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Heterotrophic bacteria associated with a feed algae for oyster larvae

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  • Aerobic heterotrophic bacteria associated with oyster larvae feed algae Isochrysis galbana, Monochrysis lutheri and Pseudoisochrysis paradoxa were isolated and enumerated. The bacterial numbers ranged from 7.8x10³ to 3.9x10⁶ CFU per ml. The bacteria associated with Pseudoisochrysis sp. were identified and the majority of isolates belonged to genera Leucothrix (51%). Also present were members of Pseudomonas III sp. (19.1%), atypical Moraxella sp. (16.8%), Moraxella sp. (7.2%) and Flavobacterium sp. (5.9%). The growth of bacteria on marine agar was fastidious and took four days to form visible colonies. None of the bacterial isolates grew in buffered salt broth in which the algae had been grown. Marine broth supplemented with 0.1% beef extract best supported the growth of the isolates, while ferric citrate (3x10⁻⁴ M) supported their growth in buffered salt broth. The role of algae as a solid support for bacteria was investigated by studying the attachment of bacteria on glass slides suspended in the growth medium. The percent of Leucothrix sp. attached to the slide was 2.1-3.0%. This was four to six times greater than that of Staphylococcus (0.5%), an organism well known for its commensal growth on skin and mucus membranes of man and animal. Hydrophobic attraction, which is thought to play an important role in the orientation of bacteria to solid surfaces, was studied by measuring the adsorption of bacteria on hydrocarbons introduced to a bacterial suspension. Leucothrix sp. exhibited the strongest affinity, whereas Flavobacterium sp. and Pseudomonas sp. adsorbed the least. An attempt to obtain an axenic culture of algae by antibiotic treatment was unsuccessful due to the detrimental effect of antibiotics to both algae and bacteria.
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