The isolation and some characteristics of photosynthetic bacteria (Chromatiaceae)and Chlorobiaceae) from Antarctic marine sediments

Sediment samples taken at depths from 5 to 50 m in Borge Bay, Signy Island, Antarctica yielded purple (Chromatiaceae) and green (Chlorobiaceae) phototrophic bacteria when inoculated into Winogradsky columns or directly into Pfennig's medium. Pure cultures of Thiocapsa roseopersicina (2 strains), Thiocapsa pfennigii, Chromatium gracile, Chromatium vinosum, Thiocystis violaceae, Chlorobium limicola, Chlorobium vibrioforme and Prostaecochloris aestuarii were subsequently isolated from these enrichments. Thiocapsa roseopersicina and Chromatium vinosum were the species isolated most commonly. None of the isolates showed evidence of temperature adaptation; optimum growth was achieved between 25–30°C but all grew readily at low white light levels (spectral irradiance 160 μW/cm2) with mean generation times ranging from 8·9 to 14·2 h at 23°C depending upon the isolate. The green phototrophs grew readily in blue light (440–510 nm) of low irradiance (126 μW/cm2) which penetrates to a depth of 40–50 m in coastal waters surrounding Signy Island. Under these conditions Chlorobium limicola and Chlorobium vibrioforme had mean generation times of 22 and 12·2 h respectively compared with 10·3 and 8·9 when grown in white light of similar total irradiance. None of the purple phototrophs grew under blue light but they grew under yellow light (peak transmission 590 nm, irradiance 137 μW/cm2). Chromatium gracile and Thiocapsa roseopersicina had mean generation times of 22·3 and 18·3 h respectively compared with 14·2 and 12·3 h in white light of similar total irradiance.


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Authors: Herbert, R.A., Tanner, A.C.

1 January, 1977
Journal of Applied Bacteriology / 43
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