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Salinity and host drive Ulva-associated bacterial communities across the Atlantic-Baltic Sea gradient
van der Loos, L.M.; D'hondt, S.; Engelen, A.H.; Pavia, H.; Toth, G.B.; Willems, A.; Weinberger, F.; De Clerck, O.; Steinhagen, S. (2022). Salinity and host drive Ulva-associated bacterial communities across the Atlantic-Baltic Sea gradient. Mol. Ecol. Early View.
In: Molecular Ecology. Blackwell: Oxford. ISSN 0962-1083; e-ISSN 1365-294X, meer
Peer reviewed article  

Beschikbaar in  Auteurs 

    Ulva Linnaeus, 1753 [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    bacterial communities; Baltic Sea; microbiome; salinity gradient; Ulva

Auteurs  Top 
  • van der Loos, L.M., meer
  • D'hondt, S., meer
  • Engelen, A.H.
  • Pavia, H.
  • Toth, G.B., meer
  • Willems, A., meer
  • Weinberger, F.
  • De Clerck, O., meer
  • Steinhagen, S.

    The green seaweed Ulva is a model system to study seaweed–bacteria interactions, but the impact of environmental drivers on the dynamics of these interactions is little understood. In this study, we investigated the stability and variability of the seaweed-associated bacteria across the Atlantic–Baltic Sea salinity gradient. We characterized the bacterial communities of 15 Ulva sensu lato species along 2,000 km of coastline in a total of 481 samples. Our results demonstrate that the Ulva-associated bacterial composition was strongly structured by both salinity and host species (together explaining between 34% and 91% of the variation in the abundance of the different bacterial genera). The largest shift in the bacterial consortia coincided with the horohalinicum (5–8 PSU, known as the transition zone from freshwater to marine conditions). Low-salinity communities especially contained high relative abundances of Luteolibacter, Cyanobium, Pirellula, Lacihabitans and an uncultured Spirosomaceae, whereas high-salinity communities were predominantly enriched in Litorimonas, Leucothrix, Sulfurovum, Algibacter and Dokdonia. We identified a small taxonomic core community (consisting of Paracoccus, Sulfitobacter and an uncultured Rhodobacteraceae), which together contributed to 14% of the reads per sample, on average. Additional core taxa followed a gradient model, as more core taxa were shared between neighbouring salinity ranges than between ranges at opposite ends of the Atlantic–Baltic Sea gradient. Our results contradict earlier statements that Ulva-associated bacterial communities are taxonomically highly variable across individuals and largely stochastically defined. Characteristic bacterial communities associated with distinct salinity regions may therefore facilitate the host's adaptation across the environmental gradient.

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