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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Responses of Baltic Sea ice and open-water natural bacterial communities to salinity change.

To investigate the responses of Baltic Sea wintertime bacterial communities to changing salinity (5 to 26 practical salinity units), an experimental study was conducted. Bacterial communities of Baltic seawater and sea ice from a coastal site in southwest Finland were used in two batch culture experiments run for 17 or 18 days at 0 degrees C. Bacterial abundance, cell volume, and leucine and thymidine incorporation were measured during the experiments. The bacterial community structure was assessed using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of PCR-amplified partial 16S rRNA genes with sequencing of DGGE bands from initial communities and communities of day 10 or 13 of the experiment. The sea ice-derived bacterial community was metabolically more active than the open-water community at the start of the experiment. Ice-derived bacterial communities were able to adapt to salinity change with smaller effects on physiology and community structure, whereas in the open-water bacterial communities, the bacterial cell volume evolution, bacterial abundance, and community structure responses indicated the presence of salinity stress. The closest relatives for all eight partial 16S rRNA gene sequences obtained were either organisms found in polar sea ice and other cold habitats or those found in summertime Baltic seawater. All sequences except one were associated with the alpha- and gamma-proteobacteria or the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides group. The overall physiological and community structure responses were parallel in ice-derived and open-water bacterial assemblages, which points to a linkage between community structure and physiology. These results support previous assumptions of the role of salinity fluctuation as a major selective factor shaping the sea ice bacterial community structure.[1]


  1. Responses of Baltic Sea ice and open-water natural bacterial communities to salinity change. Kaartokallio, H., Laamanen, M., Sivonen, K. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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