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Vibrio Colonization Is Highly Dynamic in Early Microplastic-Associated Biofilms as Well as on Field-Collected Microplastics

1
Biological Oceanography, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemuende (IOW), 18119 Rostock, Germany
2
Institute of Medical Microbiology, Virology and Hygiene, University Medical Center Rostock, 18055 Rostock, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9010076
Received: 15 November 2020 / Revised: 11 December 2020 / Accepted: 23 December 2020 / Published: 30 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbes on Plastics, Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind)
Microplastics are ubiquitous in aquatic ecosystems and provide a habitat for biofilm-forming bacteria. The genus Vibrio, which includes potential pathogens, was detected irregularly on microplastics. Since then, the potential of microplastics to enrich (and serve as a vector for) Vibrio has been widely discussed. We investigated Vibrio abundance and operational taxonomic unit (OTU) composition on polyethylene and polystyrene within the first 10 h of colonization during an in situ incubation experiment, along with those found on particles collected from the Baltic Sea. We used 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and co-occurrence networks to elaborate the role of Vibrio within biofilms. Colonization of plastics with Vibrio was detectable after one hour of incubation; however, Vibrio numbers and composition were very dynamic, with a more stable population at the site with highest nutrients and lowest salinity. Likewise, Vibrio abundances on field-collected particles were variable but correlated with proximity to major cities. Vibrio was poorly connected within biofilm networks. Taken together, this indicates that Vibrio is an early colonizer of plastics, but that the process is undirected and independent of the specific surface. Still, higher nutrients could enhance a faster establishment of Vibrio populations. These parameters should be considered when planning studies investigating Vibrio on microplastics. View Full-Text
Keywords: Vibrio; biofilms; microplastics; colonization; co-occurrence networks Vibrio; biofilms; microplastics; colonization; co-occurrence networks
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kesy, K.; Labrenz, M.; Scales, B.S.; Kreikemeyer, B.; Oberbeckmann, S. Vibrio Colonization Is Highly Dynamic in Early Microplastic-Associated Biofilms as Well as on Field-Collected Microplastics. Microorganisms 2021, 9, 76. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9010076

AMA Style

Kesy K, Labrenz M, Scales BS, Kreikemeyer B, Oberbeckmann S. Vibrio Colonization Is Highly Dynamic in Early Microplastic-Associated Biofilms as Well as on Field-Collected Microplastics. Microorganisms. 2021; 9(1):76. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9010076

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kesy, Katharina; Labrenz, Matthias; Scales, Brittan S.; Kreikemeyer, Bernd; Oberbeckmann, Sonja. 2021. "Vibrio Colonization Is Highly Dynamic in Early Microplastic-Associated Biofilms as Well as on Field-Collected Microplastics" Microorganisms 9, no. 1: 76. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9010076

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