Microbial production and consumption of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) in a sea grass (Zostera noltii)-dominated marine intertidal sediment ecosystem (Bassin d'Arcachon, France)

Jonkers, HM., van Bergeijk, SA. & van Gemerden, H., Feb-2000, In : FEMS Microbial Ecology. 31, 2, p. 163-172 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • HM Jonkers
  • SA van Bergeijk
  • H van Gemerden

The relation between net dimethyl sulfide (DMS) production and changes in near surface (0-5 mm) oxygen concentrations in a sea grass (Zostera noltii Hornem)-covered intertidal sediment ecosystem was examined during a diel cycle. Sediment covered with Zostera was found to be more oxygenated than uncovered sediment during the period of photosynthesis. This phenomenon was probably caused by radial oxygen loss of the Zostera root-rhizome system. The population sizes of the three functional groups of microbes mainly responsible for the concentration of DMS, the dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP)-demethylating, DMSP-cleaving and DMS-oxidizing bacteria. were quantified by most probable number (MPN) methodologies. Sediments with Zostera supported substantially higher populations of both aerobic (149 x 10(6) cm(-3) DMSP-utilizing and 0.4 x 10(6) cm(-3) DMS-oxidizing) and anaerobic (43 x 10(6) cm(-3) DMSP-utilizing and 0.4 x 10(6) cm(-3) DMS-oxidizing) microorganisms than sediments without Zostera (DMSP-utilizing aerobes and anaerobes both 2 x 10(6) cm(-3) and DMS-oxidizing aerobes and anaerobes both 0.2 x 10(6) cm(-3)). Experiments conducted with sediment cores and sediment slurries suggested that the net production of DMS ill these sediments was significantly lower during oxic periods than during anoxic periods. Intact sediment cores with and without Zostera produced DMS when incubated under anoxic/dark conditions (97.0 and 53.6 nmol DMS m(-2) h(-1). respectively), while oxic/light-incubated cores did not produce detectable amounts of DMS. In addition, kinetic parameter values (V-max and K-m) fur DMSP degradation in cell suspensions of isolated DMSP-demethylating and DMSP-cleaving bacteria were measured and compared to documented values for other strains. Both V-max and K-m values for DMSP-demethylating organisms were Found to be relatively low (14.4-20.1 nmol DMSP mg protein(-1) min(-1) and 4.1-15.5 mu M, respectively) while these parameter values varied widely in the group of the DMSP cleaving organisms (6.7-1000 nmol DMSP mg protein(-1) min(-1) and 2-2000 mu M respectively). It was hypothesized that a diel rhythm in DMS emission occurred, with a relatively low net production during the day and a high net production during the night. Environmental changes which result in increased anoxic conditions in coastal sediments, such as an increase in eutrophication, may therefore result in increased atmospheric DMS emission rates. (C) 2000 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier Science B.V. Ail rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-172
Number of pages10
JournalFEMS Microbial Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2000



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