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Seasonal and habitat-related distribution pattern of Synechococcus genotypes in Lake Constance

: Becker, S.; Richl, P.; Ernst, A.


FEMS Microbiology Ecology 62 (2007), No.1, pp.64-77
ISSN: 0168-6496
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IGB ()

The abundance and distribution of Synechococcus spp. in the autotrophic picoplankton of Lake Constance, were followed in the pelagic and littoral habitat by qPCR over 2 years. One genotype, represented by isolated phycoerythrin-rich strain BO 8807, showed a seasonal distribution pattern in both habitats. Before a stable thermal stratification, the maximum of both the Synechococcus population and genotype BO 8807 occurred at 15 or 20 m water depth in the pelagic habitat. During the summer stratification, when the absolute abundance of all Synechococcus spp. was highest above 15 m, the absolute and relative abundance of genotype BO 8807 was maximal at 20 m. These results indicate that Synechococcus spp. or single genotypes are present in deep maxima in Lake Constance. The in situ dynamics of genotype BO 8807 is consistent with the observation that isolated strain BO 8807 requires higher phosphate concentrations for maximum growth rates than a strain from the same phylogenetic cluster that dominates the pelagic summer population. In contrast to these findings, low genome numbers of phycocyanin-rich genotype BO 8805 were found temporarily only in both the littoral and pelagic plankton. Microscopy revealed that PC-rich cells in general occurred preferentially in the littoral habitat. We discuss our results with respect to the versatility of picocyanobacteria of the evolutionary lineage VI of cyanobacteria, and a habitat-related distribution pattern of Synechococcus genotypes.