|Permanent residents or temporary lodgers: characterizing intracellular bacterial communities in the siphonous green alga Bryopsis|Hollants, J.; Leliaert, F.; Verbruggen, H.; Willems, A.; De Clerck, O. (2013). Permanent residents or temporary lodgers: characterizing intracellular bacterial communities in the siphonous green alga Bryopsis. Proc. - Royal Soc., Biol. Sci. 280(1754): 8 pp. dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2012.2659
In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B. The Royal Society: London. ISSN 0962-8452, more
algae; bacteria; biogeography; endosymbiosis; seaweed; variationpartitioning
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The ecological success of giant celled, siphonous green algae in coastal habitats has repeatedly been linked to endophytic bacteria living within the cytoplasm of the hosts. Yet, very little is known about the relative importance of evolutionary and ecological factors controlling the intracellular bacterial flora of these seaweeds. Using the marine alga Bryopsis (Bryopsidales, Chlorophyta) as a model, we explore the diversity of the intracellular bacterial communities and investigate whether their composition is controlled by ecological and biogeographic factors rather than the evolutionary history of the host. Using a combination of 16S rDNA clone libraries and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analyses, we show that Bryopsis harbours a mixture of relatively few but phylogenetically diverse bacterial species. Variation partitioning analyses show a strong impact of local environmental factors on the presence of Rickettsia and Mycoplasma in their association with Bryopsis. The presence of Flavobacteriaceae and Bacteroidetes, on the other hand, reflects a predominant imprint of host evolutionary history, suggesting that these bacteria are more specialized in their association. The results highlight the importance of interpreting the presence of individual bacterial phylotypes in the light of ecological and evolutionary principles such as phylogenetic niche conservatism to understand complex endobiotic communities and the parameters shaping them.