Niche partition of Bacteriovorax operational taxonomic units along salinity and temporal gradients in the Chesapeake Bay reveals distinct estuarine strains.

Microbial ecology

PubMedID: 23463183

Pineiro S, Chauhan A, Berhane TK, Athar R, Zheng G, Wang C, Dickerson T, Liang X, Lymperopoulou DS, Chen H, Christman M, Louime C, Babiker W, Stine OC, Williams HN. Niche partition of Bacteriovorax operational taxonomic units along salinity and temporal gradients in the Chesapeake Bay reveals distinct estuarine strains. Microb Ecol. 2013;65(3):652-60.
The predatory Bacteriovorax are Gram-negative bacteria ubiquitous in saltwater systems that prey upon other Gram-negative bacteria in a similar manner to the related genus Bdellovibrio. Among the phylogenetically defined clusters of Bacteriovorax, cluster V has only been isolated from estuaries suggesting that it may be a distinct estuarine phylotype. To assess this hypothesis, the spatial and temporal distribution of cluster V and other Bacteriovorax phylogenetic assemblages along the salinity gradient of Chesapeake Bay were determined. Cluster V was expected to be found in significantly greater numbers in low to moderate salinity waters compared to high salinity areas. The analyses of water and sediment samples from sites in the bay revealed cluster V to be present at the lower salinity and not high salinity sites, consistent with it being an estuarine phylotype. Cluster IV had a similar distribution pattern and may also be specifically adapted to estuaries. While the distribution of clusters V and IV were similar for salinity, they were distinct on temperature gradients, being found in cooler and in warmer temperatures, respectively. The differentiation of phylotype populations along the salinity and temporal gradients in Chesapeake Bay revealed distinct niches inhabited by different phylotypes of Bacteriovorax and unique estuarine phylotypes.