IdeaFest: Interdisciplinary Journal of Creative Works and Research from Cal Poly Humboldt


Out of the nearly one trillion species of microbiota estimated to inhabit Earth only ten thousand have been cultured in the laboratory. Culturing continues to play a vital role in determining the physiology and ecologic function of individual bacteria in microbial communities and for microbes associated with host organisms one of the major challenges is developing microbiological media that mimics the bacteria’s natural environment enough to promote growth. Here, we target bacteria associated with the estuary anemones Diadumene lineata and Metridium senile by developing a novel medium that uses anemone tissue as the sole source of nutrients. We further measured their growth from 30-40°C, identifying candidates for beneficial host-microbe interactions in warm environments. The anemone-based medium overwhelmingly selected for the genera Pseudoalteromonas and Peribacillis, regardless of anemone host species. Peribacillus spp. were particularly thermal tolerant, growing similarly from 30-40°C, while Pseudoalteromonas spp. grew well from 30-35°C. The remaining genera preferred 30°C, however one of the Litoreibacter sp. produced a diffuse putative pyomelanin that may protect cells against thermal stress. Further research should explore the production of secondary metabolites in these isolates, including antimicrobial/antifungal activity that may prevent environmental microbiota from colonizing the host under stressful conditions. This work supports culturing as a critical component of unraveling the individual functions of these bacteria in anemone-associated microbial communities.



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