Community structure of actively growing bacteria in a coastal fish-farming area
In fish-farming areas, copious amounts of organic matter are released into the surrounding environment. Although it is well-known that bacterial community structures and activities are tightly coupled with organic conditions in the environment, actively growing bacteria (AGB) species that are responsible are still largely unknown. Here, we determined seasonal variations in the community structures of free-living and particle-attached AGB in surface and bottom seawater, and also in the easily resuspendable sediment boundary layer. Accordingly, we used bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) magnetic bead immunocapture and PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (BUMP-DGGE) analysis. Whereas overall bacterial communities in the resuspendable sediment were quite different from those of the free-living and particle-attached bacteria, the AGB community structures were similar among them. This result suggests that sediment resuspension in aquaculture environments functions as an organic source for bacteria in the water column, and that bacterial species contributing to the environmental capacity and carbon cycle are limited. We identified 25 AGB phylotypes, belonging to Alphaproteobacteria (Roseobacter clade, nine phylotypes), Gammaproteobacteria (five phylotypes), Deltaproteobacteria (one phylotype), Bacteroidetes (seven phylotypes), and Actinobacteria (three phylotypes). Among them, some AGB phylotypes appeared throughout the year with high frequency and were also identified in other coastal environments. This result suggests that these species are responsible for the environmental capacity and carbon cycle, and are key species in this fish-farming area, as well as other coastal environments.