Antidiatom and antibacterial activity of epiphytic bacteria isolated from Ulva lactuca in tropical waters

  • V. KumarEmail author
  • D. Rao
  • T. Thomas
  • S. Kjelleberg
  • S. Egan
Original Paper


Bacteria and diatoms are primary colonizers of marine surfaces and hence play a crucial role in the attachment and subsequent growth of macroorganisms. It has been suggested that the temperate green alga Ulva lactuca relies on the defence provided by the epiphytic bacterial community to regulate surface fouling of colonising organisms. In this study, ten resident bacterial isolates from tropical U. lactuca were tested for their antibacterial and antidiatom properties that may regulate surface colonization on the algae. Sixty percent of the epiphytic isolates expressed antibacterial properties against other resident bacteria and 80% had antidiatom activity against the pennate diatom, Cylindrotheca fusiformis. Isolates of the Pseudoalteromonas genus showed both- antibacterial and antidiatom activities, while members of the genus Bacillus, Vibrio and Shewanella mostly possessed antidiatom activity. Our results show that a high proportion of bacterial isolates from tropical U. lactuca, like that of their temperate counterparts contain antibiotic properties that might impact on the bacterial community composition and prevent fouling by diatoms.


Antibacterial Antidiatom Tropical waters Ulva Epiphytic bacteria 



We thank the Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment, University of the South Pacific and the Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation, University of New South Wales, for funding the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Kumar
    • 1
    Email author
  • D. Rao
    • 1
  • T. Thomas
    • 2
  • S. Kjelleberg
    • 2
  • S. Egan
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Biology, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Technology and EnvironmentUniversity of the South PacificSuvaFiji
  2. 2.School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences and the Centre for Marine Bio-InnovationUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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