Molecular mechanisms underlying roseobacter-phytoplankton symbioses

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2010 Jun;21(3):332-8. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2010.03.013.


Members of the Roseobacter clade of alpha-proteobacteria are among the most abundant and ecologically relevant marine bacteria. Bacterial isolates and gene sequences derived from this taxonomic lineage have been retrieved from marine environments ranging from sea ice to open ocean mixed layer to tropical coral reefs, and in ecological niches ranging from free-living plankton to sponge symbiont to biofilm pioneer. Although roseobacters are cosmopolitan in the marine environment, their numbers and activity significantly rise with increases in the population density of phytoplankton [1,2], suggesting that these bacteria are highly adapted to engage in these symbioses. This review examines the molecules and phenotypes of roseobacters that are important in establishing and maintaining the symbioses between roseobacters and phytoplankton.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Models, Biological
  • Phytoplankton / growth & development*
  • Phytoplankton / microbiology*
  • Roseobacter / growth & development*
  • Symbiosis / physiology*