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Strategies for culturing active/dormant marine microbes

  • Corresponding author: Zong-Jun Du, duzongjun@sdu.edu.cn
  • Received Date: 2020-04-09
    Fund Project:

    This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41876166, and 31770002), Science and Technology Basic Resources Investigation Program of China (2017FY100302).

  • Microorganisms are ubiquitous in the ocean environment and they play key roles in marine ecosystem function and service. However, many of their functions and phenotypes remain unknown because indigenous marine bacteria are mostly diicult to culture. Although many novel techniques have brought previously uncultured microbes into laboratory culture, there are still many most-wanted or key players that need to be cultured from marine environments. This review discusses possible reasons for ‘unculturable microbes’ and categorizes uncultured bacteria into three groups: dominant active bacteria, rare active bacteria, and dormant bacteria. This review also summarizes advances in cultivation techniques for culturing each group of unculturable bacteria. Simulating the natural environment is an effective strategy for isolating dominant active bacteria, whereas culturomics and enrichment culture methods are proposed for isolating rare active bacteria. For dormant bacteria, resuscitation culture is an appropriate strategy. Furthermore, the review provides a list of the most-wanted bacteria and proposes potential strategies for culturing these bacteria in marine environments. The review provides new insight into the development of strategies for the cultivation of speciic groups of uncultured bacteria and therefore paves the way for the detection of novel microbes and their functions in marine ecosystems.
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Strategies for culturing active/dormant marine microbes

    Corresponding author: Zong-Jun Du, duzongjun@sdu.edu.cn
  • 1 State Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology, Institute of Microbial Technology, Shandong University, Qingdao 266237, China
  • 2 Marine College, Shandong University, Weihai 264209, China
  • 3 Institute for Environmental Genomics, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA
Fund Project:  This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41876166, and 31770002), Science and Technology Basic Resources Investigation Program of China (2017FY100302).

Abstract: Microorganisms are ubiquitous in the ocean environment and they play key roles in marine ecosystem function and service. However, many of their functions and phenotypes remain unknown because indigenous marine bacteria are mostly diicult to culture. Although many novel techniques have brought previously uncultured microbes into laboratory culture, there are still many most-wanted or key players that need to be cultured from marine environments. This review discusses possible reasons for ‘unculturable microbes’ and categorizes uncultured bacteria into three groups: dominant active bacteria, rare active bacteria, and dormant bacteria. This review also summarizes advances in cultivation techniques for culturing each group of unculturable bacteria. Simulating the natural environment is an effective strategy for isolating dominant active bacteria, whereas culturomics and enrichment culture methods are proposed for isolating rare active bacteria. For dormant bacteria, resuscitation culture is an appropriate strategy. Furthermore, the review provides a list of the most-wanted bacteria and proposes potential strategies for culturing these bacteria in marine environments. The review provides new insight into the development of strategies for the cultivation of speciic groups of uncultured bacteria and therefore paves the way for the detection of novel microbes and their functions in marine ecosystems.

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