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1.  Extreme spatial variability in marine picoplankton and its consequences for interpreting Eulerian time-series 
Biology Letters  2005;1(3):366-369.
A high-resolution mesoscale spatial survey of picoplankton in the Celtic Sea, using flow cytometry, reveals cell concentrations of Synechococcus spp. cyanobacteria and heterotrophic bacteria that vary up to 50-fold over distances as short as 12 km. Furthermore, the range of abundances is comparable to that typically found on seasonal scales at a single location. Advection of such spatial variability through a time-series site would therefore constitute a major source of ‘error’. Consequently, attempts to model and to investigate the ecology of these globally important organisms in situ must take into account and quantify the hitherto ignored local spatial variability as a matter of necessity.
PMCID: PMC1617145  PMID: 17148208
bacterioplankton; cyanobacteria; flow cytometry; patchiness
2.  High Rate of Uptake of Organic Nitrogen Compounds by Prochlorococcus Cyanobacteria as a Key to Their Dominance in Oligotrophic Oceanic Waters 
Direct evidence that marine cyanobacteria take up organic nitrogen compounds in situ at high rates is reported. About 33% of the total bacterioplankton turnover of amino acids, determined with a representative [35S]methionine precursor and flow sorting, can be assigned to Prochlorococcus spp. and 3% can be assigned to Synechococcus spp. in the oligotrophic and mesotrophic parts of the Arabian Sea, respectively. This finding may provide a mechanism for Prochlorococcus' competitive dominance over both strictly autotrophic algae and other bacteria in oligotrophic regions sustained by nutrient remineralization via a microbial loop.
PMCID: PMC143617  PMID: 12571062
3.  Comparison of Cellular and Biomass Specific Activities of Dominant Bacterioplankton Groups in Stratified Waters of the Celtic Sea 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2001;67(11):5210-5218.
A flow-sorting technique was developed to determine unperturbed metabolic activities of phylogenetically characterized bacterioplankton groups with incorporation rates of [35S]methionine tracer. According to fluorescence in situ hybridization with rRNA targeted oligonucleotide probes, a clade of α-proteobacteria, related to Roseobacter spp., and a Cytophaga-Flavobacterium cluster dominated the different groups. Cytometric characterization revealed both these groups to have high DNA (HNA) content, while the α-proteobacteria exhibited high light scatter (hs) and the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium cluster exhibited low light scatter (ls). A third abundant group with low DNA (LNA) content contained cells from a SAR86 cluster of γ-proteobacteria. Cellular specific activities of the HNA-hs group were 4- and 1.7-fold higher than the activities in the HNA-ls and LNA groups, respectively. However, the higher cellular protein synthesis by the HNA-hs could simply be explained by their maintenance of a larger cellular protein biomass. Similar biomass specific activities of the different groups strongly support the main assumption that underlies the determination of bacterial production: different bacteria in a complex community incorporate amino acids at a rate proportional to their protein synthesis. The fact that the highest growth-specific rates were determined for the smallest cells of the LNA group can explain the dominance of this group in nutrient-limited waters. The metabolic activities of the three groups accounted for almost the total bacterioplankton activity, indicating their key biogeochemical role in the planktonic ecosystem of the Celtic Sea.
PMCID: PMC93292  PMID: 11679347
4.  Determination of Total Protein Content of Bacterial Cells by SYPRO Staining and Flow Cytometry 
An assay has been developed for measuring protein biomass of marine planktonic bacteria by flow cytometry. The method was calibrated by using five species of Bacteria (an Arcobacter sp., a Cytophaga sp., an Oceanospirillum sp., a Pseudoalteromonas sp., and a Vibrio sp.) recently isolated from seawater samples and grown in culture at different temperatures. The intensity of SYPRO-protein fluorescence of these bacteria strongly correlated with their total protein content, measured by the bicinchoninic acid method to be in the range of 60 to 330 fg of protein cell−1 (r2 = 0.93, n = 34). According to the calibration, the mean biomass of planktonic bacteria from the North Sea in August 1998 was 24 fg of protein cell−1.
PMCID: PMC91485  PMID: 10388732

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