microeukaryotes (protozoans and meiofauna) declined in abundance when larvae were present, indicating that larval feeding reduced the densities of these microorganisms. However, presumed fungal lipid markers either increased or were unchanged in response to larvae. Larval presence also affected microbial nitrogen metabolism through modification of the physiochemical conditions or by grazing on populations of bacteria involved in nitrification-denitrification. Stemflow primarily influenced inorganic ion and organic compound concentrations in the microcosms and had less-pronounced effects on microbial community parameters than did larval presence. Stemflow treatments diluted concentrations of all inorganic ions (chloride, sulfate, and ammonium) and organic compounds (total dissolved organic carbon, soluble carbohydrates, and total protein) measured, with the exceptions of nitrite and nitrate. Stemflow addition did not measurably affect larval biomass in the microcosms but did enhance development rates and early emergence patterns of adults.  (+info)

(28/10106) An outbreak of nonflocculating catabolic populations caused the breakdown of a phenol-digesting activated-sludge process.

Activated sludge was fed phenol as the sole carbon source, and the phenol-loading rate was increased stepwise from 0.5 to 1.0 g liter-1 day-1 and then to 1.5 g liter-1 day-1. After the loading rate was increased to 1.5 g liter-1 day-1, nonflocculating bacteria outgrew the sludge, and the activated-sludge process broke down within 1 week. The bacterial population structure of the activated sludge was analyzed by temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TGGE) of PCR-amplified 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) fragments. We found that the population diversity decreased as the phenol-loading rate increased and that two populations (designated populations R6 and R10) predominated in the sludge during the last several days before breakdown. The R6 population was present under the low-phenol-loading-rate conditions, while the R10 population was present only after the loading rate was increased to 1.5 g liter-1 day-1. A total of 41 bacterial strains with different repetitive extragenic palindromic sequence PCR patterns were isolated from the activated sludge under different phenol-loading conditions, and the 16S rDNA and gyrB fragments of these strains were PCR amplified and sequenced. Some bacterial isolates could be associated with major TGGE bands by comparing the 16S rDNA sequences. All of the bacterial strains affiliated with the R6 population had almost identical 16S rDNA sequences, while the gyrB phylogenetic analysis divided these strains into two physiologically divergent groups; both of these groups of strains could grow on phenol, while one group (designated the R6F group) flocculated in laboratory media and the other group (the R6T group) did not. A competitive PCR analysis in which specific gyrB sequences were used as the primers showed that a population shift from R6F to R6T occurred following the increase in the phenol-loading rate to 1.5 g liter-1 day-1. The R10 population corresponded to nonflocculating phenol-degrading bacteria. Our results suggest that an outbreak of nonflocculating catabolic populations caused the breakdown of the activated-sludge process. This study also demonstrated the usefulness of gyrB-targeted fine population analyses in microbial ecology.  (+info)

(29/10106) Comparative diversity of ammonia oxidizer 16S rRNA gene sequences in native, tilled, and successional soils.

Autotrophic ammonia oxidizer (AAO) populations in soils from native, tilled, and successional treatments at the Kellogg Biological Station Long-Term Ecological Research site in southwestern Michigan were compared to assess effects of disturbance on these bacteria. N fertilization effects on AAO populations were also evaluated with soils from fertilized microplots within the successional treatments. Population structures were characterized by PCR amplification of microbial community DNA with group-specific 16S rRNA gene (rDNA) primers, cloning of PCR products and clone hybridizations with group-specific probes, phylogenetic analysis of partial 16S rDNA sequences, and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis. Population sizes were estimated by using most-probable-number (MPN) media containing varied concentrations of ammonium sulfate. Tilled soils contained higher numbers than did native soils of culturable AAOs that were less sensitive to different ammonium concentrations in MPN media. Compared to sequences from native soils, partial 16S rDNA sequences from tilled soils were less diverse and grouped exclusively within Nitrosospira cluster 3. Native soils yielded sequences representing three different AAO clusters. Probes for Nitrosospira cluster 3 hybridized with DGGE blots from tilled and fertilized successional soils but not with blots from native or unfertilized successional soils. Hybridization results thus suggested a positive association between the Nitrosospira cluster 3 subgroup and soils amended with inorganic N. DGGE patterns for soils sampled from replicated plots of each treatment were nearly identical for tilled and native soils in both sampling years, indicating spatial and temporal reproducibility based on treatment.  (+info)

(30/10106) Composition of toluene-degrading microbial communities from soil at different concentrations of toluene.

Toluene-degrading bacteria were isolated from hydrocarbon-contaminated soil by incubating liquid enrichment cultures and agar plate cultures in desiccators in which the vapor pressure of toluene was controlled by dilution with vacuum pump oil. Incubation in desiccators equilibrated with either 100, 10, or 1% (wt/wt) toluene in vacuum pump oil and testing for genomic cross-hybridization resulted in four genomically distinct strains (standards) capable of growth on toluene (strains Cstd1, Cstd2, Cstd5, and Cstd7). The optimal toluene concentrations for growth of these standards on plating media differed considerably. Cstd1 grew best in an atmosphere equilibrated with 0.1% (wt/wt) toluene, but Cstd5 failed to grow in this atmosphere. Conversely, Cstd5 grew well in the presence of 10% (wt/wt) toluene, which inhibited growth of Cstd1. 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing and cross-hybridization analysis indicated that both Cstd1 and Cstd5 are members of the genus Pseudomonas. An analysis of the microbial communities in soil samples that were incubated with 10% (wt/wt) toluene with reverse sample genome probing indicated that Pseudomonas strain Cstd5 was the dominant community member. However, incubation of soil samples with 0.1% (wt/wt) toluene resulted in a community that was dominated by Pseudomonas strain Q7, a toluene degrader that has been described previously (Y. Shen, L. G. Stehmeier, and G. Voordouw, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 64:637-645, 1998). Q7 was not able to grow by itself in an atmosphere equilibrated with 0.1% (wt/wt) toluene but grew efficiently in coculture with Cstd1, suggesting that toluene or metabolic derivatives of toluene were transferred from Cstd1 to Q7.  (+info)

(31/10106) Seasonal dynamics of bacterioplankton community structure in a eutrophic lake as determined by 5S rRNA analysis.

Community structure of bacterioplankton was studied during the major growth season for phytoplankton (April to October) in the epilimnion of a temperate eutrophic lake (Lake Plusssee, northern Germany) by using comparative 5S rRNA analysis. Estimates of the relative abundances of single taxonomic groups were made on the basis of the amounts of single 5S rRNA bands obtained after high-resolution electrophoresis of RNA directly from the bacterioplankton. Full-sequence analysis of single environmental 5S rRNAs enabled the identification of single taxonomic groups of bacteria. Comparison of partial 5S rRNA sequences allowed the detection of changes of single taxa over time. Overall, the whole bacterioplankton community showed two to eight abundant (>4% of the total 5S rRNA) taxa. A distinctive seasonal succession was observed in the taxonomic structure of this pelagic community. A rather-stable community structure, with seven to eight different taxonomic units, was observed beginning in April during the spring phytoplankton bloom. A strong reduction in this diversity occurred at the beginning of the clear-water phase (early May), when only two to four abundant taxa were observed, with one taxon dominating (up to 72% of the total 5S rRNA). The community structure during summer stagnation (June and July) was characterized by frequent changes of different dominating taxa. During late summer, a dinoflagellate bloom (Ceratium hirudinella) occurred, with Comamonas acidovorans (beta-subclass of the class Proteobacteria) becoming the dominant bacterial species (average abundance of 43% of the total 5S rRNA). Finally, the seasonal dynamics of the community structure of bacterioplankton were compared with the abundances of other major groups of the aquatic food web, such as phyto- and zooplankton, revealing that strong grazing pressure by zooplankton can reduce microbial diversity substantially in pelagic environments.  (+info)

(32/10106) The application of ecological principles and fermentable fibers to manage the gastrointestinal tract ecosystem.

Because diet can influence the structure and functions of the gastrointestinal tract, there are opportunities for using diet as a "management tool" to affect the resident microbiota. Fermentable fibers increase the densities of beneficial bacteria and stimulate growth and functions of the healthy intestine. Recent findings show that after acute diarrhea, the use of an oral electrolyte solution with the fermentable fiber oligofructose accelerates recovery of beneficial bacteria, reduces the relative abundance of detrimental bacteria, stimulates mucosal growth and enhances digestive and immune functions. This review will focus on how the principles of stream ecology can be applied to better understand the distribution of bacteria along the length of the gastrointestinal tract, the effect of diarrhea on the gastrointestinal ecosystem and how fermentable fibers can be used as a "management tool" to promote gastrointestinal health in normal states and during recovery from diarrhea.  (+info)