Annals of Microbiology

, Volume 69, Issue 9, pp 933–944 | Cite as

Community structure and functional diversity of epiphytic bacteria and planktonic bacteria on submerged macrophytes in Caohai Lake, southwest of China

  • Dingbo Yan
  • Pinhua XiaEmail author
  • Xu Song
  • Tao Lin
  • Haipeng Cao
Original Article



Epiphytic bacteria on the surfaces of submerged macrophytes play an important role in lake biodiversity and ecological processes. However, compared with planktonic bacteria, there is poor understanding of the community structure and function of epiphytic bacteria.


Here, we used 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing and functional prediction analysis to explore the structural and functional diversity of epiphytic bacteria and planktonic bacteria of a typical submerged macrophyte (Potamogeton lucens) in Caohai Lake.


The results showed that the species composition of epiphytic and planktonic bacteria was highly similar as 88.89% phyla, 77.21% genera and 65.78% OTUs were shared by the two kinds of samples. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were dominant phyla shared by the two kinds of communities. However, there are also some special taxa. Furthermore, the epiphytic bacterial communities exhibited significantly different structures from those in water, and the abundant OTUs had opposite constituents. The explained proportion of the planktonic bacterial community by aquatic environmental parameters is significantly higher than that of epiphytic bacteria, implying that the habitat microenvironment of epiphytic biofilms may be a strong driving force of the epiphytic bacterial community. Functional predictive analysis (Functional Annotation of Prokaryotic Taxa, FAPROTAX) found that epiphytic bacteria and planktonic bacteria are dominated by heterotrophic functions, but epiphytic bacteria have more prominent fermentation and denitrification functions (nitrate reduction, nitrate respiration, and nitrite respiration) than planktonic bacteria.


This study has increased our understanding of the communities and functions of epiphytic bacteria on submerged macrophyte leaves, and their role in lake denitrification cannot be ignored.


Epiphytic bacteria Planktonic bacteria Diversity pattern Functional traits 


Funding information

This project was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41867056), Major Project of Guizhou Province (20163022), Joint Fund of the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Karst Science Research Center of Guizhou Province (U1812401), and Guizhou Science and Technology Plan Project (20185769).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies performed by any of the authors with human participants.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

13213_2019_1485_MOESM1_ESM.docx (415 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 415 kb)


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Copyright information

© Università degli studi di Milano 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dingbo Yan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pinhua Xia
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Xu Song
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tao Lin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Haipeng Cao
    • 3
  1. 1.Guizhou Province Key Laboratory for Information System of Mountainous Areas and Protection of Ecological EnvironmentGuizhou Normal UniversityGuiyangChina
  2. 2.Plateau Wetland Ecology and Environment Research CenterGuizhou Normal UniversityGuiyangChina
  3. 3.College of Life SciencesGuizhou Normal UniversityGuiyangChina

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