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Reference Acetogenic and sulfate-reducing bacteria inhabiting the rhizoplane and deep cortex cells of the sea grass Halodule wrightii. Küsel K, Pinkart HC, Drake HL, Devereux R. Applied and environmental microbiology. 1999.
Abstract Recent declines in sea grass distribution underscore the importance of understanding microbial community structure-function relationships in sea grass rhizospheres that might affect the viability of these plants. Phospholipid fatty acid analyses showed that sulfate-reducing bacteria and clostridia were enriched in sediments colonized by the sea grasses Halodule wrightii and Thalassia testudinum compared to an adjacent unvegetated sediment. Most-probable-number analyses found that in contrast to butyrate-producing clostridia, acetogens and acetate-utilizing sulfate reducers were enriched by an order of magnitude in rhizosphere sediments. Although sea grass roots are oxygenated in the daytime, colorimetric root incubation studies demonstrated that acetogenic O-demethylation and sulfidogenic iron precipitation activities were tightly associated with washed, sediment-free H. wrightii roots. This suggests that the associated anaerobes are able to tolerate exposure to oxygen. To localize and quantify the anaerobic microbial colonization, root thin sections were hybridized with newly developed (33)P-labeled probes that targeted (i) low-G+C-content gram-positive bacteria, (ii) cluster I species of clostridia, (iii) species of Acetobacterium, and (iv) species of Desulfovibrio. Microautoradiography revealed intercellular colonization of the roots by Acetobacterium and Desulfovibrio species. Acetogenic bacteria occurred mostly in the rhizoplane and outermost cortex cell layers, and high numbers of sulfate reducers were detected on all epidermal cells and inward, colonizing some 60% of the deepest cortex cells. Approximately 30% of epidermal cells were colonized by bacteria that hybridized with an archaeal probe, strongly suggesting the presence of methanogens. Obligate anaerobes within the roots might contribute to the vitality of sea grasses and other aquatic plants and to the biogeochemistry of the surrounding sediment.
Pubmed ID 10543830