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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1998 Jun;64(6):2308-12.

Seasonal abundance of lysogenic bacteria in a subtropical estuary

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Department of Marine Science, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701, USA.


Seasonal changes in the abundance of inducible lysogenic bacteria in a eutrophic estuarine environment were investigated over a 13-month period. Biweekly water samples were collected from Tampa Bay, Fla., and examined for prophage induction by mitomycin C treatment. At the conclusion of the study, we determined that 52.2% of the samples displayed prophage induction, as indicated by significant increases in viral direct counts compared with uninduced controls. Samples that displayed prophage induction occurred during the warmer months (February through October), when surface water temperatures were above 19 degreesC, and no induction was observed in November, December, or January. This study presents clear evidence that there is seasonal variation in the number of inducible lysogenic bacteria in an estuarine environment.

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