Regular Paper

Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 97, Issue 3, pp 235-244

Vertical distribution and characterization of aerobic phototrophic bacteria at the Juan de Fuca Ridge in the Pacific Ocean

  • Christopher RathgeberAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, The University of Manitoba
  • , Michael T. LinceAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University
  • , Jean AlricAffiliated withInstitut de Biologie Physico-Chimique
  • , Andrew S. LangAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia
  • , Elaine HumphreyAffiliated withBio-Imaging Facility, The University of British Columbia
  • , Robert E. BlankenshipAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University
  • , André VerméglioAffiliated withCEA-Cadarache, DSV/IBEB/SBVME/LBC, UMR 6191 CNRS/CEA/Université Aix-Marseille
  • , F. Gerald PlumleyAffiliated withBermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences
  • , Cindy L. Van DoverAffiliated withBiology Department, College of William and Mary
    • , J. Thomas BeattyAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia
    • , Vladimir YurkovAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, The University of Manitoba Email author 

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Abstract

The vertical distribution of culturable anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria was investigated at five sites at or near the Juan de Fuca Ridge in the Pacific Ocean. Twelve similar strains of obligately aerobic phototrophic bacteria were isolated in pure culture, from depths ranging from 500 to 2,379 m below the surface. These strains appear morphologically, physiologically, biochemically, and phylogenetically similar to Citromicrobium bathyomarinum strain JF-1, a bacterium previously isolated from hydrothermal vent plume waters. Only one aerobic phototrophic strain was isolated from surface waters. This strain is morphologically and physiologically distinct from the strains isolated at deeper sampling locations, and phylogenetic analysis indicates that it is most closely related to the genus Erythrobacter. Phototrophs were cultivated from three water casts taken above vents but not from two casts taken away from active vent sites. No culturable anaerobic anoxygenic phototrophs were detected. The photosynthetic apparatus was investigated in strain JF-1 and contains light-harvesting I and reaction center complexes, which are functional under aerobic conditions.

Keywords

Aerobic phototrophic bacteria Anoxygenic photosynthesis Bacteriochlorophyll Erythrobacter Citromicrobium Juan de Fuca Ridge