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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e58209. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058209. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

The diversity of the Limnohabitans genus, an important group of freshwater bacterioplankton, by characterization of 35 isolated strains.

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Faculty of Sciences, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic.

Erratum in

  • PLoS One. 2013;8(9). doi:10.1371/annotation/4fe772bd-a77f-4142-92c2-256be161f263.


Bacteria of the genus Limnohabitans, more precisely the R-BT lineage, have a prominent role in freshwater bacterioplankton communities due to their high rates of substrate uptake and growth, growth on algal-derived substrates and high mortality rates from bacterivory. Moreover, due to their generally larger mean cell volume, compared to typical bacterioplankton cells, they contribute over-proportionally to total bacterioplankton biomass. Here we present genetic, morphological and ecophysiological properties of 35 bacterial strains affiliated with the Limnohabitans genus newly isolated from 11 non-acidic European freshwater habitats. The low genetic diversity indicated by the previous studies using the ribosomal SSU gene highly contrasted with the surprisingly rich morphologies and different patterns in substrate utilization of isolated strains. Therefore, the intergenic spacer between 16S and 23S rRNA genes was successfully tested as a fine-scale marker to delineate individual lineages and even genotypes. For further studies, we propose the division of the Limnohabitans genus into five lineages (provisionally named as LimA, LimB, LimC, LimD and LimE) and also additional sublineages within the most diversified lineage LimC. Such a delineation is supported by the morphology of isolated strains which predetermine large differences in their ecology.

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