Scientists propose that vibrios have significant roles in marine organic carbon cycle

September 29, 2018

The genus Vibrio is one of the best model marine heterotrophic bacterial groups, and many Vibrio species grow very fast with short generation-times. In addition, many Vibrio spp. are well-known bacterial pathogens, causing disease in humans or marine animals. For example, Vibrio cholerae is the causative agent of cholera. Over the past 40 years, many nonpathogenic species of Vibrio have also been described.

Vibrios are ubiquitous in estuarine and marine environments on a global scale, especially in coastal areas. They are easily cultured on standard or selective media and are capable of a diverse array of metabolic activities. Also, vibrios are capable of responding rapidly to nutrient pulses with explosive growth responses in amended microcosms, such as during phytoplankton blooms and dust storms, suggesting that the short period of Vibrio blooms should be considered when attempting to determine their overall contribution to the recycling of organic macromolecules. Currently, the role of Vibrio spp. in marine organic carbon cycling, particularly in coastal environments, is underestimated.

In an article coauthored by Xiao-Hua Zhang, Heyu Lin, Xiaolei Wang and Brian Austin, scholars at College of Marine Life Sciences, Ocean University of China, China, and the Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, UK, provided an overview of distribution and environmental drivers of Vibrio populations in the marine environment, and discussed their potential role in marine organic carbon cycling.

These four scholars proposed in the study, which was published in Science China, that "Vibrio spp. may exert large impacts on marine organic carbon cycling especially in marginal seas". In addition, they proposed a potential action mode of Vibrio species in marine organic carbon cycling (Figure 1).

"All currently described Vibrio spp. are obligate heterotrophs and, as such, rely on organic matter for their carbon sources. Generally, vibrios consume a wide range array of organic carbon compounds as carbon and energy sources, with most species being able to utilize over 40 compounds. Many of the polysaccharides are derived from macroalgal cell walls (i.e., alginic acid, agar, fucoidan and laminarin) or zooplankton exoskeletons (i.e., chitin). In our previous work, 56.8% of Vibrio cultures (330 out of 581 isolates) isolated from Chinese marginal seas possessed chitin, while 11.2% of Vibrio cultures (65 out of 581 isolates) could degrade alginic acid (data not shown). Vibrios are able to engage in both respiratory and fermentative metabolism and transform organic carbon into cell material and the waste products of energy metabolism. During aerobic or anaerobic respiration, large amounts of metabolic end products are excreted. Hence, Vibrio spp. are undoubtedly key players in marine organic carbon cycles, especially in marginal seas", stated by them.
This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41730530).

See the article: X.-H. Zhang, H. Lin, X. Wang, B. Austin, "Significance of Vibrio species in the marine organic carbon cycle - a review," Sci. China Earth Sci. (2018) 61(10) : 1357-1368. doi:10.1007/s11430-017-9229-x

Science China Press

Related Carbon Articles from Brightsurf:

The biggest trees capture the most carbon: Large trees dominate carbon storage in forests
A recent study examining carbon storage in Pacific Northwest forests demonstrated that although large-diameter trees (21 inches) only comprised 3% of total stems, they accounted for 42% of the total aboveground carbon storage.

Carbon storage from the lab
Researchers at the University of Freiburg established the world's largest collection of moss species for the peat industry and science

Carbon-carbon covalent bonds far more flexible than presumed
A Hokkaido University research group has successfully demonstrated that carbon-carbon (C-C) covalent bonds expand and contract flexibly in response to light and heat.

Metal wires of carbon complete toolbox for carbon-based computers
Carbon-based computers have the potential to be a lot faster and much more energy efficient than silicon-based computers, but 2D graphene and carbon nanotubes have proved challenging to turn into the elements needed to construct transistor circuits.

Cascades with carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide (CO(2)) is not just an undesirable greenhouse gas, it is also an interesting source of raw materials that are valuable and can be recycled sustainably.

Two-dimensional carbon networks
Lithium-ion batteries usually contain graphitic carbons as anode materials. Scientists have investigated the carbonic nanoweb graphdiyne as a novel two-dimensional carbon network for its suitability in battery applications.

Can wood construction transform cities from carbon source to carbon vault?
A new study by researchers and architects at Yale and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research predicts that a transition to timber-based wood products in the construction of new housing, buildings, and infrastructure would not only offset enormous amounts of carbon emissions related to concrete and steel production -- it could turn the world's cities into a vast carbon sink.

Investigation of oceanic 'black carbon' uncovers mystery in global carbon cycle
An unexpected finding published today in Nature Communications challenges a long-held assumption about the origin of oceanic black coal, and introduces a tantalizing new mystery: If oceanic black carbon is significantly different from the black carbon found in rivers, where did it come from?

First fully rechargeable carbon dioxide battery with carbon neutrality
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago are the first to show that lithium-carbon dioxide batteries can be designed to operate in a fully rechargeable manner, and they have successfully tested a lithium-carbon dioxide battery prototype running up to 500 consecutive cycles of charge/recharge processes.

How and when was carbon distributed in the Earth?
A magma ocean existing during the core formation is thought to have been highly depleted in carbon due to its high-siderophile (iron loving) behavior.

Read More: Carbon News and Carbon Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to