Title: Quantitative dominance of seasonally persistent filamentous cyanobacteria (Planktothrix rubescens) in the microbial assemblages of a temperate lake
Authors: Van den Wyngaert, Silke
Salcher, Michaela
Pernthaler, Jakob
Zeder, Michael
Posch, Thomas # ×
Issue Date: Jan-2011
Publisher: American Society of Limnology and Oceanography
Series Title: Limnology and Oceanography vol:56 issue:1 pages:97-109
Abstract: The spatiotemporal changes in abundance and biomass of heterotrophic bacteria, of three major bacterial
phylogenetic groups, and of picocyanobacteria in the upper 20 m of a deep prealpine lake (Lake Zurich,
Switzerland) were monitored during a seasonally persistent bloom of the toxigenic filamentous cyanobacterium
Planktothrix rubescens. In addition, bacterial 16S ribosomal deoxyribonucleic acid (rDNA) sequences were
collected at one instance from the bloom layer and from waters above and below this zone. P. rubescens
comprised up to 70% of particulate organic carbon during summer stratification and autumnal mixis and thus by
far exceeded the total biomass both of other phytoplankton and of prokaryotes. A strong negative correlation was
found between the estimated basin-wide biomass of P. rubescens and of heterotrophic bacteria, and there was
different spatial niche preference of filamentous vs. picocyanobacteria. Only members of the Cytophaga–
Flavobacterium lineage of Bacteroidetes showed an increasing tendency of association with the P. rubescens
population, in particular at the onset of autumnal mixing. Although the filamentous cyanobacterium was the
dominant primary producer throughout the year, it did not seem to be a carbon source for heterotrophic bacteria
at all. We conclude that P. rubescens represents a powerful competitor of autotrophic and heterotrophic
prokaryotes, likely due to both its specific physiological (photoheterotrophic) properties and its protection against
zooplankton grazing. This competitiveness might be regarded as another reason for its mass occurrence in
numerous lakes of the Northern hemisphere.
ISSN: 0024-3590
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Non-KU Leuven Association publications
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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