Differential grazing of two heterotrophic nanoflagellates on marine Synechococcus strains

Zwirglmaier, Katrin; Spence, Ed; Zubkov, Mikhail V.; Scanlan, David J.; Mann, Nicholas H.. 2009 Differential grazing of two heterotrophic nanoflagellates on marine Synechococcus strains. Environmental Microbiology, 11 (7). 1767-1776.

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Grazing of heterotrophic nanoflagellates on marine picophytoplankton presents a major mortality factor for this important group of primary producers. However, little is known of the selectivity of the grazing process, often merely being thought of as a general feature of cell size and motility. In this study, we tested grazing of two heterotrophic nanoflagellates, Paraphysomonas imperforata and Pteridomonas danica, on strains of marine Synechococcus. Both nanoflagellates proved to be selective in their grazing, with Paraphysomonas being able to grow on 5, and Pteridomonas on 11, of 37 Synechococcus strains tested. Additionally, a number of strains (11 for Paraphysomonas, 9 for Pteridomonas) were shown to be ingested, but not digested (and thus did not support growth of the grazer). Both the range of prey strains that supported growth as well as those that were ingested but not digested was very similar for the two grazers, suggesting a common property of these prey strains that lent them susceptible to grazing. Subsequent experiments on selected Synechococcus strains showed a pronounced difference in grazing susceptibility between wild-type Synechococcus sp. WH7803 and a spontaneous phage-resistant mutant derivative, WH7803PHR, suggesting that cell surface properties of the Synechococcus prey are an important attribute influencing grazing vulnerability.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 1462-2920
Date made live: 05 Jan 2010 +0 (UTC)

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