Sharing Vitamin B12 between Bacteria and Microalgae Does Not Systematically Occur: Case Study of the Haptophyte Tisochrysis lutea

Type Article
Date 2022-07
Language English
Author(s) Nef CharlotteORCID1, Dittami SimonORCID2, Kaas Raymond1, Briand EnoraORCID3, Noël CyrilORCID4, Mairet FrancisORCID5, Garnier MatthieuORCID3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Physiologie et Biotechnologie des Algues, IFREMER, Rue de l’Ile d’Yeu, F-44311 Nantes, France
2 : Station Biologique de Roscoff, Integrative Biology of Marine Models Laboratory, CNRS, Sorbonne University, F-29680 Roscoff, France
3 : GENALG, PHYTOX, IFREMER, F-44000 Nantes, France
4 : SEBIMER, IRSI, IFREMER, F-29280 Brest, France
5 : PHYSALG, PHYTOX, IFREMER, F-44000 Nantes, France
Source Microorganisms (2076-2607) (MDPI AG), 2022-07 , Vol. 10 , N. 7 , P. 1337 (18p.)
DOI 10.3390/microorganisms10071337
WOS© Times Cited 5
Note This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytoplankton-Bacteria Interactions 2.0
Keyword(s) microbial interactions, vitamin B-12, cobalamin, haptophytes, Tisochrysis lutea, phytoplankton

Haptophyte microalgae are key contributors to microbial communities in many environments. It has been proposed recently that members of this group would be virtually all dependent on vitamin B12 (cobalamin), an enzymatic cofactor produced only by some bacteria and archaea. Here, we examined the processes of vitamin B12 acquisition by haptophytes. We tested whether co-cultivating the model species Tisochrysis lutea with B12-producing bacteria in vitamin-deprived conditions would allow the microalga to overcome B12 deprivation. While T. lutea can grow by scavenging vitamin B12 from bacterial extracts, co-culture experiments showed that the algae did not receive B12 from its associated bacteria, despite bacteria/algae ratios supposedly being sufficient to allow enough vitamin production. Since other studies reported mutualistic algae–bacteria interactions for cobalamin, these results question the specificity of such associations. Finally, cultivating T. lutea with a complex bacterial consortium in the absence of the vitamin partially rescued its growth, highlighting the importance of microbial interactions and diversity. This work suggests that direct sharing of vitamin B12 is specific to each species pair and that algae in complex natural communities can acquire it indirectly by other mechanisms (e.g., after bacterial lysis).

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