Identification of genes for dimethyl sulfide production in bacteria in the gut of Atlantic Herring (Clupea harengus)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Phytoplankton are the primary producers of the sulfur-containing compatible solute dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP). These cells are consumed by mesozooplankton, which, in turn, may be eaten by marine vertebrates. From the gut of one such animal, the Atlantic Herring Clupea harengus, we isolated strains of the ?-proteobacteria Pseudomonas and Psychrobacter that grew on DMSP as sole carbon source, and which produced the environmentally important sulfurous volatile dimethyl sulfide (DMS). In both bacterial genera, this ability was because of the previously identified gene dddD, which specifies an enzyme that liberates DMS from DMSP. DMS production was stimulated by pre-growth of cells on the substrate DMSP. This is the first identification of DMSP-degrading bacteria and their relevant genes in the gut microflora of any vertebrate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-146
Number of pages3
JournalThe ISME Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Cite this