Data_Sheet_1_Characterization of the Interactive Effects of Labile and Recalcitrant Organic Matter on Microbial Growth and Metabolism.PDF

Geochemical models typically represent organic matter (OM) as consisting of multiple, independent pools of compounds, each accessed by microorganisms at different rates. However, recent findings indicate that organic compounds can interact within microbial metabolisms. The relevance of interactive effects within marine systems is debated and a mechanistic understanding of its complexities, including microbe-substrate relationships, is lacking. As a first step toward uncovering mediating processes, the interactive effects of distinct pools of OM on the growth and respiration of marine bacteria, individual strains and a simple, constructed community of Roseobacter lineage members were tested. Isolates were provided with natural organic matter (NOM) and different concentrations (1, 4, 40, 400 μM-C) and forms of labile OM (acetate, casamino acids, tryptone, coumarate). The microbial response to the mixed substrate regimes was assessed using viable counts and respiration in two separate experiments. Two marine bacteria and a six-member constructed community were assayed with these experiments. Both synergistic and antagonistic growth responses were evident for all strains, but all were transient. The specific substrate conditions promoting a response, and the direction of that response, varied amongst species. These findings indicate that the substrate conditions that result in OM interactive effects are both transient and species-specific and thus influenced by both the composition and metabolic potential of a microbial community.