Bacterial Vesicles in Marine Ecosystems

  title={Bacterial Vesicles in Marine Ecosystems},
  author={Steven J. Biller and Florence Schubotz and Sara E. Roggensack and Anne W. Thompson and Roger Everett Summons and Sallie W. Chisholm},
  pages={183 - 186}
Carbon Budding in the Ocean Bacterial vesicles are gaining increasing attention for their roles in pathogenesis, but the abundance of these structures and their ecological roles in nonpathogenic contexts have received little notice. Biller et al. (p. 183; see the Perspective by Scanlan) provide evidence that membrane vesicles ∼100 nm in diameter are released by marine cyanobacteria and are a major feature of marine ecosystems. Studies of cultures of Prochlorococcus—the most abundant… 

Environmental and taxonomic drivers of bacterial extracellular vesicle production in marine ecosystems

Using quantitative analysis of marine microbial cultures, the data indicate that different marine taxa release vesicles at rates varying across an order of magnitude, and that vesicle production can change dynamically as a function of environmental conditions.

Bacterial Vesicles in the Ocean

  • D. Scanlan
  • Environmental Science, Biology
  • 2014
A further striking feature of Prochlorococcus is identified: the production of extracellular vesicles that may play a role in carbon cycling, gene transfer, and viral defense.

Prochlorococcus extracellular vesicles: molecular composition and adsorption to diverse microbes

It is demonstrated that vesicles from Prochlorococcus and other bacteria associate with diverse microbes including the most abundant marine bacterium, Pelagibacter, which indicates that a portion of ‘dissolved’ compounds in the oceans are instead packaged within locally structured, particulate vesicle.

Membrane vesicles in natural environments: a major challenge in viral ecology

It is surprising that Biller et al. (2014) observed only negligible number of apparent tailed phages in their vesicle-rich ocean samples even though the methods they used to isolate MVs were similar to those traditionally employed for the isolation of viral particles, suggesting that MVs could outnumber true viral particles in some marine environments.

Ecological significance of extracellular vesicles in modulating host-virus interactions during algal blooms

It is revealed that exposure of the natural assemblage to E. huxleyi-derived vesicles modulates not only host-virus dynamics, but also other components of the microbial food webs, thus emphasizing the importance of extracellular vesicle to microbial interactions in the marine environment.

Communication via extracellular vesicles enhances viral infection of a cosmopolitan alga

It is proposed that EVs are exploited by viruses to sustain efficient infectivity and propagation across E. huxleyi blooms as this mode of cell–cell communication may influence the fate of the blooms and, consequently, the composition and flow of nutrients in marine microbial food webs.

Phototrophic Microorganisms: The Basis of the Marine Food Web

The considerable amount of omics information recently becoming available on both isolates and natural populations of marine oxyphototrophs provide a solid basis for investigating their molecular ecology, their contribution to biogeochemical cycles, as well as their possible utilization in biotechnology, data mining, or biomimetics.

Cyanophage-encoded lipid desaturases: oceanic distribution, diversity and function

It is suggested that cyanophages are capable of fiddling with the infected host’s membranes, possibly leading to increased photoprotection and potentially enhancing viral-encoded photosynthetic proteins, resulting in a new viral metabolic network.

Extracellular Vesicles: A Novel Messenger of Unicellular Microalgae Communication?

It is demonstrated that EVs are widely present in microalgae and have surprisingly rich contents of miRNAs and proteins, which suggest that EVs may play a critically important role in information exchange between microalgal cells and, in turn, adaptation to changing aquatic environments.



Sulfolipids dramatically decrease phosphorus demand by picocyanobacteria in oligotrophic marine environments.

Evolution of this "sulfur-for-phosphorus" strategy set the stage for the success of picocyanobacteria in oligotrophic environments and may have been a major event in Earth's early history when the relative availability of sulfate and PO4(3-) were significantly different from today's ocean.

Dependence of the Cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus on Hydrogen Peroxide Scavenging Microbes for Growth at the Ocean's Surface

This study showed that the extant microbial community plays a vital, previously unrecognized role in cross-protecting Prochlorococcus from oxidative damage in the surface mixed layer of the oligotrophic ocean, and underscores the importance of (indirect) biotic interactions in establishing niche boundaries.

Prochlorococcus: advantages and limits of minimalism.

Some of the recent advances in the ecology, biology, and evolution of Prochlorococcus are presented, which because of its ecological importance and tiny genome is rapidly imposing itself as a model organism in environmental microbiology.

Response of Prochlorococcus ecotypes to co-culture with diverse marine bacteria

Patterns in the outcome of pair-wise co-cultures between two ecologically distinct, yet closely related, strains of the marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus and hundreds of heterotrophic marine bacteria suggest that the patterns of inhibition and enhancement observed here are due to phylogenetically cohesive traits of these heterotrophs.

Membrane vesicles traffic signals and facilitate group activities in a prokaryote

It is shown that the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa packages the signalling molecule 2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4-quinolone into membrane vesicles that serve to traffic this molecule within a population, illustrating that a prokaryote possesses a signal trafficking system with features common to those used by higher organisms.

Twelve previously unknown phage genera are ubiquitous in global oceans

This diverse and novel collection of phages identifies a small but ubiquitous fraction of unknown marine viral diversity and provides numerous environmentally relevant phage–host systems for experimental hypothesis testing.

Biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine in bacteria.

Transfer of photosynthesis genes to and from Prochlorococcus viruses.

The presence of genes central to oxygenic photosynthesis in the genomes of three phages from two viral families that infect the marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus is reported, indicating that they are of cyanobacterial origin.

Intact polar membrane lipids in prokaryotes and sediments deciphered by high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization multistage mass spectrometry--new biomarkers for biogeochemistry and microbial ecology.

Results are reported from analyses of IPLs in pure cultures of biogeochemically relevant prokaryotes and marine sediments by high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization ion-trap mass spectrometry (HPLC/ESI-IT-MSn) and analytical protocols are presented to decipher structural information from mass spectral data.