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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2004 Feb;70(2):1017-22.

Cyanophage diversity, inferred from g20 gene analyses, in the largest natural lake in France, Lake Bourget.

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  • 1Equipe de Microbiologie Aquatique, Station INRA d'Hydrobiologie Lacustre, UMR CARRTEL, 74203 Thonon Cedex, France.


The genetic diversity of the natural freshwater community of cyanophages and its variations over time have been investigated for the first time in the surface waters of the largest natural lake in France. This was done by random screening of clone libraries for the g20 gene and by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed 35 distinct cyanomyovirus g20 genotypes among the 47 sequences analyzed. Phylogenetic analyses showed that these sequences fell into seven genetically distinct operational taxonomic units (OTUs). The distances between these OTUs were comparable to those reported between marine clusters. Moreover, some of these freshwater cyanophage sequences were genetically more closely related to marine cyanophage sequences than to other freshwater sequences. Both approaches for the g20 gene (sequencing and DGGE analysis) showed that there was a clear seasonal pattern of variation in the composition of the cyanophage community that could reflect changes in its biological, chemical, and/or physical environment.

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