The team aims to study organic sulfur biogeochemistry in a coastal ocean ecosystem. In fall 2014, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) was deployed in Monterey Bay, CA to collect a high-resolution microbial community time-series for analysis of bacterially-mediated organic sulfur transformations. Concurrent data on chlorophyll concentrations, bacterial and phytoplankton cell abundance, bacterial production, and dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) concentrations and uptake rates were also collected. The deployment captured bacterial gene expression during phytoplankton regime shifts, a phenomenon that has been hypothesized to regulate the differential expression of the two routes of bacterial DMSP degradation due to differences in the availability of non-DMSP organic sulfur compounds. The work expects to get to the regulatory underpinnings of bacterial DMSP degradation and the fate of organic sulfur in the coastal environment.
Proposer: Mary Ann Moran, University of Georgia