Heterogeneity of surface attached microbial communities from Sydney Harbour, Australia

George S. Wilson, David A. Raftos*, Michael R. Gillings, Sham V. Nair

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    There is limited information on bacterial communities attached to marine surfaces. These surface attached bacterial communities can vary at a micro scale and these differences may be due to surface characteristics in marine environments. The current study investigates the heterogeneity of bacterial communities on five different marine invertebrates (Heliocidaris erythrogramma, Austrocochlea concamerata, Crassostrea gigas, Dendrilla rosea, and Actinia tenebrosa), the alga, Lobophora variegata and marine gravel from a 20. m × 20. m quadrant in Camp Cove, Sydney Harbour, Australia. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) of 16S sequences showed that each surface contained unique combinations of TRFLP fragment lengths. Phylogenetic analysis of random clones picked from clone libraries constructed from the amplified 16S sequences revealed that 16S sequences from the communities on different surfaces clustered into distinct clades. None of the bacteria identified by 16S sequencing of the whole (uncultured) microbial communities was detected after cultivation. Overall, the study shows surface type plays a major role in shaping microbial communities in marine environments.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)99-105
    Number of pages7
    JournalMarine Genomics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


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