TitlePredator-specific enrichment of actinobacteria from a cosmopolitan freshwater clade in mixed continuous culture
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsPernthaler, J, Posch, T, Šimek, K, Vrba, J, Pernthaler, A, Glockner, FO, Nubel, U, Psenner, R, Amann, R
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology

We investigated whether individual populations of freshwater bacteria in mixed experimental communities may exhibit specific responses to the presence of different bacterivorous protists. In two successive experiments, a two-stage continuous cultivation system was inoculated,vith nonaxenic batch cultures of the cryptophyte Cryptomonas sp, Algal exudates provided the sole source of organic carbon for growth of the accompanying microflora. The dynamics of several 16S rRNA-defined bacterial populations were followed in the experimental communities. Although the composition and stability of the two microbial communities differed, numerous members of the first assemblage could again be detected during the second experiment. The introduction of a size-selectively feeding mixotrophic nanoflagellate (Ochromonas sp.) always resulted in an immediate bloom of a single phylotype population of members of the class Actinobacteria (Acl). These bacteria were phylogenetically affiliated with an uncultured lineage of gram-positive bacteria that have been found in freshwater habitats only. The Ac1 cells were close to the average size of freshwater bacterioplankton and significantly smaller than any of the other experimental community members. In contrast, no increase of the Acl population was observed in vessels ex-posed to the bacterivorous ciliate Cyclidium glaucoma. However, when the Ochromonas sp. was added after the establishment of C. glaucoma, the proportion of population Acl within the microbial community rapidly increased. Populations of a beta proteobacterial phylotype related to an Aquabacterium sp, decreased relative to the total bacterial communities following the addition of either predator, albeit to different extents, The community structure of pelagic microbial assemblages can therefore be influenced by the taxonomic composition of the predator community.