Posts Tagged 'prokaryotes'

A meta-analysis of microcosm experiments shows that dimethyl sulfide (DMS) production in polar waters is insensitive to ocean acidification

Emissions of dimethylsulfide (DMS) from the polar oceans play a key role in atmospheric processes and climate. Therefore, it is important to increase our understanding of how DMS production in these regions may respond to climate change. The polar oceans are particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification (OA). However, our understanding of the polar DMS response is limited to two studies conducted in Arctic waters, where in both cases DMS concentrations decreased with increasing acidity. Here, we report on our findings from seven summertime shipboard microcosm experiments undertaken in a variety of locations in the Arctic Ocean and Southern Ocean. These experiments reveal no significant effects of short-term OA on the net production of DMS by planktonic communities. This is in contrast to similar experiments from temperate north-western European shelf waters where surface ocean communities responded to OA with significant increases in dissolved DMS concentrations. A meta-analysis of the findings from both temperate and polar waters (n=18 experiments) reveals clear regional differences in the DMS response to OA. Based on our findings, we hypothesize that the differences in DMS response between temperate and polar waters reflect the natural variability in carbonate chemistry to which the respective communities of each region may already be adapted. If so, future temperate oceans could be more sensitive to OA, resulting in an increase in DMS emissions to the atmosphere, whilst perhaps surprisingly DMS emissions from the polar oceans may remain relatively unchanged. By demonstrating that DMS emissions from geographically distinct regions may vary in their response to OA, our results may facilitate a better understanding of Earth’s future climate. Our study suggests that the way in which processes that generate DMS respond to OA may be regionally distinct, and this should be taken into account in predicting future DMS emissions and their influence on Earth’s climate.

Continue reading ‘A meta-analysis of microcosm experiments shows that dimethyl sulfide (DMS) production in polar waters is insensitive to ocean acidification’

Experimental acidification increases susceptibility of Mercenaria mercenaria to infection by Vibrio species


• Clams in high pCO2/low pH were more susceptible to infection by pathogenic Vibrios.

• Growth and abundance of Vibrio spp. were greater under high pCO2/low pH.

• Clams reared under high pCO2/low pH seemed to have a broad tolerance range for pH.

• Long-term effect of acidification and susceptibility to vibriosis is understudied.


Ocean acidification alters seawater carbonate chemistry, which can have detrimental impacts for calcifying organisms such as bivalves. This study investigated the physiological cost of resilience to acidification in Mercenaria mercenaria, with a focus on overall immune performance following exposure to Vibrio spp. Larval and juvenile clams reared in seawater with high pCO2 (∼1200 ppm) displayed an enhanced susceptibility to bacterial pathogens. Higher susceptibility to infection in clams grown under acidified conditions was derived from a lower immunity to infection more so than an increase in growth of bacteria under high pCO2. A reciprocal transplant of juvenile clams demonstrated the highest mortality amongst animals transplanted from low pCO2/high pH to high pCO2/low pH conditions and then exposed to bacterial pathogens. Collectively, these results suggest that increased pCO2 will result in immunocompromised larvae and juveniles, which could have complex and pernicious effects on hard clam populations.

Continue reading ‘Experimental acidification increases susceptibility of Mercenaria mercenaria to infection by Vibrio species’

Siderophore production by bacteria isolated from mangrove sediments: a microcosm study


  • Siderophores are organic ligands produced by bacteria primarily for iron sequestration.
  • In this study, siderophore production was independent of warmer temperatures that helped growth of the bacterial isolates.
  • Ocean acidification (pH 6.5 to 7.5) did not suppress siderophore production in these strains.
  • In this study, bacterial isolates used diverse carbon sources to produce siderophores.
  • Such responses of pathogenic strains may help in their survival in changing global environment, hence is of concern.


Mangroves are one of the most productive ecosystems worldwide covering up to 75% of the coastline in the tropics and subtropics. They support a highly diverse community (marine and terrestrial) and serves as reservoirs of nutrients for coastal and shelf waters. Bacterial diversity in mangroves includes heterotrophs, autotrophs (nitrogen fixation) and pathogens (phytopathogens, marine, and human). All these bacterial groups require sequestration of bioavailable iron, which is largely done by the production of siderophores. In this study, microcosm experiments were conducted to test the effect of incubation conditions (temperature, iron concentration, pH, and carbon source) on growth and siderophore production in four mangrove sediment bacterial isolates- Escherichia vulneris, Enterobacter cancerogenus, Pantoea agglomerans, and Enterobacter bugandensis. Our study showed that all isolates produce more siderophores (30 to 60%) at low iron concentrations (10 nM to 1 μM) during lag-phase and early log-phase of growth. Low temperature suppressed bacterial growth without significantly altering the siderophore production, whereas low pH suppressed both growth and siderophore production in these isolates. Although all isolates could produce siderophores when using different carbon sources, glucose served as an ideal carbon source. The observed changes in growth and siderophore production may be attributed to species-specific physiological traits, changes in bioavailability of iron and/or combination of both. Our results suggest that in a changing global environment, warming of the surrounding waters may not reduce the siderophore production and hence, they will be essential in sustaining bacterial activity in sediments.

Continue reading ‘Siderophore production by bacteria isolated from mangrove sediments: a microcosm study’

Impact of ocean acidification on the intestinal microbiota of the marine sea bream (Sparus aurata L.)

Within a scenario of increasing atmospheric CO2 and ocean acidification (OA), it is highly relevant to investigate its impacts not only on fish performance but also on fish intestinal microbiome and how that reflects on host performance and health. The main objective of this study was to establish if the intestinal microbiota of the sea bream (Sparus aurata) was affected by high level of CO2 in line with the predictions for this century. The bacterial communities of the intestinal fluid were characterized in animals kept at the present-day level of CO2 (400 μatm) and in animals switched to high CO2 (1200 μatm) for 1 month. Bacterial taxa identification was based on molecular methods, using the DNA coding for the 16S ribosomal RNA and primers targeting the regions V1–V3. Amplicons obtained from DNA samples of animals in the same tank were combined, cloned to obtain a bacterial DNA library, and the clones were sequenced. No significant differences were found between the two treatments for alpha diversity. However, beta diversity analysis revealed distinct dysbiosis in response to hypercapnia, with phylum Firmicutes absent from the bacterial communities of fish exposed to 1200 μatm CO2, whereas Proteobacteria relative abundance was increased at elevated CO2, due to the presence of Gammaproteobacteria (Vibrionaceae and Alteromonadaceae), a class not present in the control samples. This study provides a first glimpse at the impact of OA in fish intestinal microbiota and highlights potential downstream effects to the general condition of fishes under hypercapnia.

Continue reading ‘Impact of ocean acidification on the intestinal microbiota of the marine sea bream (Sparus aurata L.)’

Response of N2O production rate to ocean acidification in the western North Pacific

Ocean acidification, induced by the increase in anthropogenic CO2 emissions, has a profound impact on marine organisms and biogeochemical processes. The response of marine microbial activities to ocean acidification might play a crucial role in the future evolution of air–sea fluxes of biogenic gases such as nitrous oxide (N2O), a strong GHG and the dominant stratospheric ozone-depleting substance. Here, we examine the response of N2O production from nitrification to acidification in a series of incubation experiments conducted in subtropical and subarctic western North Pacific. The experiments show that when pH was reduced, the N2O production rate during nitrification measured at subarctic stations increased significantly while nitrification rates remained stable or decreased. Contrary to previous findings, these results suggest that the effect of ocean acidification on N2O production during nitrification and nitrification rates are probably uncoupled. Collectively, these results suggest that if seawater pH continues to decline at the same rate, ocean acidification could increase marine N2O production during nitrification in the subarctic North Pacific by 185 to 491% by the end of the century.

Continue reading ‘Response of N2O production rate to ocean acidification in the western North Pacific’

Ulva prolifera green-tide outbreaks and their environmental impact in the Yellow Sea, China

The Ulva prolifera green tides in the Yellow Sea, China, which have been occurring since 2007, are a serious environmental problem attracting worldwide attention. Despite extensive research, the outbreak mechanisms have not been fully understood. Comprehensive analysis of anthropogenic and natural biotic and abiotic factors reveals that human activities, regional physicochemical conditions and algal physiological characteristics as well as ocean warming and biological interactions (with microorganism or other macroalgae) are closely related to the occurrence of green tides. Dynamics of these factors and their interactions could explain why green tides suddenly occurred in 2007 and decreased abruptly in 2017. Moreover, the consequence of green tides is serious. The decay of macroalgal biomass could result in hypoxia and acidification, possibly induce red tide and even have a long-lasting impact on coastal carbon cycles and the ecosystem. Accordingly, corresponding countermeasures have been proposed in our study for future reference in ecosystem management strategies and sustainable development policy.

Continue reading ‘Ulva prolifera green-tide outbreaks and their environmental impact in the Yellow Sea, China’

Ocean acidification and warming effects on the physiology, skeletal properties, and microbiome of the purple-hinge rock scallop


• Is the physiology of Crassadoma gigantea affected by warming and acidification?

• Warming and acidification reduced shell strength & increased total lipid content.

• Exposed scallops reorganized fatty acids to sustain metabolic functions.

• Treatments lead to differences in microbiome community composition.

• This was the first multi-stressor experiment on Crassadoma gigantea.

• This was the first multi-stressors experiment to define a core microbiome in a bivalve.


Ocean acidification and increased ocean temperature from elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide can significantly influence the physiology, growth and survival of marine organisms. Despite increasing research efforts, there are still many gaps in our knowledge of how these stressors interact to affect economically and ecologically important species. This project is the first to explore the physiological effects of high pCO2 and temperature on the acclimation potential of the purple-hinge rock scallop (Crassadoma gigantea), a widely distributed marine bivalve, important reef builder, and potential aquaculture product. Scallops were exposed to two pCO2 (365 and 1050 μatm) and temperature (14 and 21.5 °C) conditions in a two-factor experimental design. Simultaneous exposure to high temperature and high pCO2 reduced shell strength, decreased outer shell density and increased total lipid content. Despite identical diets, scallops exposed to high pCO2 had higher content of saturated fatty acids, and lower content of polyunsaturated fatty acids suggesting reorganization of fatty acid chains to sustain basic metabolic functions under high pCO2. Metagenomic sequencing of prokaryotes in scallop tissue revealed treatment differences in community composition between treatments and in the presence of genes associated with microbial cell regulation, signaling, and pigmentation. Results from this research highlight the complexity of physiological responses for calcifying species under global change related stress and provide the first insights for understanding the response of a bivalve’s microbiome under multiple stressors.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification and warming effects on the physiology, skeletal properties, and microbiome of the purple-hinge rock scallop’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book