, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 247–256

Estimation of carbon biomass and community structure of planktonic bacteria in Lake Biwa using respiratory quinone analysis

  • Hiroyuki Takasu
  • Tadao Kunihiro
  • Shin-ichi Nakano
Research paper


The relationship between bacterial respiratory quinone (RQ) concentration and biomass was assessed for Lake Biwa bacterial assemblages to evaluate the utility of bacterial RQ concentration as an indicator of bacterial carbon. The biomass estimated from the RQ concentration correlated well with that from cell volume, indicating that RQ concentration is an appropriate indicator of bacterial biomass. The estimated carbon content per unit of RQ (carbon conversion factor) of bacteria was 0.67 mg C nmol RQ−1. Bacterial carbon biomass, which was estimated from the RQ concentration using the conversion factor, ranged between 0.008 and 0.054 mg C L−1 (average 0.025 mg C L−1) at 5 m depth and between 0.010 and 0.024 mg C L−1 (average 0.015 mg C L−1) at 70 m depth. Ubiquinone-8-containing bacteria dominated the epilimnion and hypolimnion. Compared to conventional image analysis, bacterial RQ analysis is a less laborious method of simultaneously determining bacterial biomass and community.


Bacterial biomass Bacterial community structure Respiratory quinone Lake Biwa 


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Limnology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroyuki Takasu
    • 1
  • Tadao Kunihiro
    • 2
    • 3
  • Shin-ichi Nakano
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Ecological Research (CER)Kyoto UniversityOtsuJapan
  2. 2.Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES)Ehime UniversityMatsuyamaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Ecosystems StudiesRoyal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research (NIOZ)YersekeThe Netherlands

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