Diversity and Seasonality of Bioluminescent Vibrio Cholerae Populations in Chesapeake Bay

TitleDiversity and Seasonality of Bioluminescent Vibrio Cholerae Populations in Chesapeake Bay
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsZo Y-G, Chokesajjawatee N, Grim C, Arakawa E, Watanabe H, Colwell RR
JournalApplied and Environmental MicrobiologyAppl. Environ. Microbiol.Applied and Environmental MicrobiologyAppl. Environ. Microbiol.
Type of Article10.1128/AEM.02894-07
ISBN Number0099-2240, 1098-5336

Association of luminescence with phenotypic and genotypic traits and with environmental parameters was determined for 278 strains of Vibrio cholerae isolated from the Chesapeake Bay during 1998 to 2000. Three clusters of luminescent strains (A, B, and C) and two nonluminescent clusters (X and Y) were identified among 180 clonal types. V. cholerae O1 strains isolated during pandemics and endemic cholera in the Ganges Delta were related to cluster Y. Heat-stable enterotoxin (encoded by stn) and the membrane protein associated with bile resistance (encoded by ompU) were found to be linked to luminescence in strains of cluster A. Succession from nonluminescent to luminescent populations of V. cholerae occurred during spring to midsummer. Occurrence of cluster A strains in water with neutral pH was contrasted with that of cluster Y strains in water with a pH of >8. Cluster A was found to be associated with a specific calanoid population cooccurring with cyclopoids. Cluster B was related to cluster Y, with its maximal prevalence at pH 8. Occurrence of cluster B strains was more frequent with warmer water temperatures and negatively correlated with maturity of the copepod community. It is concluded that each cluster of luminescent V. cholerae strains occupies a distinct ecological niche. Since the dynamics of these niche-specific subpopulations are associated with zooplankton community composition, the ecology of luminescent V. cholerae is concluded to be related to its interaction with copepods and related crustacean species.