Bacterial community composition in Lake Tanganyika: Vertical and horizontal heterogeneity

A. De Wever, K. Muylaert, K. Van Der Gucht, C. Cocquyt, W. Vyverman, S. Pirlot, J.-P. Descy, P.-D. Plisnier

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Vertical and latitudinal differences in bacterial community composition (BCC) in Lake Tanganyika were studied during the dry season of 2002 by means of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis of PCR-amplified 16S RNA fragments. Dominant bands were sequenced and identified as members of the Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria, Nitrospirae, green nonsulfur bacteria, and Firmicutes divisions and the Gamma- and Deltaproteobacteria subdivisions. The BCC in the lake displayed both vertical and latitudinal variation. Vertical changes in BCC were related to the thermal water column stratification, which influences oxygen and nutrient concentrations. Latitudinal variation was related to upwelling of deep water and increased primary production in the south of the lake. The number of bands per sample increased with bacterial production in the epilimnion of the lake, suggesting a positive diversity-productivity relationship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5029-5037
Number of pages9
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2005


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