Development of mass blooms of Thiocapsa roseopersicina on sheltered beaches on the Orkney Island

H van Gemerden *, R. de Wit, C.S Tughan, R.A Herbert

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Mass developments of the purple sulfur bacterium Thiocapsa roseopersicina in the surface layers of sandy beaches on the Orkney Islands were examined with respect to microcolony formation on sand grains, vertical distribution of viable cells and the ability to colonize beach surfaces. It was observed that microcolonies of the non-motile phototrophic bacterium cemented individual sand grains to each other and that the resulting aggregates could withstand severe wave action and may play a decisive role in the stabilization of these sandy beaches.
    After removal of the top layer similar population densities of T. roseopersicina were recorded within seven days. It was calculated that the net specific growth rate initially was 0.53 day−1 (0.022 h−1).
    Laboratory studies strongly suggest that the populations of T. roseopersicina on sheltered beaches on the Orkney Islands were growing phototrophically in the light even when the microenvironment was oxic. Bacteriochlorophyll a synthesis was repressed by oxygen and occurred during periods with low light intensities when the microenvironment was anoxic and contained sulfide
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)111-118
    Number of pages8
    JournalFEMS Microbial Ecology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb-1989

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