Temporal dynamics of bacterial colonization of plastic debris in the North Sea

Caroline De Tender, Lisa Devriese, Annelies Haegeman, Andre Cattrijsse, Jürgen Vangeyte, Sara Maes, Tom Ruttink, Peter Dawyndt

Onderzoeksoutput: Hoofdstuk in Boek/Rapport/CongresprocedureC3: Congres abstractpeer review


Previously we have demonstrated that bacteria can colonize marine plastic debris. We hypothesized that three major factors may influence the bacterial colonization of plastic: changes in environmental conditions (e.g. salinity, temperature), differences in biofilm formation stages and plastic-related factors (shape, colour, polymer type). Additionally, it has been proposed that bacteria could use plastic debris as a transport vector or that within the plastic colonisers, bacteria are present that are able to degrade these polymers.
Whereas bacterial colonization has been shown to occur within weeks, little is known about the temporal dynamics of marine bacterial communities on plastic debris and the influence of environment or plastic type. Therefore, we exposed two polyethylene materials (sheet and dolly rope) to the marine environment for six months on two locations: the harbour of Ostend and near the offshore wind farm, the “Thornton bank”. Once a month, plastics were sampled and the temporal dynamics of the bacterial communities was analysed using 16S V3-V4 rDNA amplicon sequencing.
For both locations and plastic types, Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria dominate the bacterial communities. Temporal shifts in community composition were observed, especially during the first months. The bacterial community composition of plastic materials sampled at the harbour of Ostend are substantially different from those at the Thornton bank, indicating a major influence of the environmental parameters. Furthermore, differences in bacterial community composition and richness were found between the two plastic items, independent from the sampling location, suggesting that the shape and/or colour of the plastic influences the bacterial colonization. Further on, we investigated if a core microbiome could be found on plastic items across all time points. This could indicate the presence of bacterial genera that can easily colonise marine plastic debris and are therefore omnipresent.
Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
TitelSetac/iEOS Joint Focused Topic Meeting : Environmtal and (eco)toxicological omics and epigenetics: science, tecnology and regulatory applications
PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 12-sep.-2016

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