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Can J Microbiol. 2009 Mar;55(3):311-8. doi: 10.1139/w08-138.

Genetic diversity and temporal variation of the marine Synechococcus community in the subtropical coastal waters of Hong Kong.

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  • 1Department of Biology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, China.


The phylogenetic diversity of the marine Synechococcus community in the subtropical coastal waters of Hong Kong, China, was examined through intergenic transcribed spacer clone libraries. All the sequences obtained fell within both marine cluster A (MC-A) and B (MC-B), with MC-A phylotypes dominating throughout the year. Distinct phylogenetic lineages specific to Hong Kong waters were detected from both MC-A and MC-B. The highest Synechococcus community diversity occurred in December, but the highest Synechococcus abundance occurred in August. On the other hand, both the abundance and diversity of Synechococcus showed a minimum in February. The remarkable seasonal variations of Synechococcus diversity observed were likely the result of the changes of hydrographic condition modulated by monsoons. Principal component analysis revealed that the in situ abiotic water characteristics, especially salinity and water turbidity, explained much of the variability of the marine Synechococcus population diversity in Hong Kong coastal waters. In addition, the temporal changes of Synechococcus abundance were largely driven by water temperature.

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