Thierry Bouvier

Université de Montpellier, Montpelhièr, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

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Publications (68)

  • Article · Mar 2016
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    Hanh Nguyen-Kim · Thierry Bouvier · Corinne Bouvier · [...] · Yvan Bettarel
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The periodic rise in seawater temperature is one of the main environmental determinants of coral bleaching. However, the direct incidence of these episodic thermal anomalies on coral-associated microbiota and their subsequent effects on coral health are still not completely understood. In this study, we investigated the dynamics of three main microbial communities of the coral holobiont (e.g., Symbiodinium, bacteria and viruses), during an experimental thermal stress (+4 °C) conducted on the scleractinian Fungia repanda. The heat-treatment induced coral bleaching after 11 days and resulted in a final elevation of ca. 9, 130 and 250-fold in the abundance of mucosal viruses, bacteria, and Symbiodinium, respectively. On the contrary, the proportion of actively respiring bacterial cells declined by 95% in heat-stressed corals. The community composition of epibiotic bacteria in healthy corals also greatly differed from bleached ones, which also exhibited much higher production rates of viral epibionts. Overall, our results suggest that the shift in temperature induced a series of microbial changes, including the expulsion and transfer of Symbiodinium cells from the coral polyps to the mucus, the collapse of the physiological state of the native bacterial associates, a substantial alteration in their community structure, and accompanied by the development of a cortege of highly active virulent phages. Finally, this study provides new insights into the environmentally-driven microbial and viral processes responsible for the dislocation of the coral holobiont.
    Full-text available · Article · Oct 2015
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microbial communities from hypersaline ponds, dominated by halophilic archaea, are considered to be specific of such extreme conditions. The associated viral communities have accordingly been shown to display specific features, such as similar morphologies among different sites. However, little is known about the genetic diversity of these halophilic viral communities across the Earth. Here, we studied viral communities in hypersaline ponds sampled on the coast of Senegal (8 to 36% of salinity) using metagenomics approach, and compared them to hypersaline viromes from Australia and Spain. The specificity of hyperhalophilic viruses could first be demonstrated at a community scale, salinity being a strong discriminating factor between communities. For the major viral group detected in all samples (Caudovirales), only a limited number of halophilic Caudovirales clades were highlighted. These clades gather viruses from different continents and display consistent genetic composition, indicating that they represent related lineages with a world-wide distribution. Non-tailed hyperhalophilic viruses display a greater rate of gene transfer and recombination, with uncharacterized genes conserved across different kind of viruses and plasmids. Thus, hypersaline viral communities around the world appear to form a genetically consistent community that are likely to harbor new genes coding for enzymes specifically adapted to these environments.
    Full-text available · Article · Oct 2015 · Environmental Microbiology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The impact of fish and oysters on components of the pelagic microbial food web (MFW) was studied in a 10 d mesocosm experiment using Mediterranean coastal waters. Two mesocosms contained natural water only ('Controls'), 2 contained natural water with Crassostrea gigas ('Oyster'), and 2 contained natural water with Atherina spp. ('Fish'). Abundances and biomasses of microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, phytoplankton, heterotrophic flagellates, and ciliates) were measured to estimate their contribution to the total microbial carbon biomass. Two MFW indices, the microbial autotroph: heterotroph C biomass ratio (A:H) structural index and the gross primary production: respiration ratio (GPP:R) functional index, were defined. In the Fish mesocosms, selective predation on zooplankton led to a trophic cascade with 51% higher phytoplankton C biomass and consequently higher A: H and GPP: R than in the Controls. By the end of the experiment, the Oyster mesocosms had a bacterial C biomass 87% higher and phytoplankton C biomass 93% lower than the Controls, giving significantly lower A: H and GPP: R (<1). Overall, the results showed that wild zooplanktivorous fish had a cascading trophic effect, making the MFW more autotrophic (both indices >1), whereas oyster activities made the MFW more heterotrophic (both indices <1). These MFW indices can therefore be used to assess the impact of multiple local and global forcing factors on the MFW. The results presented here also have implications for sustainable management of coastal environments, suggesting that intense cultivation of filter feeders can be coupled with management to encourage wild local zooplanktivorous fishes to maintain a more resilient system and preserve the equilibrium of the MFW.
    Full-text available · Article · Sep 2015 · Marine Ecology Progress Series
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    Rutger De Wit · Pascale Gautret · Yvan Bettarel · [...] · Thierry Bouvier
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using three different microscopy techniques (epifluorescence, electronic and atomic force microscopy), we showed that high-Mg calcite grains in calcifying microbial mats from the hypersaline lake “La Salada de Chiprana”, Spain, contain viruses with a diameter of 50–80 nm. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer analysis revealed that they contain nitrogen and phosphorus in a molar ratio of ~9, which is typical for viruses. Nucleic acid staining revealed that they contain DNA or RNA. As characteristic for hypersaline environments, the concentrations of free and attached viruses were high (>1010 viruses per g of mat). In addition, we showed that acid treatment (dissolution of calcite) resulted in release of viruses into suspension and estimated that there were ~15 × 109 viruses per g of calcite. We suggest that virus-mineral interactions are one of the possible ways for the formation of nano-sized structures often described as “nanobacteria” and that viruses may play a role in initiating calcification.
    Full-text available · Article · Jun 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    Hanh Nguyen-Kim · Yvan Bettarel · Thierry Bouvier · [...] · Justine Brune
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is increasing suspicion that viral communities play a pivotal role in maintaining coral health, yet their main ecological traits still remain poorly characterized. In this study, we examined the seasonal distribution and reproduction pathways of viruses inhabiting the mucus of the scleractinians Fungia repanda and Acropora formosa collected in the Nha Trang Bay (Viet Nam), during a 11-month survey. The strong coupling between epibiotic viral and bacterial abundance suggested that phages are dominant among coral-associated viral communities. Mucosal viruses also exhibited significant differences in their main features between the two coral species and were also remarkably contrasted with their planktonic counterparts. For example, their abundance (inferred from epifluorescence counts), lytic production rates (KCN incubations), and the proportion of lysogenic cells (Mitomycin-C inductions) were respectively 2.6, 9.5, and 2.2 fold higher in mucus than in the surrounding water. Both lytic and lysogenic indicators were tightly coupled with temperature and salinity, suggesting that the life strategy of viral epibionts is strongly dependent upon environmental circumstances. Finally, our results suggest that coral mucus may represent a highly favorable habitat for viral proliferation, promoting the development of both temperate and virulent phages. Herein, we discuss on how such an optimized viral arsenal could be crucial for coral viability by presumably forging complex links with both symbiotic and adjacent non-symbiotic microorganisms. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    Full-text available · Article · Jun 2015 · Applied and Environmental Microbiology
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    Marlène Chiarello · Sébastien Villéger · Corinne Bouvier · [...] · Thierry Bouvier
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Animal-associated microbiota of animals form complex communities, which are suspected to play crucial functions for their host fitness. However, the biodiversity of these communities, including their differences between host species and individuals, have been scarcely studied, especially in case of skin-associated communities. In addition, the intra-individual variability (i.e. between body parts) has never been assessed to date. The objective of this study was to characterize skin bacterial communities of two teleostean fish species, namely the European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), using a high-throughput DNA sequencing method. In order to focus on intrinsic factors of host-associated bacterial community variability, individuals of the two species were raised in controlled conditions. Bacterial diversity was assessed using a set of four complementary indices, describing the taxonomic and phylogenetic facets of biodiversity and their respective composition (based on presence/absence data) and structure (based on species relative abundances) components. Variability of bacterial diversity was quantified at the interspecific, inter- and intra-individual scales. We demonstrated that fish surfaces host highly diverse bacterial communities, whose composition was very different from that of surrounding bacterioplankton. This high total biodiversity of skin-associated communities was supported by the important variability, between host species, individuals and the different body parts (dorsal, anal, pectoral and caudal fins). © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
    Full-text available · Article · Jun 2015 · FEMS Microbiology Ecology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract. Size fractionation was performed using water from the Great Reef of Toliara (Madagascar) taken from two different habitats (ocean and lagoon) during the dry and wet seasons, to study the growth and mortality rates of bacterioplankton. Experiments were conducted with 1 and 100% of heterotrophic nanoflagellate (HNF) concentrations and virus-free water was obtained by tangential filtration (10 kDa). During the dry season, in both environments, bacterial abundance and production were significantly lower than values recorded during the wet season. Bacterial growth rates without grazers were 0.88 day �1 in the lagoon and 0.58 day �1 in the ocean. However, growth rates were statistically higher without grazers and viruses (1.58 day �1 and 1.27 day �1). An estimate of virus-induced bacterial mortality revealed the important role played by viruses in the lagoon (0.70 day �1) and the ocean (0.69 day �1). During the wet season, bacterial growth rates without grazers were significantly higher in both environments than were values obtained in the dry season. However, the bacterial growth rates were paradoxally lower in the absence of viruses than with viruses in both environments. Our results suggest that changes in nutrient concentrations can play an important role in the balance between viral lysis and HNF grazing in the bacterial mortality. However, virus-mediated bacterial mortality is likely to act simultaneously with nanoflagellates pressure in their effects on bacterial communities.
    Full-text available · Article · Apr 2015 · Marine and Freshwater Research
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    Verena S Brauer · Maayke Stomp · Thierry Bouvier · [...] · Jef Huisman
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: N2-fixing cyanobacteria represent a major source of new nitrogen and carbon for marine microbial communities, but little is known about their ecological interactions with associated microbiota. In this study we investigated the interactions between the unicellular N2-fixing cyanobacterium Cyanothece sp. Miami BG043511 and its associated free-living chemotrophic bacteria at different concentrations of nitrate and dissolved organic carbon and different temperatures. High temperature strongly stimulated the growth of Cyanothece, but had less effect on the growth and community composition of the chemotrophic bacteria. Conversely, nitrate and carbon addition did not significantly increase the abundance of Cyanothece, but strongly affected the abundance and species composition of the associated chemotrophic bacteria. In nitrate-free medium the associated bacterial community was co-dominated by the putative diazotroph Mesorhizobium and the putative aerobic anoxygenic phototroph Erythrobacter and after addition of organic carbon also by the Flavobacterium Muricauda. Addition of nitrate shifted the composition toward co-dominance by Erythrobacter and the Gammaproteobacterium Marinobacter. Our results indicate that Cyanothece modified the species composition of its associated bacteria through a combination of competition and facilitation. Furthermore, within the bacterial community, niche differentiation appeared to play an important role, contributing to the coexistence of a variety of different functional groups. An important implication of these findings is that changes in nitrogen and carbon availability due to, e.g., eutrophication and climate change are likely to have a major impact on the species composition of the bacterial community associated with N2-fixing cyanobacteria.
    Full-text available · Article · Jan 2015 · Frontiers in Microbiology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Viruses inhabiting the surface mucus layer of scleractinian corals have received little ecological attention so far. Yet they have recently been shown to be highly abundant and could even play a pivotal role in coral health. A fundamental aspect that remains unresolved is whether their abundance and diversity change with the trophic state of their environment. The present study examined the variability in the abundance of viral and bacterial epibionts on 13 coral species collected from 2 different sites in the Ha Long Bay, Vietnam: one station heavily affected by anthropogenic activity (Cat Ba Island) and one protected offshore station (Long Chau Island). In general, viral abundance was significantly higher in coral mucus (mean = 10.6 +/- 2.0 x 10(7) virus-like particles ml(-1)) than in the surrounding water (5.2 +/- 1.3 x 10(7) virus-like particles ml(-1)). Concomitantly, the abundance and community diversity (inferred from phylogenetic and morphological analyses) of their mucosal bacterial hosts strongly differed from their planktonic counterparts. Surprisingly, despite large differences in water quality and nutrient concentrations between Cat Ba and Long Chau, there were no significant differences in the concentrations of epibiotic viruses and bacteria measured in the only 2 coral species (i.e. Pavona decussata and Lobophyllia flabelliformis) that were common at both sites. The ability of corals to shed bacteria to compensate for their fast growth in nutrient-rich mucus is questioned here.
    Full-text available · Article · Jan 2015 · Aquatic Microbial Ecology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antagonistic interactions such as competition and predation shape the structure and dynamics of ecological communities. Their combined effects can affect the species richness within a particular trophic level. Despite theory linking the complementarity of interactions across trophic levels and ecosystem functioning, there is a shortage of empirical tests of such predictions. We present an experimental investigation of these combined effects within a bacteria-phage interaction network. We measured the biomass yield of combinations of bacterial strains under increasing levels of bacteriophage richness. Our results show an increasing impact of phage on bacteria with increasing phage diversity. In contrast, no combination of phages significantly changed the overall productivity of bacterial mixed cultures when compared with expectations based on bacterial monocultures. Finally, we found that the addition of phages decreases the realized niche overlap among pair of bacterial species with the greatest reduction occurring when all phages were present. Our results show that the productivity of this system is the results from the combined effects of exploitative (shared resources between bacteria) and apparent (shared phages between bacteria) competition.
    Article · Jan 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antagonistic interactions such as competition and predation shape the structure and dynamics of ecological communities. Their combined effects can affect the species richness within a particular trophic level. Despite theory linking the complementarity of interactions across trophic levels and ecosystem functioning, there is a shortage of empirical tests of such predictions. We present an experimental investigation of these combined effects within a bacteria-phage interaction network. We measured the biomass yield of combinations of bacterial strains under increasing levels of bacteriophage richness. Our results show an increasing impact of phage on bacteria with increasing phage diversity. In contrast, no combination of phages significantly changed the overall productivity of bacterial mixed cultures when compared with expectations based on bacterial monocultures. Finally, we found that the addition of phages decreases the realized niche overlap among pair of bacterial species with the greatest reduction occurring when all phages were present. Our results show that the productivity of this system is the results from the combined effects of exploitative (shared resources between bacteria) and apparent (shared phages between bacteria) competition.
    Article · Jan 2015
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phytoplankton diversity and abundance in estuarine systems are controlled by many factors. Salinity, turbidity, and inorganic nutrient concentrations and their respective ratios have all been proposed as principal factors that structure phytoplankton diversity and influence the emergence of potentially toxic species. Although much work has been conducted on temperate estuaries, less is known about how phytoplankton diversity is controlled in tropical, monsoonal systems that are subject to large, seasonal shifts in hydrology and to rapidly changing land use. Here, we present the results of an investigation into the factors controlling phytoplankton species composition and distribution in a tropical, monsoonal estuary (Bach Dang estuary, North Vietnam). A total of 245 taxa, 89 genera from six algal divisions were observed. Bacillariophyceae were the most diverse group contributing to 51.4 % of the microalgal assemblage, followed by Dinophyceae (29.8 %), Chlorophyceae (10.2 %), Cyanophyceae (3.7 %), Euglenophyceae (3.7 %) and Dictyochophyceae (1.2 %). The phytoplankton community was structured by inorganic nutrient ratios (DSi:DIP and DIN:DIP) as well as by salinity and turbidity. Evidence of a decrease in phytoplankton diversity concomitant with an increase in abundance and dominance of certain species (e.g., Skeletonema costatum) and the appearance of some potentially toxic species over the last two decades was also found. These changes in phytoplankton diversity are probably due to a combination of land use change resulting in changes in nutrient ratios and concentrations and global change as both rainfall and temperature have increased over the last two decades. It is therefore probable in the future that phytoplankton diversity will continue to change, potentially favoring the emergence of toxic species in this system.
    Full-text available · Article · Sep 2014 · Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
  • Bettarel Yvan · Thierry Bouvier · Hanh Kim Nguyen · Pham The Thu
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A recent hypothesis considers that many coral pathologies are the result of a sudden structural alteration of the epibiotic bacterial communities in response to environmental disturbances. However, the ecological mechanisms that lead to shifts in their composition are still unclear. In the ocean, viruses represent a major bactericidal agent but little is known on their occurrence within the coral holobiont. Recent reports have revealed that viruses are abundant and diversified within the coral mucus and therefore could be decisive for coral health. However, their mode of action is still unknown, and there is now an urgent need to shed light on the nature of the relationships they might have with the other prokaryotic and eukaryotic members of the holobiont. In this opinion letter, we are putting forward the hypothesis that coral-associated viruses (mostly bacterial and algal viruses), depending on the environmental conditions might either reinforce coral stability or conversely fasten their decline. We propose that these processes are presumably based on an environmentally driven shift in infection strategies allowing viruses to regulate, circumstantially, both coral symbionts (bacteria or Symbiodinium) and surrounding pathogens.
    Article · Aug 2014 · Environmental Microbiology
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    Hanh Nguyen‐Kim · Thierry Bouvier · Corinne Bouvier · [...] · Yvan Bettarel
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Viruses attract increasing interest from environmental microbiologists seeking to understand their function and role in coral health. However, little is known about their main ecological traits within the coral holobiont. In this study, a quantitative and qualitative characterization of viral and bacterial communities was conducted on the mucus of 7 different coral species of the Van Phong Bay (Viet Nam). On average, the concentrations of viruses and bacteria were respectively 17 and 2-fold higher in the mucus than in the surrounding water. The examination of bacterial community composition also showed remarkable differences between mucus and water samples. The percentage of active respiring cells was nearly 3-fold higher in mucus (m= 24.8%) than in water (m= 8.6%). Interestingly, a positive and highly significant correlation was observed between the proportion of active cells and viral abundance in the mucus, suggesting that the metabolism of the bacterial associates is probably a strong determinant of the distribution of viruses within the coral holobiont. Overall, coral mucus, given its unique physico-chemical characteristics and sticking properties, can be regarded as a highly selective biotope for abundant, diversified and specialized symbiotic microbial and viral organisms.
    Full-text available · Article · Jun 2014 · Environmental Microbiology Reports
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    File available · Dataset · Mar 2014
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of grazing pressure and inorganic nutrient availability on the direct carbon transfer from freshly produced phytoplankton exudates to heterotrophic bacteria biomass production were studied in Mediterranean coastal waters. The short-term incorporation of ¹³C (H¹³CO₃) in phytoplankton and bacterial lipid biomarkers was measured as well as the total bacterial carbon production (BP), viral lysis and the microbial community structure under three experimental conditions: (1) High inorganic Nutrient and High Grazing (HN + HG), (2) High inorganic Nutrient and Low Grazing (HN + LG) and (3) under natural in situ conditions with Low inorganic Nutrient and High Grazing (LN + HG) during spring. Under phytoplankton bloom conditions (HN + LG), the bacterial use of freshly produced phytoplankton exudates as a source of carbon, estimated from ¹³C enrichment of bacterial lipids, contributed more than half of the total bacterial production. However, under conditions of high grazing pressure on phytoplankton with or without the addition of inorganic nutrients (HN + HG and LN + HG), the ¹³C enrichment of bacterial lipids was low compared with the high total bacterial production. BP therefore seems to depend mainly on freshly produced phytoplankton exudates during the early phase of phytoplankton bloom period. However, BP seems mainly relying on recycled carbon from viral lysis and predators under high grazing pressure.
    Full-text available · Article · Mar 2014 · FEMS Microbiology Ecology
  • Dataset · Feb 2014
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: a b s t r a c t Vermicompost and biochar amendments are management practices which may contribute to sustain-able agroecosystems by reducing dependence on inorganic fertilizers. However, little is known about their impacts on soil microorganisms and their transfer and evolution in connected aquatic systems. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of organic manure (buffalo manure, compost or ver-micompost) and biochar amendments on bacterial and viral properties in soil and water. A three year experiment was carried out with terrestrial mesocosms which were used to test the effect of organic matter amendment on maize growth. In the last year of the experiment, runoff and infiltration waters from the terrestrial mesocosms were transferred to aquatic mesocosms. Organic fertilization improved soil properties (higher C, N content and pH H 2 O) and as a consequence increased soil bacterial and viral abundance. Bacterial diversity (Shannon 'H' and richness 'S' indices calculated from DGGE fingerprint) was also enhanced after the continuous application of organic amendments. Compared with compost, vermicompost reduced viral abundance and S but similar H and bacterial abundance were observed. The pH H 2 O , C content and bacterial and viral abundance increased in the aquatic mesocosms following organic fertilization. As a consequence, bacterial and viral diversity also increased in the water, although no dif-ferences were found between compost and vermicompost. Biochar increased soil bacterial abundance for the mineral fertilizer treatment but did not influence bacterial and viral abundance in water. However, the combination of biochar and vermicompost led to an increase of viruses in soil and a reduction of bacteria in water. Similarity dendrograms from the DGGE banding patterns showed that the structure of bacterial communities was mainly influenced by the fertilizer treatments in soil but by the presence of biochar in water. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that the nature of the organic amendment has important consequences on both soil and water microbial abundance and diversity.
    Full-text available · Article · Jan 2014 · Applied Soil Ecology
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    File available · Dataset · Dec 2013

Publication Stats

2k Citations


  • 1997-2015
    • Université de Montpellier
      • ECOSYM (Ecologie des systèmes marins côtiers) - UMR 5119
      Montpelhièr, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
  • 2012
    • Institute of Research for Development
      Marsiglia, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
  • 2002
    • Loyola University Maryland
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1997-2002
    • Université Libre de Bruxelles
      • Laboratory of Aquatic Systems Ecology
      Bruxelles, Brussels Capital Region, Belgium