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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2012 Dec;82(3):678-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2012.01438.x. Epub 2012 Jul 24.

Picoplankton seasonal variation and community structure in the northeast Adriatic coastal zone.

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Center for Marine Research, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Rovinj, Croatia.


The bacterial community in coastal waters of northeastern Adriatic Sea was dominated by SAR11 and Sulfitobacter taxa throughout the year. The seasonal distribution of bacterioplankton taxa showed continual differences between surface (0 m) and bottom (27 m) layers. The surface assemblage was represented by Actinobacteria, Cyanobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, and Gammaproteobacteria, while the bottom assemblage was made up of Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria. As SAR11 was more dominant in the bottom layer, its appearance may be linked to northward transport of oligotrophic waters of higher salinity from the south. Gammaproteobacteria appeared only in the surface layer during summer, influenced by higher amounts of nutrients, brought in by the Po River. Synechococcus was the most abundant taxon at the genus level. Dominance of Synechococcus during the whole season agrees with its dominance in terms of abundance determined by flow cytometry, and confirms its utmost importance in the picoplankton community of this area. We found two different types of Synechococcus: one type with high similarity to Synechococcus CC9902, present in the surface and bottom layers, and another one similar to Synechococcus WH7803, present only in the surface layer. Oligotrophic conditions together with complex hydrological features of this area were reflected in diversification and dynamic shifts of surface and bottom assemblages.

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