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Plant-Microbe Interactions in Marine Environments

The living Zostera noltii plants establish strong links with the bacteria in the rhizosphere. The rhizomes and roots of this phanerogam present a habitat for sulphate-reducing and nitrogen fixing bacteria (Donnelly et al., & Finster et al., Extended Report, Vol. I, p. 179- and p. 149, respectively), and most of the nitrogen fixation is actually due to sulphate reducing bacteria in this environment (Welsh et al., 1996, Marine Biology 125, 619). The surface of the rhizomes supported young and mature biofilms which showed a patchy colonisation pattern, while surface colonisation was much less extensive (and mainly concentrated around wounds) on roots. Furthermore, diatoms were observed on the surface of roots and rhizomes. Longitudinal sections of roots showed the unequivocal presence of bacteria within the root tissues, but no bacteria were found in the interior of the rhizomes (Donnelly et al. & Finster et al., Extended Report, Vol. I p. 179- and p. 149, respectively). It was found that 4 % of the sulfate reduction and 35 % of the nitrogen fixation of the total benthic system.

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Université Bordeaux 1
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