Abundance and diversity of sedimentary bacterial communities in a coastal productive setting in the Western Irish Sea

S. S. O'Reilly, Prasanna Pentlavalli, P. V. Flanagan, Christopher Allen, X. Monteys, M. T. Szpak, B. T. Murphy, S. F. Jordan, B. P. Kelleher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The bacterial community composition and biomass abundance from a depositional mud belt in the western Irish Sea and regional sands were investigated by phospholipid ester-linked fatty acid profiling, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and barcoded pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes. The study area varied by water depth (12-111 m), organic carbon content (0.09-1.57% TOC), grain size, hydrographic regime (well-mixed vs. stratified), and water column phytodetrital input (represented by algal polyunsaturated PLFA). The relative abundance of bacterial-derived PLFA (sum of methyl-branched, cyclopropyl and odd-carbon number PLFA) was positively correlated with fine-grained sediment, and was highest in the depositional mud belt. A strong association between bacterial biomass and eukaryote primary production was suggested based on observed positive correlations with total nitrogen and algal polyunsaturated fatty acids. In addition, 16S rRNA genes affiliated to the classes Clostridia and Flavobacteria represented a major proportion of total 16S rRNA gene sequences. This suggests that benthic bacterial communities are also important degraders of phytodetrital organic matter and closely coupled to water column productivity in the western Irish Sea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Early online date12 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2016


  • 16S rRNA gene barcoded pyrosequencing
  • Irish Sea
  • Marine sedimentary bacteria
  • Phospholipid ester-linked fatty acids
  • Shelf sediment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Geology
  • Oceanography


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