Microbial population dynamics and diversity during a bloom of the marine coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi (Haptophyta)

T. Castberg, A. Larsen, R.A. Sandaa, C.P.D. Brussaard, J.K. Egge, M. Heldal, R. Thyrhaug, E.J. Van Hannen, G. Bratbak

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    Several previous studies have shown that Emiliania huxleyi blooms and terminations have been succeeded by an increase in large virus-like particles (LVLP), strongly suggesting the bloom collapse was caused by viral lysis. However, due to methodological limitations, knowledge of how such blooms affect the rest of the microbial community is limited. In the current study we induced a bloom of E. huxleyi in seawater enclosures and applied methods enabling us to describe the algae, bacteria and virus communities with greater resolution than has been done previously, The development of the dominating algal, viral and bacterial populations in the nutrient-amended seawater enclosures was followed by flow cytometry (FCM). Light microscopy (LM), PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) were used to describe the changes in community composition in greater detail. The algal community was dominated by E. huxleyi until termination of the bloom by viral lysis, After bloom termination the additional algal populations present in the enclosures increased in abundance. A marked increase in viruses other than the one infecting E. huxleyi was also observed. Total bacterial number and community composition were also greatly influenced by the bloom and its collapse. [KEYWORDS: diversity, Emiliania huxleyi, microbial community, viral lysis]
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)39-46
    JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


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