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Variation in cell volume and community composition of bacteria in response to temperature

Journal article
Authors J. Sjostedt
A. Hagstrom
Ulla Li Zweifel
Published in Aquatic Microbial Ecology
Volume 66
Issue 3
Pages 237-246
ISSN 0948-3055
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 237-246
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.3354/ame01579
Keywords Temperature, Cell volume, Bacterioplankton, Morphology, dissolved organic-carbon, gradient gel-electrophoresis, escherichia-coli, bacterioplankton assemblages, seasonal-variation, marine-bacteria, ribosomal-rna, growth, size, sea
Subject categories Marine ecology

Abstract

Although temperature is a key parameter controlling the activity and growth of all microorganisms, information about how water temperature may structure the bacterioplankton community is not consistent. We examined the relationship between temperature and the community composition, cell volume, and morphology of marine bacterioplankton in 4 continuous cultures harbouring multispecies communities. All 4 cultures were maintained at a turnover time of 0.04 h(-1) but at different temperatures of 10, 15, 20, and 25 degrees C. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analyses showed that the community composition shifted in response to temperature. Cell volumes were determined from digital photomicrographs using an image analysis program, which also allowed the identification of 3 morphological types of bacteria: cocci-, rod-, and vibrio-shaped bacteria. Mean bacterial cell volume decreased with increasing temperature, e.g., by 39% when the temperature was increased from 10 degrees C to 20 degrees C. When the temperature increased, the bacterial morphology also shifted from dominance by rod- and vibrio-shaped bacteria to dominance by coccoid bacteria. The results clearly indicate the potential role of temperature in driving the community succession of bacterioplankton and in selecting for smaller cells at higher temperatures.

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