This is an output of NANO Regional Project Indian sub-continent

NANO Alumni Ravidas Naik and Radjeep Roy and colleagues published the following article in the Journal of Basic Microbiology :

The response of Prorocentrum sigmoides and its associated culturable bacteria to metals and organic pollutants

D’Costa, P. M. et al. (2019) Journal of Basic Microbiology, DOI 10.1002/jobm.201900244


This study investigates the effect of metals (cadmium, lead, mercury, and tellurium) and organic pollutants (benzene, diesel, lindane, and xylene) on a dinoflagellate—Prorocentrum sigmoides Böhm—and its associated culturable bacteria. Two bacterial cultures (Bacillus subtilis strain PD005 and B. xiamensis strain PD006) were isolated from P. sigmoides and characterized by scanning electron microscopy, 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing, biochemical analyses, and growth curve studies. This study points to a mutualistic relationship between P. sigmoides and its associated Bacillus isolates. P. sigmoides enhanced the growth of its associated Bacillus spp., through the secretion of extracellular exudates. In return, both Bacillus isolates contributed to the resistance of P. sigmoides to metals and organic pollutants. P. sigmoides and both Bacillus isolates exhibited concentration‐dependent responses to metals and organic pollutants. An intriguing feature was the similar response of P. sigmoides and its associated Bacillus isolates to mercury and cadmium, indicating a co‐selection of mercury and cadmium resistance. This provides support to the “dinoflagellate host‐ phycosphere bacteria” behaving as a single functional unit. However, the sensitivity profiles of P. sigmoides and its associated Bacillus isolates are different with respect to metals versus organic pollutants. These aspects need to be addressed in future studies to unravel the effect of metal and organic pollutants on dinoflagellates, an important component of the phytoplankton community, and to discern the influence of associated “phycosphere” bacteria on the response of dinoflagellates to pollutants.


  • associated bacteria
  • Bacillus spp.
  • co-selection
  • metals
  • organic pollutants
  • Prorocentrum sigmoides

Link for the publication here

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