Significance of Vibrio species in the marine organic carbon cycle—A review
The genus Vibrio, belonging to Gammaproteobacteria of the phylum Proteobacteria, is a genetically and ecologically diverse group of heterotrophic bacteria, that are ubiquitous in marine environments, especially in coastal areas. In particular, vibrios dominate, i.e. up to 10% of the readily culturable marine bacteria in these habitats. The distribution of Vibrio spp. is shaped by various environmental parameters, notably temperature, salinity and dissolved organic carbon. Vibriospp. may utilize a wide range of organic carbon compounds, including chitin (this may be metabolized by most Vibrio spp.), alginic acid and agar. Many Vibrio spp. have very short replication times (as short as ~10 min), which could facilitate them developing into high biomass content albeit for relatively short durations. Although Vibriospp. usually comprise a minor portion (typically ~1% of the total bacterioplankton in coastal waters) of the total microbial population, they have been shown to proliferate explosively in response to various nutrient pulses, e.g., organic nutrients from algae blooms and iron (Fe+) from Saharan dust. Thus, Vibrio spp. may exert large impacts on marine organic carbon cycling especially in marginal seas. Genomics and related areas of investigation will reveal more about the molecular components and mechanisms involved in Vibrio-mediated biotransformation and remineralization processes.
KeywordsVibrio Ecology Carbon cycle Marine Organic carbon
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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 91751202, 41521064 & 41506154) and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2016YFA0601303).
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