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Deep-sea bacterial communities in sediments and guts of deposit-feeding holothurians in Portuguese canyons (NE Atlantic)

Deep-sea bacterial communities in sediments and guts of deposit-feeding holothurians in Portuguese canyons (NE Atlantic)
Deep-sea bacterial communities in sediments and guts of deposit-feeding holothurians in Portuguese canyons (NE Atlantic)
Deposit-feeding holothurians often dominate the megafauna in bathyal deep-sea settings, in terms of both abundance and biomass. Molpadia musculus is particularly abundant at about 3400 m depth in the Nazaré Canyon on the NE Atlantic Continental Margin. However, these high abundances are unusual for burrowing species at this depth. The objective of this research was to understand the reasons of the massive occurrence of these molpadiid holothurians in the Nazaré Canyon. To address this question we investigated possible trophic interactions with bacteria at sites where the organic content of the sediment was different (Setúbal and Cascais Canyons, NE Atlantic Continental Margin). The molecular fingerprinting technique of Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) with band sequencing, combined with non-metric multi-dimensional scaling and statistical analyses, was used to compare the bacterial community diversity in canyon sediments and holothurian gut contents. Our results suggest that M. musculus does not need to develop a specialised gut bacterial community to aid digestion where the sediment is rich in organic matter (Nazaré Canyon); in contrast, such a community may be developed where the sediment is poorer in organic matter (Cascais Canyon).
Molpadia musculus, Holothurian, Bacteria, Portuguese Canyons, DGGE, NE Atlantic
0967-0637
1834-1843
Amaro, Teresa
9f7fe037-42c9-4262-b020-f934b921a5e6
Witte, Harry
7fc6e4f9-3864-46fe-b6d1-4020bd7a36c5
Herndl, Gerhard J.
abcb2d0a-8ffd-4720-a118-6bfad61f195a
Cunha, Marina R.
f97b25ca-1a36-47ae-a48b-43800a6a6d51
Billett, David S.M.
aab439e2-c839-4cd2-815c-3d401e0468db
Amaro, Teresa
9f7fe037-42c9-4262-b020-f934b921a5e6
Witte, Harry
7fc6e4f9-3864-46fe-b6d1-4020bd7a36c5
Herndl, Gerhard J.
abcb2d0a-8ffd-4720-a118-6bfad61f195a
Cunha, Marina R.
f97b25ca-1a36-47ae-a48b-43800a6a6d51
Billett, David S.M.
aab439e2-c839-4cd2-815c-3d401e0468db

Amaro, Teresa, Witte, Harry, Herndl, Gerhard J., Cunha, Marina R. and Billett, David S.M. (2009) Deep-sea bacterial communities in sediments and guts of deposit-feeding holothurians in Portuguese canyons (NE Atlantic). Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 56 (10), 1834-1843. (doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2009.05.014).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Deposit-feeding holothurians often dominate the megafauna in bathyal deep-sea settings, in terms of both abundance and biomass. Molpadia musculus is particularly abundant at about 3400 m depth in the Nazaré Canyon on the NE Atlantic Continental Margin. However, these high abundances are unusual for burrowing species at this depth. The objective of this research was to understand the reasons of the massive occurrence of these molpadiid holothurians in the Nazaré Canyon. To address this question we investigated possible trophic interactions with bacteria at sites where the organic content of the sediment was different (Setúbal and Cascais Canyons, NE Atlantic Continental Margin). The molecular fingerprinting technique of Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) with band sequencing, combined with non-metric multi-dimensional scaling and statistical analyses, was used to compare the bacterial community diversity in canyon sediments and holothurian gut contents. Our results suggest that M. musculus does not need to develop a specialised gut bacterial community to aid digestion where the sediment is rich in organic matter (Nazaré Canyon); in contrast, such a community may be developed where the sediment is poorer in organic matter (Cascais Canyon).

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More information

Published date: October 2009
Keywords: Molpadia musculus, Holothurian, Bacteria, Portuguese Canyons, DGGE, NE Atlantic

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 67567
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/67567
ISSN: 0967-0637
PURE UUID: df78c983-b1e9-4da8-aed8-a2fccdc2158e

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Date deposited: 25 Aug 2009
Last modified: 19 Jul 2019 23:49

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Contributors

Author: Teresa Amaro
Author: Harry Witte
Author: Gerhard J. Herndl
Author: Marina R. Cunha
Author: David S.M. Billett

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