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The composition of bacterial communities associated with plastic biofilms differs between different polymers and stages of biofilm succession
Pinto, M.; Langer, T.M.; Hüffer, T.; Hofmann, T.; Herndl, G.J. (2019). The composition of bacterial communities associated with plastic biofilms differs between different polymers and stages of biofilm succession. PLoS One 14(6): e0217165.
In: PLoS One. Public Library of Science: San Francisco. ISSN 1932-6203; e-ISSN 1932-6203, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Pinto, M.
  • Langer, T.M.
  • Hüffer, T.
  • Hofmann, T.
  • Herndl, G.J., meer

    Once in the ocean, plastics are rapidly colonized by complex microbial communities. Factorsaffecting the development and composition of these communities are still poorly understood.Additionally, whether there are plastic-type specific communities developing ondifferent plastics remains enigmatic. We determined the development and succession ofbacterial communities on different plastics under ambient and dim light conditions in thecoastal Northern Adriatic over the course of two months using scanning electron microscopyand 16S rRNA gene analyses. Plastics used were low- and high-density polyethylene(LDPE and HDPE, respectively), polypropylene (PP) and polyvinyl chloride with two typicaladditives (PVC DEHP and PVC DINP). The bacterial communities developing on the plasticsclustered in two groups; one group was found on PVC and the other group on all theother plastics and on glass, which was used as an inert control. Specific bacterial taxa werefound on specific surfaces in essentially all stages of biofilm development and in both ambientand dim light conditions. Differences in bacterial community composition between thedifferent plastics and light exposures were stronger after an incubation period of one weekthan at the later stages of the incubation. Under both ambient and dim light conditions, onepart of the bacterial community was common on all plastic types, especially in later stages ofthe biofilm development, with families such as Flavobacteriaceae, Rhodobacteraceae,Planctomycetaceae and Phyllobacteriaceae presenting relatively high relative abundanceson all surfaces. Another part of the bacterial community was plastic-type specific. The plastic-type specific fraction was variable among the different plastic types and was more abundantafter one week of incubation than at later stages of the succession.

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