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Open AccessArticle

Chemically Mediated Microbial “Gardening” Capacity of a Seaweed Holobiont Is Dynamic

1
Benthic Ecology, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Germany
2
Marine Ecology and Biodiversity, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK
3
Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
4
Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Outer Cir, London NW1 4SX, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2020, 8(12), 1893; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8121893
Received: 18 September 2020 / Revised: 14 November 2020 / Accepted: 16 November 2020 / Published: 30 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Algal Host-Microbe Interactions)
Terrestrial plants are known to “garden” the microbiota of their rhizosphere via released metabolites (that can attract beneficial microbes and deter pathogenic microbes). Such a “gardening” capacity is also known to be dynamic in plants. Although microbial “gardening” has been recently demonstrated for seaweeds, we do not know whether this capacity is a dynamic property in any aquatic flora like in terrestrial plants. Here, we tested the dynamic microbial “gardening” capacity of seaweeds using the model invasive red seaweed Agarophyton vermiculophyllum. Following an initial extraction of surface-associated metabolites (immediately after field collection), we conducted a long-term mesocosm experiment for 5 months to test the effect of two different salinities (low = 8.5 and medium = 16.5) on the microbial “gardening” capacity of the alga over time. We tested “gardening” capacity of A. vermiculophyllum originating from two different salinity levels (after 5 months treatments) in settlement assays against three disease causing pathogenic bacteria and seven protective bacteria. We also compared the capacity of the alga with field-collected samples. Abiotic factors like low salinity significantly increased the capacity of the alga to deter colonization by pathogenic bacteria while medium salinity significantly decreased the capacity of the alga over time when compared to field-collected samples. However, capacity to attract beneficial bacteria significantly decreased at both tested salinity levels when compared to field-collected samples. Dynamic microbial “gardening” capacity of a seaweed to attract beneficial bacteria and deter pathogenic bacteria is demonstrated for the first time. Such a dynamic capacity as found in the current study could also be applicable to other aquatic host–microbe interactions. Our results may provide an attractive direction of research towards manipulation of salinity and other abiotic factors leading to better defended A. vermiculophyllum towards pathogenic bacteria thereby enhancing sustained production of healthy A. vermiculophyllum in farms. View Full-Text
Keywords: seaweed; holobiont; microbial gardening; salinity; A. vermiculophyllum seaweed; holobiont; microbial gardening; salinity; A. vermiculophyllum
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MDPI and ACS Style

Saha, M.; Dove, S.; Weinberger, F. Chemically Mediated Microbial “Gardening” Capacity of a Seaweed Holobiont Is Dynamic. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 1893. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8121893

AMA Style

Saha M, Dove S, Weinberger F. Chemically Mediated Microbial “Gardening” Capacity of a Seaweed Holobiont Is Dynamic. Microorganisms. 2020; 8(12):1893. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8121893

Chicago/Turabian Style

Saha, Mahasweta; Dove, Shawn; Weinberger, Florian. 2020. "Chemically Mediated Microbial “Gardening” Capacity of a Seaweed Holobiont Is Dynamic" Microorganisms 8, no. 12: 1893. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8121893

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