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Environ Microbiol. 2007 Nov;9(11):2728-41.

Intra- and inter-lake variability of free-living and particle-associated Actinobacteria communities.

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Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Department Limnology of Stratified Lakes, Alte Fischerh├╝tte 2, D-16775 Stechlin-Neuglobsow, Germany.


We have analysed the inter- and intra-lake variability of free-living and particle-associated freshwater Actinobacteria communities in four limnological different lakes of the Mecklenburg Lake District, Northeastern Germany. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) specific for Actinobacteria was used to investigate phylogenetic diversity and seasonal dynamics of actinobacterial communities in the epilimnion of all lakes (inter-lake variability) and to assess differences between Actinobacteria communities of the epi-, meta- and hypolimnion of a single lake (intra-lake variability) respectively. DGGE analyses showed significant inter- and intra-lake differences between Actinobacteria communities of all lakes and water layers as well as between free-living and particle-associated Actinobacteria. Phylogenetic inferences of 16S rRNA gene sequences suggest that particular members of particle-associated Actinobacteria were exclusively affiliated to certain actinobacterial lineages. The phylogenetic comparison of 16S rRNA gene sequences of all lakes and water layer, however, indicated the occurrence of almost similar phylogenetic lineages in all studied habitats and suggest high intracluster diversity within already known actinobacterial lineages. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMS) ordination analyses and Pearson's product moment correlations revealed several strong correlations between the investigated Actinobacteria communities and various limnological parameters, such as conductivity, total phosphorous, alkalinity or primary production. However, no uniform correlation patterns were found between lakes, water layers and bacterial fractions. These heterogeneous correlation patterns together with the phylogenetic similarities of Actinobacteria communities from different lakes indicate that particular Actinobacteria represent various ecotypes or exhibit a pronounced ecophysiological plasticity.

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