Microscopic examination and fatty acid characterization of filamentous bacteria colonizing substrata around subtidal hydrothermal vents
Nichols, P. D.
White, D. C.
Geesey, Gill G.
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Microscopic examination of the whitish mat that covered the substrata around subtidal hydrothermal vents at White Point in southern California revealed a “Thiothrix-like” bacterium containing sulfur inclusions as the dominant filamentous form in this microbial community. The matlike appearance developed as a result of the closely-packed manner inwhich the basal ends of the filaments were anchored to the substrate. The dominant phospholipid fatty acids of these filaments (16:0, 16:1w7c, 18:0, 18:1w7c) were similar to those recovered from a sample of Beggiatoa isolated from a spring in Florida. Filaments from both sources contained small quantities of C18 and C20 polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well. A larger but less abundant sheathless, filamentous form, which also contained sulfur inclusions and displayed a cell wall structure similar to a previously described Thioploca strain, also colonized the substrata around the subtidal mat. The preservation methods used in the preparation of thin-sections of the subtidal mat material were found to be inadequate for defining some key cellular structures of the large filaments. Nevertheless, the results demonstrate that the filamentous bacteria comprising the microbial mat in the vicinity of the subtidal vents exhibit some of the features of the free-living filamentous microorganisms found in deep-water hydrothermal areas.
Jacq, E., D. Prieur, P. Nichols, D.C. White, T. Porter, and G.G. Geesey, "Microscopic examination and fatty acid characterization of filamentous bacteria colonizing substrata around subtidal hydrothermal vents," Arch. Microbiol. 1989 152(1):64-71