Submarine basaltic glass colonization by the heterotrophic Fe(II)-oxidizing and siderophore-producing deep-sea bacterium Pseudomonas stutzeri VS-10: The potential role of basalt in enhancing growth

Lisa A. Sudek, Greg Wanger, Alexis S. Templeton, Hubert Staudigel, Bradley Tebo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Phylogenetically and metabolically diverse bacterial communities have been found in association with submarine basaltic glass surfaces. The driving forces behind basalt colonization are for the most part unknown. It remains ambiguous if basalt provides ecological advantages beyond representing a substrate for surface colonization, such as supplying nutrients and/or energy. Pseudomonas stutzeri VS-10, a metabolically versatile bacterium isolated from Vailulu'u Seamount, was used as a model organism to investigate the physiological responses observed when biofilms are established on basaltic glasses. In Fe-limited heterotrophic media, P. stutzeri VS-10 exhibited elevated growth in the presence of basaltic glass. Diffusion chamber experiments demonstrated that physical attachment or contact of soluble metabolites such as siderophores with the basaltic glass plays a pivotal role in this process. Electrochemical data indicated that P. stutzeri VS-10 is able to use solid substrates (electrodes) as terminal electron donors and acceptors. Siderophore production and heterotrophic Fe(II) oxidation are discussed as potential mechanisms enhancing growth of P. stutzeri VS-10 on glass surfaces. In correlation with that we discuss the possibility that metabolic versatility could represent a common and beneficial physiological trait in marine microbial communities being subject to oligotrophic and rapidly changing deep-sea conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number363
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberMAR
StatePublished - Mar 10 2017



  • Basalt
  • Biofilm
  • Diffusion chamber
  • Fe(II) oxidation
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Siderophores

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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