Spatiotemporal distribution of the magnetotactic multicellular prokaryote Candidatus Magnetoglobus multicellularis in a Brazilian hypersaline lagoon and in microcosms


  • Juliana L. Martins
  • Thais S. Silveira
  • Fernanda Abreu
  • Fernando P. de Almeida
  • Alexandre S. Rosado
  • Ulysses Lins


Candidatus Magnetoglobus multicellularis is an unusual morphotype of magnetotactic prokaryotes. These microorganisms are composed of a spherical assemblage of gram-negative prokaryotic cells capable of swimming as a unitaligned along a magnetic field. While they occur in many aquatic habitats around the world, high numbers of Ca. M. multicellularishave been detected in Araruama Lagoon, a large hypersaline lagoon near the city of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. Here,we report on the spatiotemporal distribution of one such population in sediments of Araruama Lagoon, including its annualdistribution and its abundance compared with the total bacterial community. In microcosm experiments, Ca. M. multicellulariswas unable to survive for more than 45 days: the population density gradually decreased coinciding with a shift to theupper layers of the sediment. Nonetheless, Ca. M. multicellularis was detected throughout the year in all sites studied. Changes in the population density seemed to be related to the input of organic matter as well as to salinity. The populationdensity of Ca. M. multicellularis did not correlate with the total bacterial counts; instead, changes in the microbial communitystructure altered their counts in the environment. [Int Microbiol 2012; 15(3):141-149]

Author Biography

Juliana L. Martins




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