The heterotrophic microbial enrichment community established during degradation of brown algae Fucus evanescens was characterized. A two-species bacterial community of marine culturable gamma-proteobacteria consisted of Pseudoalteromonas and Halomonas. The first member of the community, Pseudoalteromonas sp., was highly metabolically active, had bacteriolytic and hemolytic activities, produced proteinases (gelatinase and caseinase), lipases, DNases, and fucoidanhydrolases, laminaranases, alginases, pustulanases, beta-glucosidases, beta-galactosidases, beta-N-acetylglucosaminidases, and beta-xylosidases. The second member of the community, Halomonas marina, produced only caseinase and DNase, and it did not hydrolyze algal polysaccharides. Both members of the studied bacterial community utilized a range of easily assimilable monosaccharides and other low molecular weight organic substances. The results provide an evidence of the complex metabolic interrelations between two members of this culturable community. One of them Pseudoalteromonas sp., most likely plays the major role in the initial stages of algal degradation; the other one, H. marina, resistant to the bacteriolytic activity of the former, is able to utilize the products of degradation of polysaccharides.
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