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Spatial Variability of Cyanobacteria and Heterotrophic Bacteria in Lake Taihu (China)


Cyanobacterial blooms frequently occur in Lake Taihu (China), but the intertwined relationships between biotic and abiotic factors modulating the frequency and duration of the blooms remain enigmatic. To better understand the relationships between the key abiotic and biotic factors and cyanobacterial blooms, we measured the abundance and diversity of prokaryotic organisms by high-throughput sequencing, the abundance of key genes involved in microcystin production and nitrogen fixation or loss as well as several physicochemical parameters at several stations in Lake Taihu during a cyanobacterial bloom of Microcystis sp.. Measurements of the copy number of denitrification-related genes and 16S rRNA analyses show that denitrification potential and denitrifying bacteria abundance increased in concert with non-diazotrophic cyanobacteria (Microcystis sp.), suggesting limited competition between cyanobacteria and heterotrophic denitrifiers for nutrients, although potential bacteria-mediated N loss may hamper Microcystis growth. The present study provides insight into the importance of different abiotic and biotic factors in controlling cyanobacteria and heterotrophic bacteria spatial variability in Lake Taihu.

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This work was financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (21577128), a One Hundred Talents Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences grant to H.F. Qian, and Xingjiang Uighur Autonomous Region Talent Project to H.F. Qian.

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Correspondence to Haifeng Qian or Xiangliang Pan.

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Qian, H., Lu, T., Song, H. et al. Spatial Variability of Cyanobacteria and Heterotrophic Bacteria in Lake Taihu (China). Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 99, 380–384 (2017).

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  • Cyanobacteria bloom
  • Bacteria communities
  • Spatial variability
  • Nitrogen cycle