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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2017 May;24(14):12796-12808. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-8693-2. Epub 2017 Mar 31.

Microbial profiles of a drinking water resource based on different 16S rRNA V regions during a heavy cyanobacterial bloom in Lake Taihu, China.

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State Key Lab for Bioelectronics, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing, China.
Wuxi Environmental Monitoring Centre, Wuxi, China.
MOE Key Lab of Bioinformatics, Bioinformatics Division/Center for Synthetic and Systems Biology, TNLIST and Department of Automation, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.
Wuxi Metagene Science & Technology Co., Ltd, Lake Taihu Cyanobacterial Blooms Research Institute, Wuxi, China.
China Environmental Protection Foundation, Beijing, China.
State Key Lab for Bioelectronics, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing, China.


Understanding of the bacterial community structure in drinking water resources helps to enhance the security of municipal water supplies. In this study, bacterial communities were surveyed in water and sediment during a heavy cyanobacterial bloom in a drinking water resource of Lake Taihu, China. A total of 325,317 high-quality sequences were obtained from different 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) regions (V3, V4, and V6) using the Miseq sequencing platform. A notable difference was shown between the water and sediment samples, as predominated by Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Actinobacteria in the water and Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Verrucomicrobia in the sediment, respectively. The LD12 family dominated the water surface and was tightly associated with related indicators of cyanobacterial propagation, indicating involvement in the massive proliferation of cyanobacterial blooms. Alternatively, the genus Nitrospira dominated the sediment samples, which indicates that nitrite oxidation was very active in the sediment. Although pathogenic bacteria were not detected in a large amount, some genera such as Mycobacterium, Acinetobacter, and Legionella were still identified but in very low abundance. In addition, the effects of different V regions on bacterial diversity survey were evaluated. Overall, V4 and V3 were proven to be more promising V regions for bacterial diversity survey in water and sediment samples during heavy water blooms in Lake Taihu, respectively. As longer, cheaper, and faster DNA sequencing technologies become more accessible, we expect that bacterial community structures based on 16S rRNA amplicons as an indicator could be used alongside with physical and chemical indicators, to conduct comprehensive assessments for drinking water resource management.


16S rRNA; Bacterial diversity; Cyanobacterial bloom; Drinking water resources; Lake Taihu; Microcystis

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