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Environ Microbiol. 2008 Aug;10(8):1988-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2008.01615.x. Epub 2008 Apr 21.

Distribution of aerobic anoxygenic phototrophs in temperate freshwater systems.

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Institute of Physical Biology, University of South Bohemia, Zámek 136, 373 33 Nové Hrady, Czech Republic.


The presence of aerobic anoxygenic phototrophs (AAPs) was recently reported from various marine environments; however, there is little information regarding their distribution in fresh waters. We surveyed a number of freshwater systems in central Europe, by infra-red fluorometry, infra-red epifluorescence microscopy, fluorescence emission spectroscopy and pigment analyses. AAPs were found to be abundant in several oligotrophic and mesotrophic lakes (50-400 ng of bacteriochlorophyll a l(-1), 10-80% of bacterial biomass), while in more eutrophized water bodies they represented a negligible part of the total microbial community (< 1%). The observed freshwater AAPs were morphologically diverse and different from previously observed marine species. Under temperate European climatic conditions, AAP populations undergo strong seasonal changes in terms of both abundance and species composition, with the maximum biomass in summer and the minimum in winter. In the mountain lakes Certovo and Plesné, AAPs contributed more than one half of total bacterial biomass during their summer maximum. These results show that photoheterotrophic bacteria represent an important part of the microbial community in many freshwater systems.

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