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Chapter 16 : Life in Extremely Dilute Environments: the Major Role of Oligobacteria

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Abstract:

Oligobacteria are bacteria adapted to growth in organic nutrient conditions of the marine and other aquatic environments. Their main food source is dissolved photosynthetically produced organic material. The major products are carbon dioxide, minerals, and cellular biochemicals. Oligobacteria evolved to sustain at nutrient concentrations that are small. The properties of oligobacteria are based largely on copeotrophs such as because oligobacteria have been unavailable in sufficient mass for investigation. Phytoplankton collect nutrients and reduce them to concentrations that are small as well. Some, such as and , are very small giving a large surface- to-volume ratio for mineral collection. This ability is smaller than for oligobacteria because phytoplankton must synthesize their own organics as well. The problem of oligobacterial growth in natural water systems is one of nutrient acquisition. Rates measured are generally near upper limits for oligobacteria because the focus is often on photic zone processes in active regions. However, the cosmopolitan distribution of oligobacteria among the various phyla suggest that metabolic patterns could have since evolved and that metabolic strategies may have converged. The major direct control of oligobacterial activity is the concentration of utilizable nutrients at the surface of the cell. The ability to concentrate many nutrients in this way appears to be cosmopolitan so that successful members of the oligobacteria have coevolved across many genetic lineages.

Citation: Button D. 2004. Life in Extremely Dilute Environments: the Major Role of Oligobacteria, p 160-168. In Bull A (ed), Microbial Diversity and Bioprospecting. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817770.ch16

Key Concept Ranking

Surface Water
0.60863066
Chemicals
0.57470566
Viruses
0.5597782
Carbon Dioxide
0.5591122
DNA
0.51241237
0.60863066
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Figures

Image of Figure 1
Figure 1

Distribution of the DNA content and mass per cell in a surface water sample analyzed by flow cytometry. Redrawn from . DAP1, 4′,6′-diamidino-2-phenylindole.

Citation: Button D. 2004. Life in Extremely Dilute Environments: the Major Role of Oligobacteria, p 160-168. In Bull A (ed), Microbial Diversity and Bioprospecting. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817770.ch16
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Image of Figure 2
Figure 2

Dry mass, genome size profiles of bacterial isolates along with total DNA mass in surface seawater.

Citation: Button D. 2004. Life in Extremely Dilute Environments: the Major Role of Oligobacteria, p 160-168. In Bull A (ed), Microbial Diversity and Bioprospecting. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817770.ch16
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Image of Figure 3
Figure 3

Model for the nutrient-limited rate of transport and growth by an oligobacterium.

Citation: Button D. 2004. Life in Extremely Dilute Environments: the Major Role of Oligobacteria, p 160-168. In Bull A (ed), Microbial Diversity and Bioprospecting. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817770.ch16
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Image of Figure 4
Figure 4

Changes in specific affinity and the rate of growth calculated for according to specific affinity theory.

Citation: Button D. 2004. Life in Extremely Dilute Environments: the Major Role of Oligobacteria, p 160-168. In Bull A (ed), Microbial Diversity and Bioprospecting. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817770.ch16
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Image of Figure 5
Figure 5

The aquatic carbon flywheel.

Citation: Button D. 2004. Life in Extremely Dilute Environments: the Major Role of Oligobacteria, p 160-168. In Bull A (ed), Microbial Diversity and Bioprospecting. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817770.ch16
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References

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Tables

Generic image for table
Table 1

Oligohacterial composition

Citation: Button D. 2004. Life in Extremely Dilute Environments: the Major Role of Oligobacteria, p 160-168. In Bull A (ed), Microbial Diversity and Bioprospecting. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817770.ch16
Generic image for table
Table 2

Typical values for specific affinity

Citation: Button D. 2004. Life in Extremely Dilute Environments: the Major Role of Oligobacteria, p 160-168. In Bull A (ed), Microbial Diversity and Bioprospecting. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817770.ch16

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