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Environ Monit Assess. 2012 Jan;184(1):471-85. doi: 10.1007/s10661-011-1981-2. Epub 2011 Mar 24.

Impact of water quality on bacterioplankton assemblage along Cértima River Basin (central western Portugal) assessed by PCR-DGGE and multivariate analysis.

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CESAM (Centre for Marine and Environmental Studies), University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal.


The information on bacterial community composition (BCC) in Portuguese water bodies is very scarce. Cértima River (central western Portugal) is known to have high levels of pollution, namely organic. In the present work, the BCC from a set of 16 water samples collected from Cértima River Basin and its main tributaries was characterized using 16S rDNA-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, a culture-independent molecular approach. Molecular data were related to environmental parameters through multivariate analysis to investigate potential impact of water pollution along the river. Principal component analysis using environmental data showed a water quality gradient from more pristine waters (at the mountain tributaries) to waters with increasingly eutrophic potential (such as Fermentelos Lake). This gradient was mainly defined by factors such as organic and inorganic nutrient sources, electrical conductivity, hydrogen carbonate concentration, and pH. Molecular results showed variations in BCC along Cértima River Basin but in the main river section, a Bacteroidetes phylotype (Flavobacterium sp.) proved to be dominant throughout the river course. Multivariate analysis suggests that spatial variation of BCC along the Cértima River Basin depended mainly on parameters such as Chl a, total suspended solid (TSS), total organic carbon, electrical conductivity, and HCO[Formula: see text] levels. Bacteroidetes phylotypes were all related to higher electrical conductivity and HCO[Formula: see text] levels although some of these were also correlated with high SO[Formula: see text] and others with high soluble reactive phosphorus, nitrate, TN, and Kjeld-N levels. The Gammaproteobacteria occurrence was correlated with high SO[Formula: see text] levels. One of the Betaproteobacteria phylotypes showed to correlate with low redox potential (E(h)) and high temperature, pH, TSS, and Chl a levels while another one showed a negative correlation with Chl a values.

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