Evidence for dependency of bacterial growth on enzymatic hydrolysis of particulate organic matter in the mesopelagic ocean.

Hoppe, Hans-Georg, Ducklow, H. and Karrasch, B. (1993) Evidence for dependency of bacterial growth on enzymatic hydrolysis of particulate organic matter in the mesopelagic ocean. Open Access Marine Ecology Progress Series, 93 . pp. 277-283.

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Organic material entering the oceanic mesopelagic zone may either reenter the euphotic zone or settle into deeper waters. Therefore it is important to know about mechanisms and efficiency of substrate conversion in this water layer. Bacterial biomass, bacteria secondary production (BSP). extra­cellular peptidase activity (EPA) and particulate organic nitrogen (PON) were measured in vertical pro­files of the North Atlantic (46° N 18° W; 57° N 23° W) during the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) cruise in May 1989. The magnitude of these parameters decreased differently with depth. The strong­est decreases were observed for bacterial production (3H-thymidine incorporation) and peptide turn­over (using the substrate analog leucine-methylcoumarinylamide). Bacterial biomass and peptidase potential activity were not reduced as much in the mesopelagic zone. Peptidase potential per unit cell biomass of mesopelagic bacteria was 2 to 3 times higher than that of bacteria in surface water. Nevertheless bacterial growth at depth was slow, due to slow actual hydrolysis. Values of theoretical PON hydrolysis were calculated from PON measurements and protein hydrolysis rates. These corre­sponded well to bacterial production rates, and the degree of correspondence increased from a factor of 0.63 (PON hydrolysis/ESP) in the mixed surface layer to 0.87 in the mesopelagic zone. Thus we hypothesized an effective coupling between particle hydrolysis and uptake of hydrolysate by bacteria, which depletes the deeper water of easily degradable substrates as hydrolysates usually are. The low enzymatic PON turnover rate of 0.04 d- 1 in the subeuphotic zone suggests that residence time of parti­cles within a depth stratum may be important for its contribution to export. storage and recycling of organic matter.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-MI Marine Microbiology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
ISSN: 0171-8630
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2018 08:42
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2018 08:42
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/42125

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