Flow cytometric monitoring of bacterioplankton phenotypic diversity predicts high population-specific feeding rates by invasive dreissenid mussels

Ruben Props, Marian L. Schmidt, Jasmine Heyse, Henry A. Vanderploeg, Nico Boon, Vincent J. Denef

Research outputpeer-review


Species invasion is an important disturbance to ecosystems worldwide, yet knowledge about the impacts of invasive species on bacterial communities remains sparse. Using a novel approach, we simultaneously detected phenotypic and derived taxonomic change in a natural bacterioplankton community when subjected to feeding pressure by quagga mussels, a widespread aquatic invasive species. We detected a significant decrease in diversity within 1 h of feeding and a total diversity loss of 11.6 � 4.1% after 3 h. This loss of microbial diversity was caused by the selective removal of high nucleic acid populations (29 � 5% after 3 h). We were able to track the community diversity at high temporal resolution by calculating phenotypic diversity estimates from flow cytometry (FCM) data of minute amounts of sample. Through parallel FCM and 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing analysis of environments spanning a broad diversity range, we showed that the two approaches resulted in highly correlated diversity measures and captured the same seasonal and lake-specific patterns in community composition. Based on our results, we predict that selective feeding by invasive dreissenid mussels directly impacts the microbial component of the carbon cycle, as it may drive bacterioplankton communities toward less diverse and potentially less productive states.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-534
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2018

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