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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2009 Sep;69(3):439-48. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2009.00729.x. Epub 2009 Jun 22.

Phylogenetic diversity of Synechococcus strains isolated from the East China Sea and the East Sea.

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Marine Living Resources Research Department, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute, Ansan 426-744, Korea.


Phylogenetic relationships among 33 Synechococcus strains isolated from the East China Sea (ECS) and the East Sea (ES) were studied based on 16S rRNA gene sequences and 16S-23S rRNA gene internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences. Pigment patterns of the culture strains were also examined. Based on 16S rRNA gene and ITS sequence phylogenies, the Synechococcus isolates were clustered into 10 clades, among which eight were previously identified and two were novel. Half of the culture strains belonged to clade V or VI. All strains that clustered into novel clades exhibited both phycoerythrobilin and phycourobilin. Interestingly, the pigment compositions of isolates belonging to clades V and VI differed from those reported for other oceanic regions. None of the isolates in clade V showed phycourobilin, whereas strains in clade VI exhibited both phycourobilin and phycoerythrobilin, which is in contrast to previous studies. The presence of novel lineages and the different pigment patterns in the ECS and the ES suggests the possibility that some Synechococcus lineages are distributed only in geographically restricted areas and have evolved in these regions. Therefore, further elucidation of the physiological, ecological, and genetic characteristics of the diverse Synechococcus strains is required to understand their spatial and geographical distribution.

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