Microbial Ecology

, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 428–435 | Cite as

Linkage Between Bacterial Carbon Processing and the Structure of the Active Bacterial Community at a Coastal Site in the NW Mediterranean Sea

  • Ingrid ObernostererEmail author
  • Raphael Lami
  • Mariele Larcher
  • Nicole Batailler
  • Philippe Catala
  • Philippe Lebaron
Short Communications


The temporal dynamics in bulk bacterial parameters and in the richness of the total and active bacterial community, determined from CE-SSCP fingerprints of 16S rRNA genes and 16S rRNA transcripts, respectively, were followed weekly to bimonthly at an oligotrophic coastal site in the NW Mediterranean Sea. Bacterial abundance, bacterial heterotrophic production, and bacterial and community respiration determined over two seasonal cycles displayed large short-term variability and no pronounced temporal pattern was detectable for these parameters. Concentrations in inorganic nutrients, salinity, or concentrations of chlorophyll a could not significantly explain the temporal variability of the bacterial parameters determined. By contrast, bacterial respiration and the bacterial carbon demand were both negatively correlated with the richness of the active bacterial community, while the bacterial parameters determined herein were not related to the richness of the total bacterial community present. Our results indicate that a reduced number of ribotypes is active when rates of bacteria-mediated carbon processes are high. Our approach, based on fingerprints of 16S rRNA transcripts, could represent an interesting tool to investigate the relationship between the structure and function of marine bacteria, in particular, on short temporal and spatial scales.


Bacterial Community Bacterial Abundance Bacterial Community Composition Community Respiration Bacterial Respiration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank the SOMLIT-team of the Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls for sample collection and analysis, and captain and the crew of the R/V Nereis II for their support aboard. A. Gizolme excellently performed the dissolved oxygen analyses during his stay in the lab in 2004. We also thank three anonymous reviewers for their critical comments. Financial support for this work came in part from the European program BASICS (Bacterial Single Cell Analysis in the Sea, EVK3-CT-2002-00078). I. Obernosterer was funded by a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship from the European Commission.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingrid Obernosterer
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  • Raphael Lami
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mariele Larcher
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nicole Batailler
    • 1
    • 2
  • Philippe Catala
    • 1
    • 2
  • Philippe Lebaron
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7621, LOBBObservatoire OcéanologiqueBanyuls/merFrance
  2. 2.CNRS, UMR 7621, LOBBObservatoire OcéanologiqueBanyuls/merFrance
  3. 3.College of Marine and Earth StudiesUniversity of DelawareLewesUSA
  4. 4.Laboratoire d’Océanographie Biologique de BanyulsUMR7621, BP44Banyuls-sur-MerFrance

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