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1.  Microbial acetone oxidation in coastal seawater 
Acetone is an important oxygenated volatile organic compound (OVOC) in the troposphere where it influences the oxidizing capacity of the atmosphere. However, the air-sea flux is not well quantified, in part due to a lack of knowledge regarding which processes control oceanic concentrations, and, specifically whether microbial oxidation to CO2 represents a significant loss process. We demonstrate that 14C labeled acetone can be used to determine microbial oxidation to 14CO2. Linear microbial rates of acetone oxidation to CO2 were observed for between 0.75-3.5 h at a seasonally eutrophic coastal station located in the western English Channel (L4). A kinetic experiment in summer at station L4 gave a Vmax of 4.1 pmol L-1 h-1, with a Km constant of 54 pM. We then used this technique to obtain microbial acetone loss rates ranging between 1.2 and 42 pmol L-1 h-1.(monthly averages) over an annual cycle at L4, with maximum rates observed during winter months. The biological turnover time of acetone (in situ concentration divided by microbial oxidation rate) in surface waters varied from ~3 days in February 2011, when in situ concentrations were 3 ± 1 nM, to >240 days in June 2011, when concentrations were more than twofold higher at 7.5 ± 0.7 nM. These relatively low marine microbial acetone oxidation rates, when normalized to in situ concentrations, suggest that marine microbes preferentially utilize other OVOCs such as methanol and acetaldehyde.
PMCID: PMC4033308  PMID: 24904556
bacteria; kinetics; acetone oxidation; Western English Channel (L4); radioactive labeling; seasonality; acetone turnover
2.  Comparable light stimulation of organic nutrient uptake by SAR11 and Prochlorococcus in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre 
The ISME Journal  2012;7(3):603-614.
Subtropical oceanic gyres are the most extensive biomes on Earth where SAR11 and Prochlorococcus bacterioplankton numerically dominate the surface waters depleted in inorganic macronutrients as well as in dissolved organic matter. In such nutrient poor conditions bacterioplankton could become photoheterotrophic, that is, potentially enhance uptake of scarce organic molecules using the available solar radiation to energise appropriate transport systems. Here, we assessed the photoheterotrophy of the key microbial taxa in the North Atlantic oligotrophic gyre and adjacent regions using 33P-ATP, 3H-ATP and 35S-methionine tracers. Light-stimulated uptake of these substrates was assessed in two dominant bacterioplankton groups discriminated by flow cytometric sorting of tracer-labelled cells and identified using catalysed reporter deposition fluorescence in situ hybridisation. One group of cells, encompassing 48% of all bacterioplankton, were identified as members of the SAR11 clade, whereas the other group (24% of all bacterioplankton) was Prochlorococcus. When exposed to light, SAR11 cells took 31% more ATP and 32% more methionine, whereas the Prochlorococcus cells took 33% more ATP and 34% more methionine. Other bacterioplankton did not demonstrate light stimulation. Thus, the SAR11 and Prochlorococcus groups, with distinctly different light-harvesting mechanisms, used light equally to enhance, by approximately one-third, the uptake of different types of organic molecules. Our findings indicate the significance of light-driven uptake of essential organic nutrients by the dominant bacterioplankton groups in the surface waters of one of the less productive, vast regions of the world's oceans—the oligotrophic North Atlantic subtropical gyre.
PMCID: PMC3580278  PMID: 23096403
SAR11; Prochlorococcus; light stimulation; flow cytometric sorting; radioisotope tracing; ATP and amino-acid uptake
3.  Dynamics of Ribulose 1,5-Bisphosphate Carboxylase/Oxygenase Gene Expression in the Coccolithophorid Coccolithus pelagicus during a Tracer Release Experiment in the Northeast Atlantic†  
We report a pronounced diel rhythm in ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO) gene expression in a natural population of the coccolithophorid Coccolithus pelagicus sampled during a Lagrangian experiment in the Northeast Atlantic. Our observations show that there is greater heterogeneity in the temporal regulation of RubisCO expression among planktonic chromophytes than has been reported hitherto.
PMCID: PMC1065161  PMID: 15746374
4.  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

Results 1-4 (4)