, Volume 277, Issue 3, pp 145–158 | Cite as

Stimulation of aquatic bacterial activity by cyanobacteria

  • Lizhu Wang
  • John C. Priscu


The time-course response of natural bacterial populations and isolates from lake water to various densities of the filamentous cyanobacteriaAphanizomenon flos-aquae andLyngbya birgei collected from the same lake is reported. The cyanobacteria were separated from the bacteria by dialysis membranes that allowed only dissolved cyanobacterial products to pass. Bacterial3H-thymidine incorporation and cell number were significantly (p<0.05) correlated with cyanobacterial density for both species. Estimated dissolved organic carbon (DOC) utilization, based on bacterial biomass changes over time, were usually significantly (p<0.01) correlated with cyanobacterial density and the decrease in bulk pool DOC for both species. Bacterial volume per cell increased significantly (p<0.05) in response to cyanobacterial density on day 5 of the experiments; cell volume remained unchanged on day 1. Bacterial cell numbers on outer surfaces of the tubular membrane containing the cyanobacteria (on the side exposed to the test bacteria) were significantly (p<0.01) correlated with cyanobacterial density. Statistical analysis inferred that bacteria closely associated with cyanobacteria (i.e. attached) responded more strongly to cyanobacterial products than free-living bacteria. Overall, our results indicate that cyanobacterial products have a potentially important role in regulating bacterioplankton productivity in aquatic systems.

Key words

bacterioplankton cyanobacteria extracellular products bacterial stimulation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lizhu Wang
    • 1
  • John C. Priscu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyMontana State UniversityBozemanUSA

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