Microbial ecology and carbon cycling in estuaries - With funding from the US EPA we have been studying the trophic dynamics in the microbial food web of Mobile Bay, a large shallow estuary on the US Gulf Coast. We are measuring the biomass, production and growth efficiency of bacteria in the estuary. Field and laboratory experiments are being carried out to test how temporal and spatial variations in sediment resuspension and riverine DOC inputs influence the role of bacteria the trophic transfers within the Bay ecosystem. The trophic status of the Bay (heterotrophic vs. autotrophic) is being assessed to determine how efficient the system is at processing nutrients and carbon and in transferring energy up to the fish forage base.
Selected Recent Publications -
Moran, M.A., A. Buchan, J. M. González, J. F. Heidelberg., W. B. Whitman., R. P. Kiene, J. R. Henriksen, G. M.
King, R. Belas, C. Fuqua, L. Brinkac, M. Lewis, S. Johri, B. Weaver, G. Pai, J. A. Eisen, E. Rahe, W. M.
Sheldon, W.Ye, T. R. Miller, J Carlton, D. A. R.4, I.T. Paulsen, Q. Ren, S. C. Daugherty, R. T. Deboy, R. J.
Dodson, A. S. Durkin, R. Madupu, W.C. Nelson, S. A. Sullivan, M. J. Rosovitz, D. H. Haft, J. Selengut, & N.
Ward. Genome Sequence of Silicibacter pomeroyi reveals unique adaptations to the marine environment .
Nature, In Press.
Toole, D.A. D.J. Kieber, R.P. Kiene, E.M. White, J. Bisgrove, D.A. del Valle, D. Slezak. 2004. High
dimethylsulfide photolysis rates in nitrate-rich Antarctic waters. 2004. Geophys.Res. Lett.. 31: L11307,
Vila , M., R. Simó, R.P. Kiene, J. Pinhassi, J.M. González, M. A. Moran, and C. Pedrós-Alió. 2004.
Dimethylsulfoniopropionate incorporation by bacterioplankton taxa studied by microautoradiography and
fluorescence in situ hybridization. Appl. Evniron. Microbiol. 70: 4648-4657.
Malmstrom, R R., R. P. Kiene, M. Cottrell and D. L. Kirchman. 2004. Contribution of SAR11 bacteria to C, N,
and S cycling in the North Atlantic Ocean . Appl. Evniron. Microbiol. 70: 4129-4135.
Keller, M.D., P.M. Matrai, R.P. Kiene, and W. K. Bellows. 2004. Responses of coastal phytoplankton
populations to nitrogen additions: Dynamics of cell-associated dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), glycine
betaine ( GBT ) and homarine. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 61: 685-699.
Zubkov, M, L. J. Linn, R. Amann and R. P. Kiene. 2004. Temporal patterns of biological dimethylsulfide
(DMS) consumption during laboratory-induced phytoplankton bloom cycles. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 271: 77-86.
Harada, H, M-A. Rouse, W. Sunda and R. P. Kiene. 2004. Latitudinal and vertical distributions of particle-
associated DMSP lyase activity in the western North Atlantic Ocean . Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 61: 700-711.
Miley, G.A. and R. P. Kiene. 2004. Sulfate reduction and pore water chemistry in a gulf coast Juncus
roemerianus (needlerush) marsh. Estuaries 27: 472-481.
Malmstrom, R R., R. P. Kiene and D. L. Kirchman. 2004. Identification and enumeration of marine bacteria
assimilating dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) in the north Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico . Limnol. Oceanogr.
Stets, E G, M. E. Hines and R. P. Kiene. 2004. Thiol methylation potential in anoxic, low pH wetland
sediments and its relationship dimethylsulfide production and organic carbon cycling. FEMS Microbiology
Ecology. 47: 1-11.
Toole, D.A., D. J. Kieber, R. P. Kiene, D. A. Siegel, and N.B. Nelson. 2003. Photolysis and the dimethylsulfide
(DMS) summer paradox in the Sargasso Sea . Limnol. Oceanogr. 48: 1088-1100.
Moran, M. A., J. M. González, and R. P. Kiene. 2003. Linking a bacterial taxon to organic sulfur cycling in the
sea: studies of the marine Roseobacter group. Geomicrobiology Journal. 20:375-388.
Sunda, W., D. J. Kieber, R. P. Kiene and S. Huntsman. 2002. An antioxidant function for DMSP in marine
algae. Nature 418: 317-320.
Hines , M.E. , K. N. Duddleston, and R.P. Kiene. 2001. Carbon flow to acetate and C 1 compounds in high
latitude wetlands. Geophysical Res. Lett. 28: 4251-4254.
Zubkov, M, B. M. Fuchs, S.D. Archer, R. P. Kiene, R. Amann and P. Burkhill. 2001. Linking the composition of
bacterioplankton to rapid turnover of dissolved dimethylsulphoniopropionate in an algal bloom in the North
Sea . Environ. Microbiol. 3: 304-311.
Kiene, R.P. and L. Linn. 2000. The fate of dissolved dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) in seawater: Tracer
studies using 35S-DMSP. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 64: 797-2810.
Kiene, R.P. and L. J. Linn. 2000. Turnover of dissolved DMSP and its relationship with bacterial production in
the Gulf of Mexico . Limnol. Oceanogr. 45(4): 849-861.
Kiene, R. P., L. J. Linn, and J. A. Bruton. 2000. New and important roles for DMSP in marine microbial
communities. J. Sea Res. 43: 209-224.
Books Edited -
Kiene, R. P., P. T. Visscher, G. O. Kirst and M. D. Keller (eds.). 1996. Biological and Environmental Chemistry of DMSP
and related sulfonium compounds. Plenum Publishing Corp., New York 430p.
Current Research Grants –
National Science Foundation – Polar Programs-Antarctic Biology and Medicine. Impact of solar radiation and nutrients
on biogeochemical cycling of DMSP and DMS in the Ross Sea , Antarctica . (with David Kieber, SUNY ESF).
National Science Foundation – Biocomplexity in the Environment. Complex molecular to global interactions and
feedbacks in the marine DMS cycle. (with Patricia Matrai, Bigelow Laboratory, and several other PI’s).
National Science Foundation – Biological Oceanography. Production and dynamics of DMSP and related compounds
in response to oxidative stress in marine phytoplankton. (with David Kieber, SUNY ESF ).
National Science Foundation – Microbial genetics. Bacterial Regulation of Organic Sulfur Cycling in the Ocean: A
Genomic Approach.. sub-contract from Univ. Georgia , under grant to Mary Ann Moran.
Environmental Protection Agency – Alabama Center for Estuarine Studies. Oxidative stress protection by
dimethylsulfoniopropionate(DMSP) in Spartina alterniflora.
Current Graduate Students –
J. Daniel Husband
Daniela del Valle
Hyakubun Harada (Ph.D.)
Post Doctoral Associates -