Salinity dependence of the distribution of multicellular magnetotactic prokaryotes in a hypersaline lagoon
Keywords:Candidatus Magnetoglobus multicellularis, multicellular magnetotactic prokaryotes, salinity dependence, iron in waters
AbstractCandidatus Magnetoglobus multicellularis is an unusual magnetotactic multicellular microorganism composed of a highly organized assemblage of gram-negative bacterial cells. In this work, the salinity dependence of Ca. M. multicellularis and its abundance in the hypersaline Araruama Lagoon, Brazil were studied. Viability experiments showed that Ca. M. multicellularis died in salinities >55‰ and < 40‰. Low salinities were also observed to modify the cellular assemblage. In microcosms prepared with different salinities, the microorganism grew better at intermediate salinities whereas in high or low salinities, the size of the population did not increase over time. The concentrations of Ca. M. multicellularis in the lagoon were related to salinity; sites with lower and higher salinities than the lagoon average contained less Ca. M. multicellularis. These results demonstrate the influence of salinity on the survival and distribution of Ca. M. multicellularis in the environment. In sediments, the abundance of Ca. M. multicellularis ranged from 0 to 103 microorganisms/ml, which represented 0.001% of the counts of total bacteria. The ability of Ca. M. multicellularis to accumulate iron and sulfur in high numbers of magnetosomes (up to 905 per microorganism) suggests that its impact on the sequestration of these elements (0.1% for biogenic bacterial iron) is not proportional to its abundance in the lagoon. [Int Microbiol 2009; 12(3):193-201]
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