Cultivation-based analyses of methylotrophic bacteria isolated from sinking marine aggregates in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia Book uri icon


  • The degradation of detrital aggregates in the ocean is a major source of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen and integral to the oceanic carbon cycle, yet the mechanisms of this complex process are still poorly understood. As part of our ongoing program to investigate microbial degradation of particulate organic carbon, we collected sinking aggregate material from Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia using sediment traps. A recent and striking finding from our group was that methanol in this detrital matter can be as high as 70 micromolar. Given this information we attempted isolation of cultures using methanol as a carbon source. Over 100 obligate or facultative methylotrophic isolates were obtained. These pure cultures were screened for carbon source utilization, quorum sensing signal production, and characterized by 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequence analysis. Our data suggest that sinking aggregates could be a significant carbon source for methylotrophic bacteria. This study also potentially expands the current pallet of known methylotrophic microorganisms.

publication date

  • February 2010