Microbial Ecology

, Volume 78, Issue 1, pp 1–5 | Cite as

Differential Response of Cafeteria roenbergensis to Different Bacterial and Archaeal Prey Characteristics

  • Daniele De CorteEmail author
  • Gabriela Paredes
  • Taichi Yokokawa
  • Eva Sintes
  • Gerhard J. Herndl


In the marine environment, the abundance of Bacteria and Archaea is either controlled bottom-up via nutrient availability or top-down via grazing. Heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNF) are mainly responsible for prokaryotic grazing losses besides viral lysis. However, the grazing specificity of HNF on specific bacterial and archaeal taxa is under debate. Bacteria and Archaea might have different nutritive values and surface properties affecting the growth rates of HNF. In this study, we offered different bacterial and archaeal strains with different morphologic and physiologic characteristics to Cafeteria roenbergensis, one of the most abundant and ubiquitous species of HNF in the ocean. Two Nitrosopumilus maritimus-related strains isolated from the northern Adriatic Sea (Nitrosopumilus adriaticus, Nitrosopumilus piranensis), two Nitrosococcus strains, and two fast growing marine Bacteria (Pseudoalteromonas sp. and Marinobacter sp.) were fed to Cafeteria cultures. Cafeteria roenbergensis exhibited high growth rates when feeding on Pseudoalteromonas sp., Marinobacter sp., and Nitrosopumilus adriaticus, while the addition of the other strains resulted in minimal growth. Taken together, our data suggest that the differences in growth of Cafeteria roenbergensis associated to grazing on different thaumarchaeal and bacterial strains are likely due to the subtle metabolic, cell size, and physiological differences between different bacterial and thaumarchaeal taxa. Moreover, Nitrosopumilus adriaticus experienced a similar grazing pressure by Cafeteria roenbergensis as compared to the other strains, suggesting that other HNF may also prey on Archaea which might have important consequences on the global biogeochemical cycles.


Cafeteria roenbergensis Bacteria Archaea Flagellate grazing Bacterivory 



We thank B. Bayer for providing the two archaeal strains and F.W. Valois for providing the two Nitrosococcus strains.

Funding Information

Laboratory work was supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) projects Z194-B17 and P28781-B21 and by the European Research Council under the European Community’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC grant agreement No. 268595 (MEDEA project) to GJH. DDC was supported by the Marie Curie Fellowship (PIEF-GA-2011-299860) and by overseas researcher under the Postdoctoral Fellowship of Japan Society for Promotion of Science (P16085), and ES was supported by Austrian Science Fund (FWF) project P27696-B22.

Supplementary material

248_2018_1293_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (534 kb)
Figure S1 Changes over the course of the incubation experiment of C. roenbergensis and prokaryotic abundance in different treatments amended with: a) Pseudoalteromonas sp., b) Marinobacter sp., c) Nitrosopumilus adriaticus, d) Nitrosopumilus piranensis, e) Nitrosococcus oceani_27, f) Nitrosococcus oceani_107. The asterisks represent the time points when the CARD-FISH samples were collected. (PDF 534 kb)
248_2018_1293_MOESM2_ESM.docx (71 kb)
Table S1 (DOCX 71 kb)
248_2018_1293_MOESM3_ESM.docx (141 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 140 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniele De Corte
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gabriela Paredes
    • 1
  • Taichi Yokokawa
    • 2
  • Eva Sintes
    • 1
  • Gerhard J. Herndl
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Limnology and Bio-Oceanography, Center of Functional EcologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Research and Development Center for Marine BiosciencesJapan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)YokosukaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea ResearchUtrecht UniversityDen BurgThe Netherlands

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