Lipid membrane modulation and pigmentation: A cryoprotection mechanism in Arctic pigmented bacteria.


The present study aims to address the effect of gradual change in temperature (15-4 °C) followed by freeze-thaw on pigmented bacterial strains - Leeuwenhoekiella aequorea, Pseudomonas pelagia, Halomonas boliviensis, Rhodococcus yunnanensis, and Algoriphagus ratkwoskyi, isolated from Kongsfjorden (an Arctic fjord) to understand their survival in present climate change scenario. The total cell count and retrievability of the isolates were not affected despite the variation in temperature. In all the isolates, the saturated fatty acids, particularly stearic and palmitic acid were predominant at higher temperature, while at 4 °C, the unsaturated fatty acids, primarily cis-10-pentadecenoic, palmitoleic, and oleic acid, were major constituents, confirming homeoviscous adaptation. Even after freeze-thaw, the unsaturated fatty acid composition was retained in all the isolates except A. ratkwoskyi. The increase in unsaturated fatty acids was at the expense of their saturated analogs, probably by desaturase activity. The major pigment in the isolates resembled Zeaxanthin, whose concentration was found to be 26-65% higher after freeze-thaw, suggesting its vital role as a cryoprotective agent in regulating membrane fluidity. Such experimental simulations related to freeze-thaw in polar bacterial isolates are helpful in understanding the physiological plasticity adaptations, which could be critical for survival in harsh and rapidly changing polar environments.

DOI: 10.1002/jobm.201700182

Cite this paper

@article{Singh2017LipidMM, title={Lipid membrane modulation and pigmentation: A cryoprotection mechanism in Arctic pigmented bacteria.}, author={Archana Singh and Kottekattu P Krishnan and Dharmar Prabaharan and Rupesh Kumar Sinha}, journal={Journal of basic microbiology}, year={2017}, volume={57 9}, pages={770-780} }