Buhmann, Matthias T.

Matthias T.
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Bacteria may induce the secretion of mucin-like proteins by the diatom phaeodactylum tricornutum

2016-06, Buhmann, Matthias T., Schulze, Birgit, Förderer, Alexander, Schleheck, David, Kroth, Peter G.

Benthic diatoms live in photoautotrophic/heterotrophic biofilm communities embedded in a matrix of secreted extracellular polymeric substances. Closely associated bacteria influence their growth, aggregation, and secretion of exopolymers. We have studied a diatom/bacteria model community, in which a marine Roseobacter strain is able to grow with secreted diatom exopolymers as sole source of carbon. The strain influences the aggregation of Phaeodactylum tricornutum by inducing a morphotypic transition from planktonic, fusiform cells to benthic, oval cells. Analysis of the extracellular soluble proteome of P. tricornutum in the presence and absence of bacteria revealed constitutively expressed newly identified proteins with mucin-like domains that appear to be typical for extracellular diatom proteins. In contrast to mucins, the proline-, serine-, threonine-rich (PST) domains in these proteins were also found in combination with protease-, glucosidase and leucine-rich repeat (LRR-) domains. Bioinformatic functional predictions indicate that several of these newly identified diatom-specific proteins may be involved in algal defense, intercellular signaling, and aggregation This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


Photoautotrophic-heterotrophic biofilm communities : a laboratory incubator designed for growing axenic diatoms and bacteria in defined mixed-species biofilms

2012-02, Buhmann, Matthias T., Kroth, Peter G., Schleheck, David

Biofilm communities in the euphotic zone of aquatic habitats comprise photoautotrophic microorganisms, such as diatoms, green algae and cyanobacteria, which produce the organic carbon that fuels the life of a heterotrophic contingent of microorganisms, mostly bacteria. Such photoautotrophic–heterotrophic mixed-species biofilms have received little attention in biofilm research due to a lack of suitable pure-culture laboratory model systems. However, they offer important insight into microbial population dynamics and community interactions during a biofilm-developmental process that shapes highly structured, extremely well-adapted microbial landscapes. Here, we report on the development of a sterile incubation chamber for growing and monitoring axenic phototrophic biofilms, i.e. a sterilizable, illuminated, continuous-flow system for a routine work with pure cultures. The system has been designed to simulate the growth conditions in the shallow, littoral zone of aquatic habitats (horizontal surface, submerged in water, illuminated, aerated). Additional features of the concept include automated photometrical monitoring of biofilm density (as biofilm turbidity), analysis via confocal microscopy, direct harvesting of cells, and options to control illumination, flow velocity, and composition of culture fluid. The application of the system was demonstrated in growth experiments using axenic diatom biofilms, or axenic diatom biofilms co-cultivated with different bacterial strains isolated from epilithic biofilms of an oligotrophic freshwater lake.