The water column as an attenuating factor of the UVR effects on bacteria from a coastal Antarctic marine environment

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Hernández, Edgardo A. ; Ferreyra, Gustavo A. ; Ruberto, Lucas A.M. ; Mac Cormack, Walter P. (2009)

The effect of UVR on the viability of the culturable bacterial community fraction (CBC), and two of their isolated components (Arthrobacter-UVvi and Bizionia-UVps), was studied in the top few metres of the water column at Potter Cove, King George Island, Antarctica. Quartz flasks containing CBC from surface waters were exposed to solar radiation at depths of 0, 1 and 3 m. Similar experiments using UVps and UVvi isolates were performed. In some experiments interferential filters were used to discriminate photosynthetic active radiation (PAR), UV-A and UV-B. CBC from depths of 0, 10 and 30 m were also exposed to surface solar radiation. The deleterious effect of UVR was observed at the surface and at a depth of 1 m, but not at a depth of 3 m. Studies with interferential filters showed low bacterial viability values at depths of 0 and 1 m under both UVR treatments. However, under low radiation doses the effect attributed to UV-B was higher than that caused by UV-A. The surface CBC was more resistant to UVR compared with CBC from a depth of 30 m. The results showed that CBC inhabiting waters above the pycnocline (located at a depth of 5–10 m) are more efficiently adapted to UVR than are those from below the pycnocline. The impact of UVR on the marine bacterioplankton studied was only detected in the first metre of the stratified water column of Potter Cove, which has high levels of suspended particulate matter. These results support the evidence for a significant UVR-attenuating effect in the water column of this coastal Antarctic water.
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