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Phenotypic variation in Pseudomonas sp CM10 determines microcolony formation and survival under protozoan grazing

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56817

Matz,  Carsten
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56641

Deines,  Peter
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56752

Jürgens,  Klaus
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Matz, C., Deines, P., & Jürgens, K. (2002). Phenotypic variation in Pseudomonas sp CM10 determines microcolony formation and survival under protozoan grazing. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 39(1), 57-65.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-DD94-8
Abstract
We investigated the survival mechanism of the bacterium Pseudomonas sp. CM10 in the presence of a flagellate predator. The bacterium had been isolated from a continuous culture containing bacterivorous nanoflagellates. On agar plates, we found intraclonal dimorphism of Pseudomonas sp. CM10 colonies at high frequencies: The primary mucoid colony type generated a secondary non-mucoid form. Unlike the repeated generation of non-mucoid colonies from mucoid clones. we did not observe the occurrence of mucoid forms in non-mucoid populations. In semicontinuous and batch cultures. we investigated the ability of the two morphs to survive predation by the bacterivorous flagellate Ochromonas sp. under conditions of growth and starvation. In predator-free cultures, populations of both variants were unicellular but differed in some phenotypic characteristics such as cell motility and hydrophobicity. Grazing treatments revealed that the non-mucoid morph was reduced severely whereas the primary mucoid type survived due to the formation of inert suspended microcolonies stabilized by an extracellular matrix. Effectiveness and competitive trade- offs of microcolony formation were revealed by a competition experiment with the bacterium Pseudomonas putida MM I : Pseudomonas sp. CM10 was displaced in predator-free cultures but outgrew the defenseless and monomorphic competitor under flagellate grazing pressure. We conclude that intraclonal polymorphism may regulate the ability of Pseudomonas sp. CM10 to survive in situations of severe protistan grazing. The formation of inert microcolonies, however, is suggested to be detrimental to rapid growth and dispersal. (C) 2002 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.