Bioactivity, Chemical Profiling, and 16S rRNA-based Phylogeny of Pseudoalteromonas Strains Collected on a Global Research Cruise

Mar Biotechnol (NY). 2011 Dec;13(6):1062-73. doi: 10.1007/s10126-011-9369-4. Epub 2011 Feb 9.


One hundred one antibacterial Pseudoalteromonas strains that inhibited growth of a Vibrio anguillarum test strain were collected on a global research cruise (Galathea 3), and 51 of the strains repeatedly demonstrated antibacterial activity. Here, we profile secondary metabolites of these strains to determine if particular compounds serve as strain or species markers and to determine if the secondary metabolite profile of one strain represents the bioactivity of the entire species. 16S rRNA gene similarity divided the strains into two primary groups: One group (51 strains) consisted of bacteria which retained antibacterial activity, 48 of which were pigmented, and another group (50 strains) of bacteria which lost antibacterial activity upon sub-culturing, two of which were pigmented. The group that retained antibacterial activity consisted of six clusters in which strains were identified as Pseudoalteromonas luteoviolacea, Pseudoalteromonas aurantia, Pseudoalteromonas phenolica, Pseudoalteromonas ruthenica, Pseudoalteromonas rubra, and Pseudoalteromonas piscicida. HPLC-UV/VIS analyses identified key peaks, such as violacein in P. luteoviolacea. Some compounds, such as a novel bromoalterochromide, were detected in several species. HPLC-UV/VIS detected systematic intra-species differences for some groups, and testing several strains of a species was required to determine these differences. The majority of non-antibacterial, non-pigmented strains were identified as Pseudoalteromonas agarivorans, and HPLC-UV/VIS did not further differentiate this group. Pseudoalteromonas retaining antibacterial were more likely to originate from biotic or abiotic surfaces in contrast to planktonic strains. Hence, the pigmented, antibacterial Pseudoalteromonas have a niche specificity, and sampling from marine biofilm environments is a strategy for isolating novel marine bacteria that produce antibacterial compounds.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / analysis
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Computational Biology
  • Depsipeptides / analysis
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oceans and Seas
  • Phylogeny*
  • Pseudoalteromonas / chemistry*
  • Pseudoalteromonas / genetics*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Seawater / microbiology*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet
  • Vibrio / drug effects
  • Vibrio / growth & development


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Depsipeptides
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • bromoalterochromide A