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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 36:201-211 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/ame036201

Diversity of cyanobacteria and heterotrophic bacteria in cyanobacterial blooms in Lake Joutikas, Finland

E. Kolmonen1,*, K. Sivonen1, J. Rapala2,3, K. Haukka1

1University of Helsinki, Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, Viikki Biocenter, PO Box 56, 00014 Helsinki University, Finland
2Finnish Environment Institute, PO Box 140, 00251 Helsinki, Finland
3Present address: National Product Control Agency for Welfare and Health, PO Box 210, 00531 Helsinki, Finland

ABSTRACT: Water samples were collected in August 2001 and 2002 from the eutrophic Lake Joutikas during cyanobacterial blooms. DNA and RNA were isolated from size fractionated samples and the diversity of the bacteria present in each fraction was studied by PCR amplification of partial 16S rRNA and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting. Major bands from the gels were sequenced for further identification. Cyanobacteria were also identified and counted under the microscope. Anabaena/Aphanizomenon were the most abundant cyanobacteria in both years, although the dominant species was different each year. When comparing the 2 techniques, equal numbers of abundant Anabaena/Aphanizomenon morphotypes were detected by microscopy and phylotypes by DGGE. The genera Microcystis and Synechococcus appeared more abundant in the DGGE analysis than under the microscope. In the heterotrophic bacterial community variation was observed between the bloom samples from the 2 years. Verrucomicrobia was the most abundant group in both years in both DNA- and RNA-derived profiles. Otherwise the patterns based on DNA- and RNA-derived DGGE-profiles differed, especially in 2002. The presence of Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi was less pronounced in RNA-based than in DNA-based analysis. This indicates that their relative biomass was smaller than estimated by DNA-analysis. It might also indicate that they were metabolically inactive. In contrast, in 2002, the CFB group (Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides) and δ-Proteobacteria were more prominent in the RNA-based than in the DNA-based profiles. Thus they probably formed a substantial fraction of biomass and/or were active members in the blooms.

KEY WORDS: Cyanobacteria · Heterotrophic bacteria · DGGE · DNA · RNA · Diversity

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