Links between geographic location, environmental factors, and microbial community composition in sediments of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

TitleLinks between geographic location, environmental factors, and microbial community composition in sediments of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsPolymenakou, PN, Bertilsson S, Tselepides A, Stephanou EG
JournalMicrobial Ecology
Volume49
Issue3
Pages367-78
Keywords*Water Microbiology, Bacteria/genetics/*growth & development, Chlorophyll/analysis, Environmental Monitoring, Fatty Acids/analysis, Geography, Geologic Sediments/*chemistry/*microbiology, Mediterranean Sea, Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length, RNA, Ribosomal, 16S/analysis
Abstract

The bacterial community composition of marine surface sediments originating from various regions of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (12 sampling sites) was compared by parallel use of three fingerprinting methods: analysis of 16S rRNA gene fragment heterogeneity by denaturing gradient electrophoresis (DGGE), terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), and analysis of phospholipid-linked fatty acid composition (PLFA). Sampling sites were located at variable depths (30-2860 m; water column depth above the sediments) and the sediments differed greatly also in their degree of petroleum contamination (0.4-18 microg g(-1)), organic carbon (0.38-1.5%), and chlorophyll a content (0.01-7.7 microg g(-1)). Despite a high degree of correlation between the three different community fingerprint methods, some major differences were observed. DGGE banding patterns showed a significant separation of sediment communities from the northern, more productive waters of the Thermaikos Gulf and the oligotrophic waters of the Cretan, S. Ionian, and Levantine Sea. T-RFLP analysis clearly separated the communities of deep sediments (>1494 m depth) from their shallow (<617 m) counterparts. PLFA analysis grouped a shallow station from the productive waters of the north with the deep oligotrophic sediments from the Ionian and Levantine Sea, with low concentrations of PLFAs, and hence low microbial biomass, as the common denominator. The degree of petroleum contamination was not significantly correlated to the apparent composition of the microbial communities for any of the three methods, whereas organic carbon content and sediment chlorophyll a were important in this regard.

URLhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=16003476

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